[Note: The following is a commentary presented by the author. It does not reflect the views of Sactown Royalty]
It's been 15 days since the Sacramento Kings fired Michael Malone. In those 15 days, we've heard little explanation from the front office other than differences in philosophy. Kings fans remain perplexed, and the front office has remained silent. Late Monday, James Ham reported that the Kings had signed Tyrone Corbin to a new contract to serve as head coach for the remainder of the season. On Tuesday, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reported that, according to DeMarcus Cousins, most players learned of Corbin's status from social media:
DeMarcus Cousins said most players found out on the internet/social media that Tyrone Corbin would be their coach the rest of the season.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) December 30, 2014
DeMarcus Cousins on Corbin's status: "I didn’t know. I didn’t know officially until last night either. That’s when a lot of us found out."— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) December 30, 2014
According to Ham's initial report, Corbin's contract was finalized about a week earlier. For the team to have no clue as to the status of the team's coach, including your star player, is ridiculous. It's bad communication, bad business, and bad management.
This is just the latest confusing step since Malone's firing. This led to Grant Napear absolutely eviscerating team management on his show on Tuesday afternoon. While I know plenty of folks don't care for Grant's radio shtick, this was about as passionate and honest as I've ever heard Grant. It's worth listening to, but the gist of his rant is that the players also have no idea what is going on, and Grant feels that management owes the fans and players an explanation.
And I'm having trouble maintaining patience. I've tried to remain calm, to preach patience, to offer reasonable solutions to questions being raised. But it's becoming harder and harder. With each new discusi
This got me to thinking. What possible reason would management have for firing Malone midseason, not replacing him with someone better, not offering any explanation for why things have spiraled so totally out of control over the past two weeks? Why would a team so enamored with the power of social media and public relations suddenly go radio silent? Why?
The only answer I can come up with? The Kings are tanking.
It answers a lot of our remaining questions. Why fire Malone when you did? Because the season was going to be too successful. It wouldn't likely end in a playoff appearance, but the Kings would play themselves out of a first round pick. The front office knows the value of first round picks in today's NBA. It's the best player value-to-contract.
Why wouldn't the players know what the plan is? Because players don't want to hear about a tanking strategy. Players want to win and they want to win now. They have no incentive to tank to improve the team's chance of drafting a player to replace them.
Why, when it became apparent that the Kings were struggling to terribly under Corbin (through no particular fault of Corbin's, by the way), would the Kings not recognize that he wasn't the answer this season and act accordingly? Because it's easier to tank the year and then say Corbin couldn't get the job done. Why hide that you'd installed Corbin for the remainder of the season? Because you'd have to answer questions as to why.
The Kings are tanking. It's the only explanation that makes sense. I hope I'm wrong, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
And if management wants to dispell this notion that they're purposefully tanking, all they need to do is break their silence and explain what the plan is and why Kings fans are being subjected to the current brand of basketball.