We've killed a lot of internet trees debating Isaiah's value, both as an NBA player in general and how he would have fit into a Sacramento Kings rebuild specifically. There's no denying he's a flawed player, but tends to get defined by the things he doesn't do well rather than the attributes that make him a very effective NBA player. And I'm not going to rehash the statistical debates here. But here I'd like to talk about Pete D'Allesandro.
I finally had a chance to view Pete's video (in the FanShots) discussing the departure of Isaiah Thomas.
Dude, what the hell?
Look, we can disagree until the cows come home about whether Pete is a mad genius, and how many of us just don't see the greatness yet. That's fine. Agree to disagree, and I'll be happy to eat some crow when this team is in playoff contention in a few years. But Pete D. - well, this guy needs to learn what Sacramento is really about and develop a better bedside manner.
Maybe it turns out that Isaiah was a problem in the locker room. Maybe he caused some chemistry issues. I have my doubts, but let's assume these to be true. From a community point of view, Isaiah is seen as a huge underdog, a guy who played hard every night, worked hard on his game, and gave an inordinate amount of time in the community, including his efforts to support the local organizations trying to keep this franchise in the city. And when he goes, Pete speaks about him as if he's simply a "salary cap piece" that didn't quite fit right. He talks about him with the clinical manner a surgeon might speak of excising a tumor.
It's been this way since Pete arrived. Outside of one guy, these players were disposable assets that would be dispatched of continuously until the product is improved. Perhaps the right philosophy, but the manner of execution isn't up to Sacramento standards.
Is it a coincidence that we're hearing rumblings now of Isaiah causing chemistry issues, or that "unspecified teammates" are grumbling about distribution of shots? Is it a coincidence that JT is also a locker room problem that the team needs to remove? Two of the hardest working, hardest playing, best community guys this town has ever seen?
It would be nice to see our new management come out and publicly support these guys in the manner they deserve. Pete reminds me of the Maloofs and Petrie during the Kevin Martin departure. And I doubt anyone wants to own that comparison.
Pete needs to listen to Michael Malone a bit more when he's interviewed. He strikes a nice balance of reality and positivity. He speaks of his love for the guys he's coaching, even as he's offering fair criticism of their games. Michael Malone feels like Sacramento.
In short - Pete needs to learn to Sacramento.