30Q: Is This The Last Hurrah For Francisco Garcia?

2011-12 Statistics:

49 Games Played, 16.3 MPG, 4.8 PPG, .376 FG%, .290 3P%, 2.0 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.7 STL, 0.8 BLK

Contract Status:

2 years, $12.5 million remaining (Last year is a team option)

Here's a fun bit of trivia. When Tom started Sactown Royalty in 2005, Francisco Garcia was a rookie. El Flaco is now the longest tenured King, with 7 seasons under his belt, all in Sacramento. This year, his 8th, will probably be his last. While there are two years left on his contract, the 2nd and final year is a team option, one that the Kings will almost certainly not pick up.

And that makes me sad.

I'm not sad because I'll miss Francisco Garcia the player. Watching Francisco play is a lesson in frustration. Ill-advised threes early in the shot clock. Toe-on-the-line threes. Unnecessary passes that don't reach their intended targets. Defensive Lapses. When his shot isn't falling, like it wasn't last year, his value on the court plummets.

Francisco Garcia could have, should have, been so much more than he has been. Various injuries and the team being terrible robbed him of that though. An excellent shooter and versatile player, Garcia could have been a great and valued contributor on a playoff team, coming off the bench and providing a little bit of everything. Instead it was his luck to be drafted by the Kings while they were on their way down. He has seen just one winning season, his rookie year, and it has been downhill ever since. He has worked for Rick Adelman, Eric Musselman, Reggie Theus, Kenny Natt, Paul Westphal and now Keith Smart. 6 coaches in 7 years. He has broken his wrist and his ankle, gone from a sometime starter to a bench warmer.

But throughout it all, Francisco Garcia's spirit has never been broken. Not able to provide a big lift on the court, he has transformed into a leader and mentor for the younger players.

So while this is probably his last year with the Sacramento Kings as a player, I could see the team hiring him one day to become an Assistant Coach. Coaching seems to be an avenue where Francisco can make the most of his unique gifts of inspiration and leadership.

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