This has been a season like any other. Another season of disappointment, poor decisions, and bad basketball. And just like any other season, I find myself wondering how much more of this I can tolerate as a fan. I feel like I'm reaching a breaking point, where I wonder why I keep wanting this team to succeed, knowing full well that they won't. Where's the payoff?
Rebuilds aren't supposed to last a whole goddamn decade. And yet this one is going to extend beyond that. Imagine the best case scenario for this offseason. Are the Kings anywhere near being an honest contender? If the Kings land the first pick, and they get the best player available or trade the pick for an amazing talent, are they at all close? If they sign all the right free agents? If they make every right move, is this team actually a contender? I just can't see it, and I can't see all those things going right.
The Kings are a bad team. I've been a fan of them long enough to know this. Sure, they have bright spots. We see DeMarcus Cousins and the league-altering force he's capable of being. And yet we watch another season of him not having the right support around him. We see Carl Landry, supposedly indicative of a new regime's ability to attract free agents, repeating his disappearing act from his first Kings tenure. He's a guy we discuss only when we mention how ineffective he is, or how he's oddly suspended for a fight that wasn't.
Rudy Gay, the big move trade that actually worked out for the Kings, still isn't enough support. Darren Collison, the offseason signing that actually worked and made an impact, sidelined for the start of the new coaching era with a fluke injury. Michael Malone, the coach that actually worked, the first coach that actually worked in the post-Adelman era, inexplicably fired. George Karl, the logical replacement for Malone, delayed until he could no longer save a season like all the rest.
But don't let my pessimism get you down. This is how I always feel as the Kings' season wraps up. I get frustrated and pissed off, angry at myself for devoting so much of my life to a team is so desperately, soul-suckingly mired in a quicksand of suckitude.
But I'll be drawn right back in. I'll watch good basketball in the playoffs and be reminded of the game I love. The game the Kings so rarely demonstrate. Good, competent, enjoyable basketball. I'll talk myself into whoever the Kings draft, even when it's not the guy I spent a month talking myself into liking. I'll talk myself into the offseason free agent moves. And come next season I'll be ready to start the process all over again.
So don't mind my frustration. It's just a season like any other.