What Isaiah Thomas has done for the Boston Celtics this postseason is probably the biggest story in the NBA right now. He’s been incredible all season, really, but what he’s been able to do for his team while grieving the tragic death of his sister Chyna is nothing short of inspirational. Isaiah Thomas is a wonderful human being, we already knew that, but watching him turn into a megastar over the last few weeks has been a treat. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy.
Nobody would argue that the Kings’ decision to trade Isaiah Thomas to the Suns while under restricted free agency several summers ago was one of the worst trades in franchise history. Maybe even the worst, and I don’t think fans should be required to move on from that disaster. Not yet, anyway.
I’ve seen that sentiment elsewhere in regards to other Kings blunders. I’m still complaining about the J.J. Hickson trade, and that was one owner and 17 (roughly!) general managers ago. A certain play-by-play announcer often bangs that drum, too. Move on! Let it go! It’s over!
I don’t want to let it go. I don’t want to let the Kings off the hook. And not only do I think Kings fans are perfectly entitled to continue complaining about the asinine moves the Kings have made to get them to this point of continued failure, I encourage it. Let the Kings hear it. Remind them that we’re still waiting for competence. Make them understand that what they’ve done, and in some instances, continue to do, is wrong. The people at the very top of the food chain have screwed up repeatedly. Until they fix it, I’ll continue to remind them. Gladly.
On the flip side, when they do something right, they’ll get my support and praise. Skal Labissiere was an excellent pick! I loved grabbing Willie Cauley-Stein in the 2015 NBA Draft despite the fact that he wasn’t projected to go that high. Vlade targeted Cauley-Stein, and he got his man. To this point, that pick has worked out. I love that sort of confidence in a correct move. Kudos!
For discussions sake, I understand the move on comments. Ultimately, we follow the Kings because it’s fun. Or it’s supposed to be fun, anyway. It hasn’t been for quite some time, but we’ve tasted success before, and it was just enough to keep a lot of Kings fans on board, waiting for that next round of success. Kings fans have been patient enough. So yeah, I don’t want every conversation to devolve into another round of discussions over the Isaiah Thomas trade, or the DeMarcus Cousins trade, but right now, while nothing else is really going on in Kings land, I just disagree with the move on sentiment.
I’m rooting for Isaiah Thomas. How could you not? But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that every spectacular play stings just a little bit. There is no reason why he isn’t doing that in Sacramento right now aside from incompetence. That’s the only reason. The Kings threw him away.
I understand that the decision to trade Thomas had more to do with Pete D’Alessandro, Chris Mullin, and whatever other cronies Vivek had in his ear at the time, but it’s not as if the poor decision making stopped when D’Alessandro was fired. It continued right up through the DeMarcus Cousins trade.
[Tangent: The DeMarcus Cousins trade was a disaster, less so for the return, and more so for the way it was handled. And no, I don’t think the Kings are entirely to blame here. I do believe Cousins and his agent made the transaction very difficult for the Kings, but when Vlade Divac is sending the I love Cousins to death signals at every opportunity, you’re going to create that kind of drama behind-the-scenes. You can’t go from I love you to you’re traded in a matter of days and expect a clean break. Not with Cousins’ agents.]
Anyway, the point remains: be upset over the Isaiah Thomas trade if you want to. Be upset over the Cousins trade if you want to. Be upset over the Philly pick swap if you want to. Vocalize it, respectfully, and if you have a different opinion, vocalize that, too. By all means. Let the Kings know how you feel. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. It will all go away if they succeed. Just win, and you won’t hear it from me anymore. That feels like a fair deal.