I tend to take most of what people say with a very large grain of salt. This is especially true if it is media hyperbole or just rehashing of same old stories.
But what if you talk to somebody who would really know the truth and that you trust? Somebody who was a former Kings employee AND your wife’s cousin. Somebody who knows how to coach basketball and who knows talent…
Well, it is safe to say that I listened. And wasn’t too happy.
Response: He is just a really good kid. Really quiet. Talented. Not too much else to say about him.
Response: “He really is one bad dude.” His altercation with Donte was not all of it. “I watched him swing on JT.” The Kings knew what they were getting.
Question: Why did they pick Cousins then?
Response: When you are as bad as the Kings are you don’t have a choice. You have to take him because he has that much talent. He is probably going to be the best big man in the game in a year or two. You don’t have the luxury of passing on him and you just have to deal with it.
Response: One helluva guy. Just a really good person. Petrie gave me a bunch of tapes for that pick in the draft. I looked at every single player that we could have gotten and JT really stood out. He was just undeveloped. He didn’t come from a program that worked to develop their players and he got by on his size and talent. He really will develop, is developing, into a good NBA player.
About Paul Westphal?
Response: To be honest, he is probably the most talented coach the Kings have had and that includes Adelman.
Response: It is all about the talent. Bottom line is that PW had a team without sufficient talent. He couldn’t do much with what he had.
About the Maloofs?
Response: "I just wish they would be honest with Sacramento." They are broke. They lost everything and should just be upfront about it. Sacramento would understand that and just appreciate the honesty.
My statement/question: I heard they bought the team with the intent to move from day one.
Response: Not one word said. He just clammed up and would not say a thing. He just looked very troubled and very unhappy.
About Aaron Brooks?
Response: "He will be the starting PG for the Kings."
Isaiah came from a team that ran more of an NBA style of game. He was just going to be more ready and his height was the issue in the draft.
Jimmer will be OK, but has liabilities… He is just going to be buried in the rotation.
About James Johnson?
“James Johnson is another head case”
My wife’s cousin was a very integral part of the Kings team. I won’t give away his identity, but he has worked at a very deep level within the organization. He knows the organization inside and out.
Because of this I listened. He had nothing to lose and it was awesome to talk to him. We talked about the team’s strategy and he agreed that an up tempo game was best for them given the talent.
My thoughts about DMC? OH CRAP! Here I have been just brushing off the media stuff and ignoring things like Colangelo’s comments. Just considering it hype and bias, but it isn’t just hype and bias. A fair assessment of DMC is that he can have a serious attitude and can be a negative presence in the locker room. I find the reference to his run in with JT really troubling. JT is by all accounts a great guy and it says a lot that he almost went at it with DMC. And, yet, on the other hand here is a guy that confirmed the talent which IS nice to hear.
My thoughts about PW? I had kind of thought this might be the case, but I could also tell that my wife’s cousin liked PW. He didn’t want to say anything negative about him. Still, there were reports that PW had simplified his plays, but it didn’t seem to be working. I have questioned whether or not he was just the wrong coach at the wrong time. We needed a coach who could develop talent and not somebody who needed talented veterans to make his system work. Which is what I took away from the conversation.
All told a very good conversation about the Kings. It is hard to hear things you don’t want to be true, but sometimes you have to pay attention. Sometimes you have to read between the lines.
The team is what it is and when a basketball professional with experience in and out of the Kings organization tells you that the issue is lack of talent and broke owners it reinforces a lot of what has been said. When that same person says that the stories about our rising star DMC are not just all media hype, it is sad. I wanted to believe differently.
It is clear from the conversation that the Kings have a long way to go, but then that isn't really news.