Our Humpday starts with 2001nbachampions: "When do you think the next all-star will be from Sacramento?"
I'm tempted to answer Ryan Anderson...
OK, based on the current roster, DeMarcus Cousins is the likeliest candidate. It's certainly not going to be any of the other tenured players on the roster, and it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too early to be projecting anything like that for Ben McLemore, so that really leaves Big Cuz.
Cousins faces some major obstacles. First, you have to be really, really good to be named to an all-star team when you're playing for lottery fodder. And the Kings may still be that for the next year or two. However, positive momentum would offset some of that, so if the team shows improvement and Cousins can stay out of the "bad" headlines, that would work in his favor.
The larger obstacle is the current level of big man talent in the Western Conference. Last year's all-star big men out west included Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, David Lee and Zach Randolph. Bigs that were not named but are better than Cousins has ever been include the brothers Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki (he was hurt last year), and Kevin Love (also hurt). That's ten guys right there, and you can lump Cousins in with the likes of Anthony Davis, Omer Asik, Marcin Gortat, Kenneth Faried and Serge Ibaka. So Cousins will have to make a quantum leap upward in his game, develop at a faster and more thorough pace than guys like Davis and Ibaka, and overtake half of the guys in the top ten. Now, Pau Gasol, Duncan, Nowitzki and Randolph may begin to show their age over the next couple of years, which would help to get Cousins within striking distance of an all-star birth.
This year? It would take a combined miracle of Cousins leaping two levels, the Kings overachieving and a couple of marquee WC bigs getting hurt. Next year? Not out of the question if Cousins steers himself in the right direction. My guess would be no earlier than 2015-16, provided that Cousins gets and stays on the right track.
Which takes us to 2001nbachampions' bonus question: "Will DeMarcus straighten up this year?"
Well, the franchise is certainly banking on it. But here's the one thing that would be keeping me up nights if I didn't drink myself into a stupor: DeMarcus Cousins intimates that the core of his past problems is that he hates losing. This team is going to lose this year, and very probably lose a lot. If the true source of Cousins' consternation is losing, is a 31-51 record going to placate him? 33-49? 36-46? Or will he be satisfied with the installation of a "winning attitude," mounting losses be damned? That has to be a concern, regardless of how badly we're rooting for Cousins to see the light.
I do agree with the Kings' take that this is a fresh start and that the past is the past. As I have noted before, this is almost like a trade to a new team for DeMarcus. New owner, new management, new coaching staff, and only half the roster played an entire season with him last year. But you can't tell me that Kings fans won't be shifting their weight from butt cheek to butt cheek the first time Cousins stares down a referee or gives Michael Malone the bitter beer face.
I'm shoving the stack and going all in here. Cousins will see the light this year. And by see the light, I mean that he will still be a league leader in technical fouls, and he will still get tossed out of at least one game. But he will not have public dust-ups with Malone or any of his teammates. And he will show an immensely improved efficiency on offense and a new sense of purpose on defense. There will be plenty of "cover your eyes and ears" moments throughout the season, but by the end of the year we will be happy with the decision of ownership and management to invest maximum dollars to keep DeMarcus Cousins a Sacramento King.
Pick & Droll #1 courtesy djrick: "Describe your fashion sensibility. What are you wearing? How do you choose what to wear?"
Really, this is one of the simultaneously great and creepy questions that I've been asked during my StR tenure. I think it's the "What are you wearing?" that rings the bell for me. I'm betting that djrick actually voice commanded this into his computer while holding a handkerchief over the microphone.
My fashion sensibility comes via Bill Murray: "Chicks dig me, because I rarely wear underwear and when I do it's usually something unusual."
I work in an office that is professional but casual, so it's usually slacks and either a dress shirt with no tie or a short sleeve casual shirt or golf shirt. Jeans on Friday. Daughter214 buys me t-shirts every now and then that are probably more suited for a younger person, but I proudly wear them and secretly pray that I don't look to Maloofian while I am wearing them. The suits and ties seem to come out a little less often these days, but I do like putting on a suit when appropriate. I look good in a suit, too. I definitely have a body that the more clothes I wear, the better I look.
Pick & Droll #2 comes from adamsite: "Since the real life identities of the StR contributors are largely unknown by the majority of StR members, which famous people, characters, or figures of history do most of us think they resemble in our mind's eye? My take:
Ziller: Dr. Claw
Section: Dr. Emmet Lee (Doc) Brown from Back 2 the Future
Aykis: An old Greek woman eating Baklava
Greg: That dude on the corner of Riverside and Broadway in a banana suit waving a sign
Kevin: Gru, or wait....Pete D'Alessandro, no maybe.... Marcin Gortat
rbiegler: Keyser Soze playing the Wizard of OZ by the name of Deep Throat"
These are frighteningly accurate...
I'll reserve my answers for the thread, as it will likely need the accompaniment of "art," and some of it might run afoul of copyright rules if I place them in the post.
Send your questions and topic ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the perfect venue to drop those questions or topics that you would like to discuss without going through the 75 word hassle of writing your own Fanpost. It's also a great place to ask your fellow members things like if they ever imagined that their toes were ten little people that tried to talk you into doing illicit and lurid things. No? Me neither...
The thread is now open for your conversation and thread jacking pleasure.