It's Wednesday Mail Sac, and Mike Garza's poking me with a stick: "Which past or present Kings player angered you the most? Everyone has that one guy who makes you throw up a little in your mouth when you see him head to the scorer's table, and I'm interested in knowing who gave Yogi214's stomach a lil' churning."
Hmmm, I'm going to have to give this a little thought.
For the first several years that the Kings were in Sacramento, all players got a free pass from me. I was just thrilled that we had a professional sports team here in the River City, so guys like Martin Nessley and Michael Jackson and even Derek Smith were all met with my appreciation and affection. Even Pervis Ellison was gone before I really had a chance not to like him.
Oddly, Dick Motta was probably the first guy affiliated with the Kings that I just flat didn't like, but he wasn't a player (in retrospect, he wasn't much of a coach while he was here, either). I remember not wanting to like Greg Kite due him being the incoming to Joe Kleine's outgoing, but he was OK. Dwayne Schintzius was probably the first player that elicited a verbal "guh" from me, and Billy Owens marked the first player that I loathed on arrival.
Once the Kings improved, it was hard not to like everyone on the roster. Rick Adelman just had a way of making (almost) everyone look good, or at least if they didn't it was more comical than enraging (I'm looking at you, Greg Ostertag).
I suppose that I should call this the Tony Massenburg award, since T-Mass was the first guy that I truly did not like. He signed with a Kings team (his 12th NBA team, I believe, and that does not count his two year stint in Spain) that had Miller and Divac up front, and Darius Songaila proved to be every bit as good as Massenburg. In spite of his million dollar contract, Massenburg began to whine about his playing time, and the Kings cut him loose as soon as Chris Webber came back.
Kenny Thomas (woof!) was the first "big contract" player that got on my nerves. Thomas actually played fairly well when he first came here as part of the Webber trade, but he headed south after that and never returned. He was really the first player to get worse playing under Adelman. To be fair, Thomas was damned if he did and damned if he didn't as the years went by. He underperformed when he played, and he was an albatross of a contract when he sat. So he sort of ticked me off no matter what he did or didn't do. I guess that you could say that Kenny Thomas introduced me to my inner grumpy old man (which has since been superseded by my outer grumpier old man).
Jason Hart started a run of sub-standard point guards that was absolutely stunning. But Hart had an attitude to match his lousy play. I'm not sure what was worse: his play, or having to watch it. He'd stink up the joint and then complain that he wasn't getting enough burn. He would be on my very short list for all time least favorite Sacramento King.
And Hart begat Orien Greene, and Orien Greene begat Bobby Brown, and Bobby Brown begat Wil Solomon, and Wil Solomon begat Garrett Temple, and Garrett Temple begat Luther Head, and Luther Head begat Pooh Jeter. I won't say that I disliked any of those guys as much as I disliked the fact that we actually had to play them. Residue of a time not soon enough forgotten. (I'll leave the Luther Head commentary to the thread and Heuristic Lineup.)
Hilton Armstrong and Andres Nocioni get honorable mention for the lunatics that they brought to the site when they joined the Kings (not you, NoceOne - you rock!).
I didn't mind Spencer Hawes all that much while he was here (hey, the guy sported a "Peaches" t-shirt!), but he's hit toad status with me with the whole Seattle thing.
So yeah. Tony Massenburg was the first, but Jason Hart was the worst. Thanks for the inspiration for the trip down bummery lane.
Pick & Droll comes from djrick: "I noticed that the Powerball jackpot had ballooned to $400 million. If you were the lucky winner, what would you do with that kinda money?"
Disclaimer: I don't play the lottery, so if you're a family member or friend and you're reading this, don't get your hopes up.
I buy myself a house, and I also find a cool little place not too far from the new arena site. I pay off the mortgages for both of my sisters, and I buy my daughter a little place, pay off her car and get her going on her career - maybe open a hairstyling place for her if that's what she wants. I get my ex-wife a $25 Starbucks card. Make good on all my debts.
The American Heart Association, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the SPCA would benefit from my good fortune.
I'd plan a lot of golfing/dining trips: a week in Carmel, a week at Pinehurst, etc. I'd like to see a lot of the United States.
Floor seats to the Kings games.
Host StR nights at the arena.
And maybe a couple pair of new pants. I've lost a little weight and my charcoal and navy pants are a little baggy and worn.
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