Last night's impressive win over the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma city was of particular importance to Kings Head Coach George Karl, who now has sole possession of 5th on the all-time coaching wins list after surpassing Phil Jackson.
1,156 is a lot of wins. His lack of post-season success aside, you don't come upon that achievement by accident. Karl has had an incredible career, and despite my complaints about his tenure in Sacramento, he is (was?...kidding...sort of) a very successful NBA head coach for a really, really long time.
He's exactly 54 wins behind Pat Riley and 4th on the all-time wins list. If you allow me to depress you for one second over the state of your Sacramento Kings, I'll be somewhat surprised if he reaches Riley at all, let alone in Sacramento, but I digress. Great coach, great career.
I'd be lying if I said that this particular achievement meant anything to me, personally. It's cool, I'm happy for Karl, but most of his success was accomplished outside of Sacramento, and I can't fake feelings.
What does mean something to me is the support Karl has received from his players, mainly DeMarcus Cousins, after last night's win. I'd say the Kings' chemistry overall has taken a turn for the better over the last couple of games. It's a few little things, more smiling, a little more passion, more activity from Karl on the sideline, etc, but we know how quickly tides can change in Sacramento.
Congrats GK https://t.co/1oWPymerxo— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) January 5, 2016
Let's all read into this tweet, shall we? (He also shared a photo of Karl's accomplishments on Facebook, so, social media!)
One of my favorite and least favorite things about DeMarcus Cousins is that he'll always tell you where you stand with him, for better or worse. There are times where he could be more coy about a particular situation in order to decrease media attention on certain things, and being as brutally honest as he is can make tense situations worse, but on the flip side, he's not into throwing out fake praise or support, either.
This little congratulatory tweet coupled with the rousing ovation Sacramento gave the two after a simple high five is maybe, just maybe proof of a budding relationship. Maybe.
And that is about the extent of honest thoughts I have on Karl passing Jackson. It's a great accomplishment, again, but this season has been such a roller coaster already that thousands of wins for Seattle and Milwaukee and Denver don't make me feel any better about where the Kings are today, but I do feel like this was an accomplishment worth recognizing, so, consider it recognized.
Chemistry, though. Relationship building, team cohesion, etc. That, that excites me. Give me more of that.