The Sacramento Kings aren't particularly fun right now. Following the abrupt firing of Michael Malone, the team has been in a tailspin. The defense has disappeared, losses are stacking up, and Kings fans are unhappy, to say the least. Kings fans have been through a lot of bad basketball, and the team was finally entertaining, and therein lies the problem.
Michael Malone had made the Kings better than a laughingstock. Nobody though the Kings could challenge for a title, but they were competitive and could challenge playoffs teams on a night in and night out basis. That was a massive improvement after what we as Kings fans had grown accustomed to. But was that alone worth maintaining the course? At the tail end of the Kings glory years, management failed to break apart a middling team, slowing down the rebuild process. It's something that Kings fans lamented for years afterwards.
Obviously, the Kings are not currently breaking down a team to begin a rebuild. It's a different situation. But the philosophy is similar. I haven't enjoyed the past few games. I don't think Malone should have been fired. I think it would be neat if the Kings had hired George Karl by now. I'm frustrated just like anyone else. But before I get overly upset at Pete, Vivek and Co, I have to ask myself the following:
- Were the Kings going to make the playoffs this year?
- Was Michael Malone a coach I could see leading the Kings to a championship?
- Are we sure the Kings wouldn't have fallen off even if Malone was still around?
The answer is no, to all of them. It's possible the Kings could have made the playoffs, but it would have been a miracle. It's possible Malone could be a championship caliber coach, but I believe that would only happen with a far different roster than the Kings'. And there was reason to believe the Kings were due to fall off a bit. Who knows? But it was certainly possible.
This isn't the first time we've been upset with management. Isaiah Thomas was a fan favorite, and most folks around here agreed that he should have been brought back. Some still believe this. And yet the team was doing pretty good this season. Hell, they're still over .400 on the year. The DeMarcus Cousins extension, the Rudy Gay trade, both were bold moves. The team is willing to be bold. And to be willing to be bold is to be willing to wrong.
Time may prove Malone's firing to be a mistake. But the front office has earned time to see how this plays out. A single decision we disagree with does not prove the front office or ownership to be incompetent, meddling, or idiotic. It's hard to be patient since we were patient so long and finally got a taste of success, but patience is what is called for now.