Seems like there's a lot of tension around here lately, and I'm not sure why. I mean, things are going pretty great. Sure, the Kings aren't winning a lot of games. And sure, Carl Landry tearing a meniscus sucks. But really, other than that, things are pretty great.
DeMarcus Cousins calmed down a little after his last suspension. Maybe not a lot, but some. And even a slightly more calm DeMarcus puts him right back where he's been most of this season. This season where, warts and all, most of us would agree he's made significant progress. This season where he's absolutely looked like a player worth a max contract, regardless of whether or not you think he's the right player for the Kings to build around.
Carl Landry got hurt. It sucks, but it's ok. He tore his meniscus, which I saw people comparing to 2003 microfracture surgery. I'm not sure if you guys realize this, but a meniscus tear is the same injury Russell Westbrook just came back from. And, uh, he looks like he's doing just fine.
Surgical techniques are light years ahead of where they were a decade ago. Top Hat can not only come back from a meniscus tear, he can potentially come back and be 100% of the player he's been before this season. The "before this season" is important, because Landry rushed back from injury already this year. He hasn't been himself. Is a suddenly-injured-prone 30 year old the best guy to have on a 4-year contract? Maybe not, but it's not the end of the world.
The Kings aren't winning games? That's ok! This season was never supposed to be about wins and losses. Management told us that. We agreed with that! Sure, in the dark corners of our minds we might have imagined this season falling perfectly into place, and the Kings competing for the 8th seed, but that was always a long shot at best. Instead, we have a season where the Kings have underperformed expectations, and their point differential. The Kings are better than their record. That seems rather ideal considering the strength of this upcoming draft class.
Sure, tanking seems like a terrible idea given our recent history in the draft lottery. But the cool thing about the draft lottery is that is gives zero shits about past results. Statistics do not care about our history with lotto luck, or lack thereof. If we end up with, say, the 5th best odds in the lottery, that's still statistically better than the 6th. We might still end up picking 7th, but it won't be because of our past luck.
It's tough to remain positive during an underwhelming season. But I choose to look at the positive. We still have our team. We have new owners who are inspiring in their passion and ingenuity. We have a downtown arena plan expecting to break ground in the fall. We have a real small forward, for crying out loud!
The Kings weren't fixed in one offseason, but we've seen an amazing overhaul of the roster. An overhaul that will likely continue this offseason. It's a fun time to be a Kings fan. We've toiled through rebuilding for so long, with so many false starts and steps backwards. But those rebuilds were never being attempted in earnest. This offseason we're concerned about the salary cap, instead of the salary floor. It's a great time to be a Kings fan.
I'm not telling you to stop the hand-wringing. We're Kings fans. This is what we do. We're conditioned for disappointment. As Kevin Fippin once put it, we're abused puppies learning to trust again. It's ok to question things. We can argue about whether or not the Landry signing was a good move. We can argue about whether Cousins is the right player to build around. We can (foolishly) argue about whether or not Isaiah Thomas is a starting point guard.
But in the end we should remain calm. All is well in the Kingdom.