Being a sports fan is supposed to be fun. After all, if you don't enjoy something, why follow it?
I've been asking myself that very question more and more as of late. I am not having fun as a Kings fan, and I suspect the vast majority of you feel the same way. Every year it's more of the same. For almost a full decade, Kings fans have been waiting patiently for a team that makes them proud, that competes for 48 minutes and plays past mid-April. Instead, we're trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of hope turning to failure turning to hope and on and on and on.
A lot of fans are fed up and I don't blame them. It's hard to care about a team that makes the same mistakes year after year while watching other teams in similar situations grow and thrive by following cohesive plans. A team doesn't even necessarily have to be good to be fun; Probably the most fun I've had as a Kings fan during this rebuilding effort was during Tyreke Evans' rookie year and shoot, that was already 7 seasons ago!
This Kings team is neither good or fun. Sold to us as a playoff contender before the season began, many of us bought into the hype. Just look at all the talent we added! I blasted Las Vegas setting the line on our season at 30.5. Didn't they see how much the Kings improved over the summer?
The Kings are still almost certainly going to top that line, but at this point it doesn't matter. I don't think I've felt this defeated as a fan since first hearing the news the Kings were being sold to a group in Seattle. I remember thinking that day about all the time I spent watching and rooting for this team while it struggled, and now some other city and fanbase is going to get to revel in the future success while we get nothing? That's unthinkable.
Almost three years later and I don't see much progress being made. What's worse, I am hard pressed to think of any good solutions to the predicament the Kings have put themselves in. When the Kings made their trade with the Philadelphia 76ers this summer, the absolute worst-case scenario for them was probably getting 35 wins and finishing well out of the playoff race. At this point, the Kings would be lucky to finish with 35 wins. Because of that trade the Kings don't have much control over their future draft picks until the 2020s, making it difficult to make other meaningful trades. Considering the Kings could have basically acquired all the same players they did this offseason simply by utilizing some cap rules (as detailed in this FanPost by the appropriately named Stretch Provision), that trade looks even worse.
So where do we go from here? How does this team get better? That's the basis for a lot of commentary on the Kings and opinions can vastly differ from person to person. Many people want the Kings to fire George Karl. Others want the team to trade DeMarcus Cousins. Some want to blow it all up from top to bottom and start completely fresh. There's no right answer, and I don't envy Vlade Divac's job. But it's been this discussion and commiseration that has kept me sane throughout this mess. Without my fellow fans, I don't know how any of this could be worth it.
What I don't like seeing is fans turning on each other for offering differing opinions of how to fix the team or even about what's wrong with the team. Instead of healthy debate and discussion, the anger about the team quickly spills over and gets personal. That I can't abide and I hope that in the end, all of you realize that we as fans all want the same thing: for the Sacramento Kings to once again be a team that we can be proud to support.
So get angry. Be mad. But not at each other. Your fellow fans are just as frustrated as you are.