Sunday, the Kings finally added some Point Guard depth after a summer of curious inactivity on that front. They let promising young guard Seth Curry go to Dallas on a team friendly deal. They didn’t bother pursuing Rajon Rondo in Free Agency. They didn’t use a single one of their three first round picks on a Point Guard. Instead, they opted to bring in Ty Lawson on a one-year deal after he’s come off the worst season of his career.
At this point in the summer, there weren’t a ton of options left to fill out the Point Guard position. Mario Chalmers, who remains unsigned, is coming off an ACL injury. Bryce Cotton is young and unproven. There weren’t any perfect options, but the Kings opted to go with the Point Guard with the most talent ... and the most baggage.
Fan reactions are mixed to say the least. On the one hand, nobody is denying Lawson’s skill and history as a better than average Point Guard in the NBA (aside from last season’s blip). But others are understandably upset about the Kings adding someone of potentially unsavory character to a squad that has already added Matt Barnes and has a starting Point Guard that is currently being charged with domestic violence. The slogan of this team for the past couple of years has been “Sacramento Proud” and it’s hard to feel pride in a franchise that
a) seemingly puts winning above everything and
b) doesn’t win anyway
My fellow editor section214 shared some thoughts in the comment thread of the Lawson signing that I feel are an even better reflection of the current mindset of Kings fans. Here’s the most relevant snippet:
While the Giants are my favorite team, the Kings are my favorite "Civic Pride" team. That is, as a native Sacramentan, I put a value on the Kings ability to represent the city. This is probably an old fashioned and perhaps even obsolete viewpoint, but it is mine. And with the synergy created by the new arena, the Kings are indeed Sacramento and Sacramento is the Kings. And when the front office sets to bringing in players that I think do not reflect well on our city or its inhabitants, it saddens me. It embarrasses me a bit to be recognized as a Kings fan.
The interesting thing is that sometimes professional sports organizations are faced with the dilemma of hiring good characters or good players. And I don’t believe that the Kings have accomplished either here. In Barnes and Lawson, they have hired pedestrian players for a pedestrian team, one that would have to overachieve mightily to ascend to even the median point in the league. It is more likely that the Kings will remain in the bottom third in the league this year – even ESPN’s bold prediction of 37.7 wins places them with the 10th worst record in the league. So even in the parlance of "hey, it’s professional sports," it is impossible for me to justify these signings as a necessary evil of a winning organization.
Being a Kings fan is hard. Anyone that has rooted for this team for the past decade and/or lived through the relocation sagas knows that. For something that is supposed to be a diversion from "real life," it’s hard. I wish that the front office would stop making it even harder.