Are you sitting down? No seriously, sit down because I have something to tell you, and it might get a little rough. The Kings - oh boy - the Kings are ... tanking. I know we like to joke here about it and I’m sure this is a lot to take in right now, but, it’s true. “No! They’re just playing all the young guys! It’s just good player development!” My friend. My sweet, sweet friend. That’s tanking. We don’t have to tell Adam Silver, Vivek won’t be going on with Tony Xypteras tomorrow to discuss it at length on the StR Show... I think. (Note to Editor: Think we should cancel that Vivek interview with Tony). We’re Michael Dukakis-ing. We’ve got our goofy helmet strapped on and with hope in our hearts we’ll be riding this tank all the way to some major losses over the next few months and that, that is A-OK.
Tonight our tank rolls back home for the third game in four nights, and having tired legs couldn’t come at a more perfect time: the lowly Nets are in town, and better still, have already lost this year’s draft pick. Brooklyn has nothing to lose for and all the hungry young talent in the world vying for playing time, which means of course means we’re gonna find a way to Kangz this up. Let’s tank, I mean, talk Kings basketball.
When: Thursday, March 1st; 7:00 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
hatet Management: The recent management of the Kings and Nets are two faces on the Mt. Rushmore of terrible wheeling-and-dealing, we know this to be true. Whether it’s shipping every draft pick you have for the next generation of talent to bet on the hollowed out shells of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd, or whiffing on every pick for a decade but two or three, then cutting or shooing away the trash before really trying to develop them, the truth remains the same: these teams are legendary stinkers. You could write books on the sheer scope of failure between these two franchises and yet today, we’re talking about how finally things are looking up for both squads.
The Nets got smart and revamped themselves over the last few years; hiring Sean Marks and snagging Kenny Atkinson from my dreams for the Kings and into the head coaching spot for themselves. They’ve gotten creative in their pursuit of betterment, and fully accepted the youth movement last summer when they sent Brook Lopez to the Lakers for D’Angelo Russell, a promising point guard with as much talent and potential as ice in his veins. Take that last statement as you will. They’ve rolled the dice anywhere they’ve could and acquired talented but maligned players like Jahlil Okafor and Pik “Swap” Stauskas for established, middling players like Trevor Booker. Spencer Dinwiddie, their rock and best point guard this season, was signed from the G-League scrap pile and averaging 13.4 points and 6.9 assists. Without draft picks, the Nets are finding some success in turning trash into treasures, or have at least nabbed some high priced restoration projects for dirt cheap. Known for player development, coach Kenny Atkinson has himself plenty of talent to work with and suss out just how much is worth keeping. Will the Nets be playoff contenders soon? No, but turning the ship around is the first success in reaching the promise land and the Nets are doing just that.
The Kings will get there as well. I don’t have to talk to you about our issues with talent acquisition, or talent development, or talent retention. For now, De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield and Mr. 2018 1st Round Pick are enough of a core that you can squint and see the playoffs somewhere in the future. With what’s rumored to be one of the largest player development staffs in the league, the Kings are apt to have one of these guys in our group turn out good and well. While the Nets pick horrors are basically over this year, the Kings still have 2019 to dread, with a bad young team and no draft pick, they’ll be in a similar spot to the Nets of 2017-18. Just playing to play, no tank to maintain, an entire season of playing spoiler to everyone else’s hopes and aspirations.I hope you’re looking forward to that! That and me copying and pasting the same preview 82 times in a row.
Draft Dreams: Our golden parachute if the tank fails... Mo Bamba.
Prediction: D’Angelo Russell discovers that he has ice in his veins but a Fox on his tail, and all night D’Aaron picks his pocket all night. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is going to grit-n-grind himself to 20 points, and Bogdan will break loose of his slump, taking Nik “Should Have Been Peyton” Stauskas to school, well, that is if Nik finds time on the court. Kings decide they could live a couple of more years in the cellar with friends like these.
Kings: 109, Nets: 101