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Kings vs. Hornets Preview: A New Start

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The Kings are in North Carolina to take on Michael Jordan’s Band of Cap-Friendly Shooters! Oh, and we’re all fired.

Kimani Okearah

The Kings have won four of their last five contests. The Hornets? They’ve won three of their last four. They’re in Charlotte, the game is at 4 pm and you’ll be able to see them and hear them on the channels you turn to every other game. If, for some reason you’re confused as to where those options might be, I have a preview from the Warriors game this weekend and they’ll be there to give you that info.

This morning, Tuesday, December 17 at 9AM PST, a blog will appear here at Sactown Royalty, and on all sites across California effectively spelling out the reduction and destruction of our online communities as we have come to know them. No, the sites aren’t going away, only the people that inhabit them. New writers, not based or focused on Sacramento will take over - splitting duties across teams and sports and publishing content to the best of their abilities for audiences they may or may not be familiar with. John Ness, the gentleman who informed me of the terminal nature of my relationship with this site, claims that he as well as other league managers will be in the comments on Tuesday to answer questions from the community. There will be many questions you all have. I have many myself. Please feel free to share those questions and comments there. One item of business in which I have no question: like most, if not all of my fellow writers here at StR, I will not be among that new batch. I will not be continuing on here. They say we’ve got till March 31st and we’re all gone.

Because of the niche I fill here at StR: the end draws nigh even sooner: 35 posts and I’m gone. To be frank, I’m not sure I can stay that long. I’m not sure I can maintain the level of professionalism necessary to sell games and storylines for you to comment on at the behest and profit of a site that sees no value in the work that each of us does here past the views. Mind you, this is from the guy who spelled out with the first letter across each of the first 10 previews: “F-T-H-E-L-A-K-E-R-S”.

This is not where I eulogize. There will be time for the grand speech, for the final thank-you, for the discussion of what may or may not come next. In these last 24 hours, I’ve done my fair share of wallowing, thanking people behind the scenes and discussing plans of what might lie ahead. When the time comes for plans, I swear you’ll be the first to know.

In the meantime, please, I implore you, stick together on this. Getting banned in the twilight of Sactown Royalty’s Golden Age would be disappointing and meaningless. No arguing, no name calling can reverse good intention and bad execution and bring everything back to the way it was. There is no pride in being the biggest turd on the ash heap. This site is great because you all are good, even when you’re shitty. Even when you’re Brad.

I’ve only got 35 opportunities left where I can say this, so through some tears and crushing self-doubt I’m going to say it, and goddamn it I mean it: Let’s talk Kings basketball.

For Your Consideration

Time to Go: So as I stated before, there’s a game tonight. On top of that, De’Aaron Fox is expected to be back after 17 games missed due to a Grade 3 ankle sprain. I said that without much pause so maybe you missed the significance there. Fox is returning. He missed 17 games with a GRADE THREE ANKLE SPRAIN. The average time lost with that kind of injury is 33 games. The kid wasn’t meant to come back till Valentine’s Day and here you get him before Christmas. What’d be the more Kings explanation: that Fox is superhuman, that Fox is rushing back to take advantage of an easy schedule and bolster our playoff push or that the Kings hired someone who misdiagnosed the level of ankle sprain it was and Fox healed in the correct amount of time for his actual injury? That last one has a real Francisco-Garcia-Bosu-Ball incident sheen of realism to it, doesn’t it. Yeaaah, I’ve been think about that for a good minute now and I’m certain it’s true.

Fox returning to action further jumbles a team that had found it’s stride on the back of veteran play and will now be forced into fitting both the speedy point guard and the Duke of Double Jump himself, Mavin Bagley, into successfully held spots. The Kings have won on the backs of opportunistic defense and by breaking down teams in the half court, the complete antithesis of what last season’s success came from. Fox will need time to find his rhythm in the offense, will need to find his confidence on the defensive end and will need more than a few games to catch his breath. Don’t be surprised if these next 10 games are a little rocky for the Kings as there are a lot of new pieces to juggle. That’s all I’ve got for today. One down, thirty-four to go.

Prediction

Everything is going to be alright.

Kings: 104, Hornets: 97