Mike Malone hasn't yet been formally introduced as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings. That will reportedly come on Monday. But he did sit down with Jason Jones of The Bee on Saturday. Included in that is three stated goals Malone has for the team next season.
"[W]e're going to judge success in Year One based off of three things. Did we change the culture, did we establish ourselves as a defensive team, and then, obviously, did our players develop?"
In that, you have one thing very easy to judge, one thing you can probably judge reasonably, and one thing it's going to be pretty hard to judge. Established as a defensive team? It'll be simple to determine if that happens: Sacramento has been No. 29 in the league in defense in each of the last two seasons. Stark improvement will go toward meeting that goal.
Developing players is somewhat more nebulous to measure, though an obviously worthwhile, important goal. And frankly, it goes hand in hand with the third goal, a culture change. And all three of the goals should result in more wins. So we're not really talking about wins and losses, but in the end, we are.
It definitely is smart to break down into manageable, achievable goals, both for Malone and for the players. He wants the young guys to get better and play engaged defense. He will be holding their feet to the fire.
Of course, we've heard all of this from other coaches before. (Anyone remember Eric Musselman's practice facility posters?) One obvious, neon sign in the corner of the room is DeMarcus Cousins. How does Malone's vision fit with Cousins' personality? The ultimate fix for Boogie, or a recipe for disaster? We'll see. I'm actually not particularly anxious to see it in action, to be honest. As a Cousins partisan, I'm a little afraid.