MarcusZ28 gets us started: "So we have had some rather perplexing moves from the new front office (ie: resigning TopHat, looking into Monta Ellis, etc.). With that said, I see a lot of comments talking about the honeymoon period having an early ending with some fans and STR followers alike. My personal opinion is that I am indeed withholding judgment, no matter how nonsensical (is that a word?). We could in fact sign Ellis to a 4 year deal and I would still withhold judgment until the mid-part (ish) of this upcoming season. Do you find it hard to enjoy this "honeymoon period" with Vivek and Co., to the point where you have mixed feelings? What are your post-Maloof thoughts and how do they compare to those of the rest of the STR staff?"
I can't speak for Tom, Akis, Greg, Rob and Kevin, but I'm having a ball. These past couple of months have been the most fun that I've had as a Kings fan since the early 2000's. There seems to be something happening every day, and it is generating huge interest and conversation.
I think that there needs to be a separation of "church and state" when it comes to the honeymoon period. It better be years and years and years (if ever) before the fan base ever takes what Vivek and Co. have done and will do for this city for granted. And I think that all Kings fans are very appreciative of the new ownership and management group. However, that does not mean that their moves are not about questioning. I think that it is fair to not like Evans leaving or Landry coming or Thornton staying if that's how you feel, and that does not make you spoiled or a hypocrite. It makes you a fan.
Do I feel that there has been a rush to judgment by a segment of the fan base as it pertains to these deals? Certainly I have been surprised by the tenor of the most extreme comments. I get it: There are Kings fans that have been so frustrated for so long that they are a collection of raw, exposed nerves.
I have also been mildly surprised by those that think that the new group is above question. I get it: As a Giants fan, I feel like I've been playing with house money for the past three years. Even through their current suckitude, I'm a happy Giants camper. Now, if they string a couple of seasons like this...
I would have paid Evans the 4/$44m, and Carl Landry was not on my radar...at all. But as I noted in a thread yesterday, the current roster could conceivably be better than last year's team. They could also realistically be worse. But if McLemore is for real and Cousins displays the consistent performance of a guy deserving of being considered for a max contract, this team could crawl into the mid-30's in wins, all while installing the culture that the new regime is looking for. I have cautious optimism that this will be a fun season, and that this team might even post a winning record at home. Wouldn't that be something for the fan base?
Let me try to sum it up this way: Monta Ellis is on my top ten list of players that I would prefer to never see in a Kings uniform. I'm not an Ellis fan. But if the Kings sign him, I will certainly root for him to succeed. Because his success will be the team's success and that will benefit me as a fan. I will root that I am wrong about Monta Ellis, because there will be absolutely no joy or satisfaction in being right. And I might question the sanity of the Kings front office if Ellis is signed, but that does not mean that the honeymoon period is over for me. Ask me about that again in 35 years.
And from Napa Jack: "Do you think the Kings are serious about Vasquez that that he is the long term PG or do you think they are using him for a year and letting him walk next summer?"
Great question. I wish that I had a great answer.
I'll start by saying that I think that the Calderon business was a bit overstated. As you may recall, there were some rumors that the Kings were intent on signing Calderon and trading out Vasquez. I don't know how much (if any) truth there is to that, but even if that was the Kings mindset, that does not necessarily mean that they don't like Vasquez. After all, it's not like they were forced to take him via sign and trade. They could have simply said no thanks. So we do know that the Kings value Vasquez as an asset. The question is, do they also value him as a player?
The answer to Vasquez's value may not be found in his stats, but in the stats of his teammates. For example, did Vasquez make things easier offensively for Anthony Davis last year? Davis' 13.5ppg and 52% adjusted field goal percentage were certainly on the high end (or beyond) of what was being predicted for him in his rookie season. Was Vasquez a contributing factor? Perhaps. Could his presence improve the 47% AFGP of DeMarcus Cousins? Could his ability to carry the extra handling load relieve pressure off of Ben McLemore? And could his handling and length provide a few more minutes for a guy like Jimmer Fredette?
I have both Vasquez and Thomas ranked in that 16-23 range of point guards, but the two guys could not be more different in their approach. Now, it is more likely that Thomas becomes more pass-oriented than it is that Vasquez suddenly becomes a very good shooter. So if the Kings go to an offense where the point guard is called on more to move the ball and facilitate, I wouldn't rule the Hustlin' Huskie out quite yet. And it should also be noted that these guys are both NBA young, as Thomas has only 99 career starts in two seasons, while Vasquez has 105 in three seasons. So either/both of these guys could get better.
My Spidey sense tells me that Vasquez and Thomas could wind up battling things out for at least a couple of months, and perhaps the entire season before the front office determines which guy (if either) is their guard of the future. And if it's Vasquez, could Thomas be reasonably retained as a super 6th man? It's a better situation to have than no competition, but it's a far cry from having Tony Parker or even Mike Conley run your team. Then again, Parker and Conley weren't exactly Parker and Conley after barely 100 starts. Watching the point guard saga unfold this year could be a very fun sub-plot for this team, the sudden appearance of Monta Ellis notwithstanding.
Pick & Droll: LaBradford made a Valerie Bertenelli reference in one of the threads yesterday, wondering who everyone's first TV crush might be.
My first crush did not come from the TV. Jill St. John, Diamonds are Forever. I was 12, and she made me all tingly in my naughty bits. My favorite Charlie's Angel was Jaclyn Smith, and I was always partial to MaryAnn over Ginger. Oh, and I had a major thing for Lee Remick for a while...
So, who was it for you? Lindsay Wagner? Lyle Waggoner? Lee Remick? Lee Majors? Kristy McNichol? Dustin Diamond?
Do you have a question or topic idea? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our professionally trained chimpanzees will get it to me and send you a response (feces optional). As always, feel free to jack this thread (and only this thread.