I was watching a video segment on espn.com the other day about teams tanking. (No, they did not say the Kings are tanking.) I was merely curious to see what they said about other possibly tanking teams around the league. And despite what the league office says, clearly some teams decide they have no chance for the playoffs and hold fire sales on the talent they do have in hopes of drafting the next LeBron; thereby tanking.
But what made my blood boil was something Chad Ford said. The subject had naturally morphed to what players on tanking teams might be available for teams looking for a little extra oomph as they head toward the playoffs. He said teams need to be careful about adding players and "expect them to overnight turn the team around." No argument there.
But then…he decided to keep yapping and citing some examples of such questionable player additions. First up on his list?
He likened the Rudy Gay acquisition to the Luol Deng situation in Cleveland.
"Both of those were attempts by teams to add a veteran player to help them to turn things around on the court. And in both cases even though those are good players and made sense on each of those teams they really haven’t been better in the won-loss column."
(You can see it at http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10392675/tank-rank-lots-tank-trade-deadline, with the Kings/Rudy Gay remark around the 2:00 mark.)
Clearly Ford has paid little attention to the Kings and how they have improved with the addition of Rudy. Sadly it seems as if many ESPN contributors pay scant attention to any non-championship contenders on the West Coast.
Now, I’m not making the argument that Rudy has turned them into a contender. Obviously Pete D’Allesandro has more work ahead of him till that happens. But since Rudy came to the Kings on Dec. 9 they have played at a .526 clip, going 10-19 at the time of the video (including the losing streak when Boogie sprained his ankle). Before Rudy’s arrival the Kings had played at a .462 clip, going 6-13.
(Edit: I made my own dumb mistake here with obviously erroneous numbers. Section214 has kindly pointed out the correct numbers below. Despite MY OWN dumbness, my original point that the Kings are indeed better with Rudy Gay is still valid, and I relearn the lesson that when I point a finger at someone three fingers are pointing back at me.)
If you extend out those numbers – a hypothetical, I admit – but if the Kings played at .526 for an entire season that would give them 43 wins. Probably still not enough to make the playoffs in a stacked Western Conference, but WAY better than previous years.
So, Dear Chad, please try to know some actual facts before you decide to pontificate with any erroneous examples.