HEAD COACH: PAUL WESTPHAL
If you are a King fan you could definitely use some cheering up these days. Sure, the team looks to be putting something together on the court with some talented high-draft picks and a few nice pieces, but the uncertainty over new arena situation and the possibility of losing the Kings to reloaction has Sacramento fans looking to the people of Seattle for moral support.
Needless to say, it doesn’t look good. With the announcement that the league would not be getting involved in any further in negotiations between the team and city, chances are good that the Maloof’s will start looking for a new home if the good people os Sactown arent willing to support the construction of a fancy new building.
I mean sure, Arco Arena is a dump, but it isn’t without it’s charms.
In the meantime however, the Kings will still be playing in Sacramento for this year at the very least, and the team they will field is an intriguing one.
For starters, 2010 Rookie of the year Tyreke Evans is back to build on an excellent first season, averaging 20 points a game and showing the ability to get to the rim at will. So much so that the team decided to trade franchise player Kevin Martin and turn the keys over to the youngster. Blue-collar demon Carl Landry came over in said deal, and he wasted no time and claiming the Power Forward spot and establishing himself as a bulding block. meanwhile, they snapped up Kentucky behoemoth DeMarcus Cousins, a monstrous talent with you usual “does he want it?” questions that often accompany talented bigs. What all this means is the Kings have the makings of a pretty decent core if things break their way, and enough time to figure out whether or not they’ll be worth spending big money on in the next few years.
Beyond that, Omri Casspi and Jason Thompson are pretty solid, high-energy back-ups and well, that’s about it. Beno Udrih is an over-paid Point Guard, ditto Samuel Dalembert at Center and Francisco Garcia at the 2, and the rest of the bench is suspect at best. Even worse, there doesn’t appear to be a back-up Point Guard, or at least nobody with any kind of reputation, meaning this team is one injury away from making a call to the D-League.
IF THEY GET LUCKY: Evans establishes himself as one of the league’s premier guards, Cousins shows the ability to dominate rather than coast, the supporting cast leand a hand, and this team ends up surprising some people.
IF THEY DON’T: Tyreke hasn’t improved his jumper, Cousins turns out be a better eater than player, Udrih continues to play like the career back-up that he appears to be, and Westphal decides he should have taken the USC job when he had the chance. And of course, the Kings end up somewhere else next year
REALITY: Wait ’til next year, or the year after that. Truth is, this team seems to be laying a foundation, but it won’t mean much in the here and now. Looks like another 25-30 wins and a heated battle with Golden State for last place in the Pacific.
(WHEN THEY WERE) QUEENS:
Ah, for the glory years of the 2002 Kings, who came within one Peja Stojakovic shot (which he airballed) of making the NBA finals, and engaged in an historic rivalry with the 3-peating Lakers, capped off by a legendary fist-fight between Doug Christie and Rick Fox, which culminated in Christie wife hitting Fox in the tunnel. With her purse. Here are the top 3 moments of the rivalry, in no particular order:
1) Christie and Fox get ’em up–sadly, I couldn’t find a video with christie’s wife swinging her purse but trust me, it happened. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4CqDK3yUNE
2) Shaq sings!-Mr. O’neal chides Vlade Divac for suggesting the Lakers couldn’t win on the road, to the tune of the “Cheers” theme. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6fALt84dt4
3) Robert Horry breaks the King’s hearts, Divac cries about it-Vlade claimed it was a lucky shot. Horry suggested Vlade read the newspaper more often. You be the judge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp19op8uK1E