HOST: Alright, for our next question, let's turn to basketball. As of today, how many players on the Sacramento Kings are too young to buy beer?
Ailene Voisin, the only full-time basketball columnist at the only daily newspaper in Sacramento, buzzes in.
HOST: Ms. Voisin.
HOST: Sorry, that is incorrect.
A completely random, faceless Kings fan, of which there are thousands in Sacramento and abroad, buzzes in.
HOST: Mr. Random, Faceless Kings Fan, your answer?
RANDOM, FACELESS KINGS FAN: Zero.
This is all to point out that Ms. Voisin's insistence that Paul Westphal will have trouble handling this roster because it is filled with troublesome teenagers or some such nonsense is, well, nonsense. Talent is a problem. A lack of fit might be a problem. Basketball inexperience is a problem. Familiarity, or the lack thereof, is a problem. That Spencer Hawes argues about Ayn Rand and Karl Marx, that Jason Thompson has big feet, and that Kevin Martin injured his ankle last season ... I'm not following how these have become a) signs of troubled youth, or b) major obstacles Paul Westphal will have trouble overcoming.
One more thought: Ms. Voisin lists Donté Greene as "immature." She offers no background, though I assume she means to remind us of the Bobby Jackson Incident. I wasn't aware that one prank gone wrong (to the point of just pissing off a veteran player and the coaching staff, not bodily harm or some such) could sully a player's reputation for eternity. I'd really hate to see what Ms. Voisin would write if she covered, say, the Nuggets. (If Ms. Voisin has further evidence of Mr. Greene's immaturity, she ought to mention it in the column. We read newspapers, not minds.)
Meanwhile, while Ms. Voisin tries to stir the pot and add some unnecessary dramatic flourish to the hiring of Mr. Westphal, Mr. Greene has spent this month raising a child, working out with Daniel Shapiro daily, and saving a friend's life. I don't mean to implicate him as a modern-day Mother Teresa -- he's just doing his job as a father, an NBA player and a human being -- but his most recent record of action seems to speak of a young man with at least some shred of maturity. Again, if Ms. Voisin cannot give us specific examples of a player's immaturity, she ought not accuse him of such.