"Hi, my name is section214, and I'm a Kings fan. It's been almost six months since the last time I posted an article."
It is frustrating to me that the "inspiration" for me to return to the front page was last night's game. I have not ventured into the various post-game threads yet, but my guess is that you are frustrated as well.
If you think me a pessimist for waiting for the team to hit rock bottom, you would be well within your right. But I will remind you that I am a person that has guessed too many wins for this team for the past half dozen years, and this year is looking as though it will be no different (who's laughing at Bovada now?).
I went to a game last night with my wife, thanks to the generosity of a good friend, who blessed us with tickets within 10 rows of the floor. Mrs.section214 was taken aback by the quality of the seats, and we looked forward to the capping of a really good day, which had included using my Nordstrom Rack gift card for some much-needed work slacks, finding the Mrs. some running shoes, nosing around at Zanzibar, and grabbing a fine dinner at The Waterboy. Ah, date night. Kids at home with kibble and water on the floor for them while the parents of the year enjoy a night on the town!
This is probably a good place to throw in the fact that I have probably been to roughly five hundred Kings games over the years. That's a lot by some standards, and not so many by others. But the number is right around five hundred. I'll be referencing that later.
I went and saw "The Black Hole" when it came out in 1979. At the time I was twenty years old, and I was excited to see how Disney was going to take the Star Wars craze to the next level. Less than an hour later, I was walking out of the theater, the first time that I had ever walked out of anything in my life (especially something that I had paid for). Prior to that day, I could not understand how people could simply walk out on something after they had plunked down good money. But after that day I came to the understanding that sometimes you just have to cut your losses. The Black Hole introduced me to cutting my losses.
The next time that I walked out of an event was December 3, 1988. Understand, I'm not talking about just leaving early, though I did not understand why people did that, either (now that I have kids I have a little better understanding). I'm talking about white-flag-waving exodus. The Utah Jazz were pasting the living hell out of the Kings...the Kings were helping a bit in the pasting as well. The 87-54 score at the end of the 3rd quarter was enough for me. It was so bad that I walked out on a team that employed Joe Kleine. JOE KLEINE!!!
are were the only two events that I walked out of early and in disgust, at least until December 30, 2015, when my wife and I left the Kings-Sixers game after three quarters of "play."
The game was far from decided when we left, at least according to the four point deficit that Kings were looking at when the 3rd quarter came to a close. But the Sixers - the 2-31 Sixers that were on a pace to finish the season with a 5-77 record (up to 7-75 now...thanks, Kings!) - were already within five points of their season scoring average. They were at +10 in net turnovers in spite of being a -4 all season long. And their free throw defense was apparently suffocating!
But the game sucked. I mean, it suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. Remove a hot-shooting Marco Belinelli, and what were you left with? A giant sucking sound that would have made Ross Perot proud (look it up, kids). The three best players on the floor last night were Nerlens Noel, Jerami Grant and Ish Smith. Let that swirl around in your head a little. Nerlens Noel (OK), Jerami Grant (who?) and Ish Smith (what?!?). Don't get me wrong, all three of these guys are among the top 450 players in the world. But last night at Sleep Train Arena? Grant and Smith should not have registered in the top five, and the Kings should have had 2-3 players that were as good as or better than Noel.
By the time we got home, the game was over, the numbers were finalized, and George Karl was going through the post-game interview motions. The Kings yielded twenty more shots than they took, turned it over nine more times than the Sixers, and missed sixteen free throws. Those were numbers. What the numbers alluded to without being specific was a team that seemingly did not care about the outcome from the moment the game began. And by the time they began to care, it was too late, and in the end they crapped all over them and the fans that apparently care more about this team than the team cares about itself.
Congratulations, 2015-16 Sacramento Kings. You managed to suck so hard that you got me to leave a four point game with twelve minutes to go. I have stuck around for blowouts over the years (both wins and losses), maybe to see young rookies get some burn (Simmons-Mays-Causwell-Bonner!) or vets get some well-deserved floor time (Funderburke!) or a young raw high flyer that can't crack the rotation (Gerald Wallace!). But there was nothing left to see last night, no one worth sticking around for, and no reason to believe that you had any intention of giving a flying fig about beating a 2-31 team in front of what was (at the beginning of the evening, at least), an eager crowd.
Please don't boo? You're lucky that I didn't vomit all over the floor. You sure did, 2015-16 Sacramento Kings.
Am I done with this team? Not by a long shot. They are still my Sacramento Kings. But don't expect me to care about you clowns (I'm talking to Vivek on down), at least not until you can show me that you care about yourselves. Maybe you'll change your ways next month, who knows? For the time being, I'll watch a little and pick up the rest from my fellow masochists that reside on the pages of Sactown Royalty and inside the ensuing threads. I swear, if it wasn't for the threaders, I'd seriously consider shutting it down for the season, as there is really nothing fun, exciting or affirming about this team right now.
It's one thing for a good team to waste its talent. It's even more alarming for a mediocre team - one whose centerpiece has never won, whose next best player has the moniker of making teams worse by his mere presence, and whose next best player was so on the outs that no one else wanted him and is playing for his next NBA contract and perhaps his NBA life - to spit the bit so often and so hard. This group should be among the hungriest in the NBA. The effort should rival that of the teams we are seeing in Boston and Orlando right now. Omri Casspi's effort should not be sticking out this far on a team of paid "professionals," for crying out loud.
The worst part? I'm not really mad. I'm apathetic. Or maybe I'm mad that this team has made me apathetic. I don't know.
I have seen some awful teams in my thirty years as a Kings fan. Until last night, I had walked out only once. Last night doubled that total. Last night I witnessed "The Black Hole" of Sacramento Kings basketball. Donate your game checks to charity, gentlemen. You sure didn't earn them, in my opinion.
(Extremely important to note that these are 100% my opinions and may not reflect the opinions of Sactown Royalty, its editors, authors or members.)