DeMarcus's reaction last night was, of course, very unprofessional to say the least. But this situation is indicative of a bigger problem that is absolutely not his fault.
This stems from the preferential treatment that Petrie and Westphal decided to give Reke last year. We all remember the team exceeded expectations at the beginning of last season, causing Petrie to get a very premature extension mainly predicated on him drafting a future star in Evans. Then the team started to come back down to earth. At that point, instead of concentrating on making adjustments to improve the team, the focus became pushing Reke for ROY as a means to legitimize the franchise and Petrie's extension. Making sure Reke got his 20 5 5 became more important than the final score. And to make sure Tyreke had the ball as much as possible, we traded Kevin Martin, one of the most efficient players in the league, for what is going to end up being nothing.
As a side bar, by drafting Tyreke but trading Kevin for a guy who is seemingly unsuited for the team's long term future, did we even move forward as a franchise? If you believe in PER, win share or any other stat, I would say no.
Then we draft DMC -- talent galore and competitive, but a guy who speaks his mind and is prone to outbursts (that is
being nice). What he is seeing here, a losing team with a lead guard that pounds the ball so hard he puts dents in the wood, is a lot different than what
he had at Kentucky -- a true pass-first point guard and a team committed to winning.
DeMarcus is not handling himself properly, but that should come as no surprise. Ultimately, this comes down to Petrie. Petrie drafted DeMarcus, which is defensible to say the least, but Petrie's real crime is making last year's team an AAU team with the primary goal of featuring Tyreke. No one likes playing with a guy who has been groomed to be a self-serving player. Sure Tyreke can help any team in the league, but he doesn't know how to make the players around him better, or when to say die when another coach has checkmated his, let's be honest, simple offensive arsenal. While other players are now used to this and have accepted it, DeMarcus is not and does not accept it. Good for him.
I can't even really blame Tyreke -- he is young and is really probably just trying to learn and lesson, as you'd want any young franchise player to be. But based on the concerns of his game, we as fans must ask what is he being told? He is not the reason we have been losing for the past several seasons. The reason for this losing, as well as our current roster of individual talents who do not mesh and the revolving door of coaches, is Petrie. He is the one constant.
We need a real front office that will not only consider character and chemistry when analyzing players, but also commit to establishing a culture of accountability and teamwork that is conducive to winning. I know everyone is going to jump to Petrie's defense and defend him based on the Webber years and the cap space he is incorrectly given credit for creating (remember that Jason Levien guy?), but enough is enough. We cannot risk another offseason, especially given our cap space and his recent record of signing the wrong free agents, with Petrie at the helm.