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ESPN Power Rankings: Kings #21?!

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I don't enjoy ripping writers. It's not fun for me. I mean, how would I feel if I saw some no-name blogger ripping the hell out of me?

But, seriously. Marc Stein has put the Kings at #21 in his preseason power ranking.

If you look at the rankings, what Stein essentially did is swap the Kings, who ended last season at #11 in the rankings, with the Warriors, who sit at #13 after finishing last season at #22.

Stein tries to explain away the Kings' low ranking in his preamble:

How good a team is projected to be is only part of the equation at this early stage. How good its summer was factors in as well, along with a dash of totally subjective whim. For example: Sacramento, Memphis and Philadelphia have better talent than their rankings suggest but all took a big tumble because of their offseasons.

Alright, whatever. Drop a team 10 places because they didn't mortgage the future to add depth behind a terrific starting line or overpay for some questionable young big man. Whatever.

But by that logic, how in the world can the Warriors rise eight spots? They traded Derek Fisher for spare parts that probably won't see a collective 100 minutes of PT this season, drafted a young big who might not play for a few months and certainly won't be a valuable rotation player until 2008, and hired a retread coach who isn't exactly a cure for bad chemistry and oversized egos (being that he is an oversized ego himself). You're going to tell me that improvement is not only better than bringing in John Salmons to backup Mike Bibby and replacing the mute Rick Adelman with a fiery team-builder like Eric Musselman, but that's a great deal better? And not only is Golden State's improvement a great deal better than Sacramento's, but it's so good that the one perennial playoff team will drop into the lottery while the perennial lottery team will ascend into the playoffs?

Like I said, I don't like to rip writers. So instead, I'm going to ignore the ones that refuse to put even a tiny bit of rational thought into their screeds. Marc Stein is dead to me.