Hello fellow Kings fans/sufferers. Long time lurker, first time poster here. I thought I’d take this opportunity to engage, or perhaps annoy, my fellow Royalists with a little good old-fashioned opining on the dismal state of wreckage otherwise known as your Sacramento Kings.
I have next to nothing to say about the Maloofs that hasn’t already been said. There are no positives to offer on that front. This we know all too well. I have long said that anyone who makes their money stealing from those with gambling addictions cannot possibly be anything more than a personality-disordered sociopath, but that’s neither here nor there at this point. The Maloofs are beyond irredeemable. They are the Fukushima of NBA owners.
No. Today my choleric rantings are reserved for the day-to-day decision-makers of this ghastly organization---a previous incarnation of which I once poured my hopes into. I’m talking about you Mr. Petrie. I’m talking about you Mr. Smart.
Many of us have cut President Petrie a lot of slack for a long time. He’s been handcuffed by the tightwad owners. (Did I mention that they’re sociopaths?) He’s been operating from a position of weakness. Blah-blah-blah. And didn’t he put together all those great teams of yesteryore? Isn’t he a two-time Executive-of-the-Year? Yes he did, and yes he was. Of course, that was back when the Beatles were still together. Or at least back when I still had all my hair.
Sorry, Geoff. Your star flamed out a long time ago. You, sir, are a dinosaur in the age of NBA hominids. This league passed you by right around the time Hurricane Katrina came on shore. Or maybe it was when Rick Adelman left. Hard to say. But either way, your secretive, inaccessible administration has been relegated to the scrapheap of NBA history. The results speak for themselves. Nowadays, we can only wish for the kind of win totals seen under that inebriated PowerPoint expert masquerading as a one-time Kings head coach. Look how far we’ve fallen.
Admittedly, your draft record is not abysmal. Compared to, say, David Kahn, you look downright respectable. Of course David Kahn’s team is way better than yours right now, but why split hairs? On the other hand, almost every trade and free agent signing since Ron-Ron came to town has been somewhere between uninspired and atrocious. And your head coaching choices? Wow! I know, I know. Your hands are tied.
And now for a short digression. For my day job, I work in the office of a medium-sized engineering company (meaning I sit on my ass most of the day). For some reason, in a remote corner of the office that I seldom visit, we still have an official team picture of the 2007/2008 Sacramento Kings gracing the wall. Remember that team? Ron Artest (aka Metta World War 3) was the leader. K-Mart was coming into his own. Bibby and Miller were still here. Beno was new in town. Fish and Flaco looked promising. And rounding out the roster we had such memorable greats as Mikki, Kenny, Quincy, and Spencer. The coach for that team was a certain prima donna named Reggie Theus, who, like every other Kings coach in the post-Adelman era, will almost certainly never be a head coach in this league again. And yet somehow that team managed to win 38 freakin' games. And, of course, it’s been downhill ever since.
So anyway, there I was walking down the hall, when I realized that this ridiculous, antiquated team picture was still on the wall. Reggie beamed out at me with that familiar "Ain’t I somethin" look. Geoff had that "Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing" fictitious smile. And those fabulous Maloof brothers grinned happily at me. So I went straight back to my office and typed the following email to the office manager:
This isn’t a complaint, just an observation.
I was in the northwest hall just now and I noticed that we still have an "official" picture of the 2007/2008 Sacramento Kings. A grand total of two of the players shown in that photo are now on the team: Francisco Garcia and John Salmons, the latter of whom is actually back again for his second tenure after being gone for 2½ seasons. The head coach in the photo is the less-than-highly-regarded Reggie Theus, whose third mediocre successor we are now witnessing. And, of course, the photo includes the smiling countenances of Geoff Petrie and the much-despised Maloofs.
Not that anyone asked me, but my recommendation is to just throw the thing in the dumpster.
Call it a moment of inspiration. Call it a waste of my office manager’s time. The whole point here is that the Petrie-led, post-Adelman Kings are an unmitigated disaster. Is it all Petrie’s fault? No indeed. But when you’ve already earned your millions, and all you are doing is serving up one s*** sandwich after another year after year, it’s time to retire. And for God sakes, do not hand the team off to anyone with the same last name.
But enough about Geoff. Let’s talk Keith. Apparently this team does have enough talent to win 7 of its first 24 games, but that doesn’t exactly equate to a ringing endorsement of the coaching prowess of Mr. Smart. I mean, does anyone have any idea who is going to be in the rotation from one day to the next? I sure as hell don’t.
Here’s a case in point. I was perusing the NBA individual scoring statistics just now. You might not realize this, but as of 10 PM Pacific Standard Time on December 17, 2012, Jimmer Fredette is now 7th in the league in points per 48 minutes among guys playing more than 10 minutes per game. Yes, you heard me right: 7th in the f***ing league! Right behind Melo, Kobe, Durantula, Bron, Harden, and Brook Lopez, and ahead of guys like Wade, Parker, Westbrook, and Pierce.
Why is this guy not playing 20 to 30 minutes every night? OK, he sucks on defense. He might even be the worst perimeter defender in the league. But you know what? He’s not going to get any better sitting on the bench getting DNPs every other game. And it’s not like Brooks is shutting down the opposing team’s point guard every night either. Nor is Thornton. Nor is Isaiah. If Jimmer is that terrible on defense, trade him. (The Heat would probably love to have this guy. Surround him with four solid defenders and it’s bombs away.) But if we plan on giving him a chance, then why not give him a chance? After all, we took on John Salmons to get this guy.
Speaking of which, what the hell is up with the Aaron Brooks fascination with these guys? There is absolutely no reason for this guy to be starting, or really even to be on this team at all. Sure he’s a serviceable NBA player, but so what? Are we just giving up on Jimmer and Isaiah? Are we trying to win more games with him in there? It’s not working. He’s just in the way. He’s almost certainly not part of the future of this team (actually the team might not be part of the future of this team; but let’s not go there), so why are we diddling around with NBA journeymen when we at least have the possibility of a cultivating a respectable youth movement?
Here’s the shocking news that seems to have eluded you, Mr. Smart. This….team….sucks! You have absolutely nothing to lose by playing Jimmer extended minutes. We’re not going to the playoffs any more than I’m going to marry Megan Fox. And you---like your four predecessors---are probably never going to see another NBA head coaching gig after this one. So do yourself a favor. Do us a favor. Do the league a favor. Play Jimmer. Play Isaiah. Play T-Rob. Bench Brooks. Give Cisco some minutes at small forward---at least he can put up a respectable stat line every few games. And for the love of Vlade, throw Trout back in the lake. Why did we ever sign this guy in the first place?
Oh, and incidentally, Coach, how’s your management of Demarcus’ personality issues going? I’ll say this for you. You are better in that department than your predecessor. Of course, topsoil is more palatable than dog s*** too, but whatever.
I may not be a basketball prodigy, but like thousands upon thousands of my fellow Kings fans/sufferers, I know a trainwreck when I see one. And this, dear friends, is a trainwreck.
Thank you for listening. I feel much better now.