Grant Napear, the packed Firestone Public House, and many more across the City waited on edge as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver approached the podium with the Sacramento Kings 8th pick in hand.
This had been the first time maybe since the season ended on that humid night against Phoenix that the Kings were of relevance in the League, and probably their first moment of attention where the NBA focused on their move.
Before this the Kings had possessed nothing but attention in what fans, writers, and Organizations thought they'd do in this Draft. It seemed like everyone had a crystal ball as to what the franchise would do.
"The Kings are on the pursuit for Rajon Rondo and will move the 8th pick"
"Sacramento is pursuing Boston's 6th pick in exchange for Ben Mclemore, they are in love with Marcus Smart"
"Elfrid Payton is going to be the pick for Sacramento at 8th"
When Pete D'alessandro and his team of advisers came on the clock following the rival Lakers pick of Kentucky Forward Julius Randle the tally was the following:
- O Trades
- No Rondo, No Josh Smith
- No Kevin Love (Boy that sure did give everyone a boner at home that idea)
- 1 Pick
And as the clock ticked down Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports had predicted precisely what was to be the final verdict.
@WojYahooNBA: The Sacramento Kings will select Nik Stauskas with the No. 8 pick
As Adam Silver said what could turn out to be either those famous or infamous words "The Sacramento Kings select Nik Stauskas from Canada and the University of Michigan". A lukewarm sound could be heard through Firestone Public House.
Social Media blew up. Half were jubilant and the other half wanted to vomit.
Phrases such as "A taller Jimmer" and "Great another white guy" echoed through keyboards.
Nik Stauskas and his loud checkered suit hadn't had even been able to shake Adam Silver's hand and people in Sacramento already thought he couldn't play. He hadn't even been able to sit down for interviews, let alone put on a pair of Nikes in his first Summer League and people thought he was terrible.
As an intern it's my job to field calls for Mr. Napear, and within five minutes I had put 7 people on hold.
"I wanna talk about this stupid pick we just made"
" Does D'alessandro know what he's even doing?"
"Kings will always suck if they keep doing things like this"
This is the territory Pete D'alessandro now finds himself in. Hostile grounds to say the least and what feels to be a warzone of barrages coming his way insulting his intelligence and basketball IQ to say the most.
It's safe to say the honeymoon is over. The Kings haven't had a winning season in nearly a decade, and haven't won 30 games for six years now.
The fans can bitch, moan, cry, and whine all they want. Fact of the matter remains that when it all gets broken down to the main point that he, his advisers, the organization and staff, the fans, and everyone else in this City are trying to see the same thing.
They want to see wins. And they want to see them as fast as they can get here.
Regardless of whether you think Nik Stauskas was the right pick, whether he was the wrong pick, whether you're pissed that in some fantasy world you wanted the Organization getting Josh Smith there is a lesson to be learned here.
Let Pete D'alessandro do his job, and gvie Nik Stauskas a chance to do his.
We as Media, fans, and admirers of the team need to give Pete D'alessandro the chance to put the right pieces to the puzzle so this team can fit in as quickly as possible with the Beasts in the West.
Oh, and if you are one of the people or so called "experts" that still believes Nik Stauskas can't play after scouting his EEEEEVERY move his last two years let this one fit in there too.
Do not compare Nik Stauskas to Jimmer Fredette.
Is Nik Stauskas is expected to be a Franchise player, score 30 a night, and revive the team? No. He was drafted to spread the floor, knock down threes, and help Demarcus Cousins off double teams.
Did I watch him entirely his whole career? No. But I think he can handle it.
Bottom line is this, shut up, sit down, and give this team, Nik Stauskas, and Pete D'alessandro a chance.
Because what other option do you have?