I don’t consider myself much of a basketball fan. I really just don’t care for the sport much. Personally I think there are too many prima donnas who play in the league, and all that anyone ever talks about is Lebron James, Golden State, and whatever player is making the most noise and being the biggest diva. The biggest reason though why I don’t pay that much attention though, is because I’m a Sacramento Kings fan. It’s not that I want to hide my fandom for them but they just always suck so there’s no need to pay attention. I know they’re going to suck, get a lottery pick, make an awful selection, and repeat. The first NBA game I ever went to was the Kings against the Charlotte Bobcats back in 2004. Chris Webber was hurt, Mike Bibby was balling out, and Peja Stojakovic was the best 3 point shooter in the league.
Sorry Browns fans but over the course of the franchise’s history Kings fans have been the most miserable in sports. Every year there’s talk they’re going to be moved but nothing ever happens. Every year their dumb owner makes stupid selections in the draft. Taking Nik Stauskas number 8 overall instead of Doug McDermott and Zach LaVine, two players Vlade Divac wanted to pick. Or in 2011 taking Bismack Biyombo (WHO?????) over Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, either Morris twin, or Kawhi Leonard. Or how about we talk about the back to back Kansas busts. They picked Thomas Robinson and Ben McLemore in 2012 and 2013. And as much as I like De’Aaron Fox, making a dumb trade for pick swaps with the 76ers and eventually missing out on Jayson Tatum. Being a Kings fan has been tough. Watching them do dumb things over the past few years has made it even tougher. But the end of these dark days is near.
Change is Coming
After finally getting one of the coveted top 3 picks in the NBA draft last year and picking Marvin Bagley, the Kings are finally looking like there is hope. In 2016 they traded Boogie Cousins for Buddy Hield who is now looking like a legitimate threat out on the floor. Willie Cauley-Stein was never going to be an offensive player but his defense is very solid. De’Aaron Fox is starting to get his legs under him and is making good plays in transition, he’s getting a much better vision of the court, and he can actually score this year. He’s driving to the hoop with much more explosiveness than we saw last year. And again getting Marvin Bagley out there helps. He isn’t really starting because they don’t want to make the same mistakes they’ve made in the past and just throw him in and say save the franchise. They also have Harry Giles working back to get more and more playing time.
When the Kings traded Boogie they finally admitted that they had no hope. For the longest time when they had Boogie and even Tyreke Evans it seemed like they tried convincing the fans they just needed one more player and they’d be competitive. That was a lie. Letting go of their franchise player Boogie and getting Buddy Hield in return meant they were turning the page and wanted to begin fixing their franchise, and finally compete. Something they haven’t really done since they had the Western Conference Finals and what would’ve ended in an NBA Finals win ripped from their hands by the Lakers and the NBA Refs.
Right now the Kings are sitting in third in the Pacific and 10th in the West at 8-8. For a team that only has two players on the active roster who have been in the league for more than 5 years (Kosta Koufos and Iman Shumpert), that is a record that every Kings fan including myself can be happy with. They finally have their core for the future in Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox,and Marvin Bagley. Along with some quality role players in Willie Cualie-Stein, Frank Mason (finally a Kansas player who can play), Iman Shumpert, Bogdan Bogdanavic, and Nemanja Bejilica. This team is finally turning the corner and will start to compete soon.
The Golden State Warriors are going to win one maybe two more Finals in the next three years. Then they’re going to start losing players and by then Lebron will have that one Anthony Davis type player he’s looking for. The Rockets are already slipping. No one knows what is going to happen in OKC, and the Nuggets and Jazz are still a mystery. The Suns have the young talent but still can’t figure anything out. The Kings are finally starting to look like there are bright days ahead. They need one more good draft or Harry Giles to develop into the player he was supposed to be coming out of college, and then the Kings could begin to dominate the West.
I’m not saying next year or even the year after that the Kings are going to be in the NBA Finals. But they finally have the young talent and it is real. They have the role players that other teams like the Suns don’t really have. And they’re one of the youngest teams in the NBA. As much as I’d hate to see them leave Sacramento it might be best for them. If they moved to a bigger market like Las Vegas or Seattle they could compete for top tier free agents. I’m just going to say it in 5 years the Kings will be the best team in the Western Conference. Will they still be in Sacramento? I have no clue. I kind of hope not because I hate their owner Vivek Ranadive and I don’t want him to have any part of the team so I hope he sells them and they move.
I’m very excited for what is to come with this team. They have some pieces and as long as they don’t do anything too stupid then they will be the top dog in the West in 5 years. Maybe this year they’ll do some things they haven’t done since 2005-06 which is make the playoffs and have a winning record.