The Sacramento Kings haven’t made the playoffs in nearly a decade. High expectations to start the last couple of seasons resulted in a very early reality check of where they stand, but once again firing their head coach (George Karl this time) seems counterproductive, even if things don’t look great now.
Playing without DeMarcus Cousins for most of their opening schedule, the Kings have fallen to 1-7, the worst record in the Western conference, losing six games in a row. Last season a Cousins injury resulted in a string of bad results and the firing of Mike Malone, who got along quite well with Cousins. The voices coming out of Sacramento, at least from the rumor mill, suggest it might be some sort of repeat, this time for different reasons.
There is something boiling under the surface at Sacramento. Cousins and Karl haven’t been getting along, although are trying to hide it. Rajon Rondo is somehow mixed in all of it somehow. It’s been on a collision course for a long time. A player – coach meeting was called to try and see if they can pull out of this situation. Cousins is the leader of this team on the floor (even if he isn’t setting the best of examples with his behavior), and might be more powerful than Karl himself in the franchise hierarchy, never a healthy situation.
The problem with the Kings has been their lack of long term vision. They’ve been refusing to tank, which isn’t a bad thing, but they signings and decisions they’ve been making in terms of personnel haven’t made much sense. It’s as if there’s no clear idea where they want this team to be in three or four years, or at least have no clue how to get there. Meanwhile they’ve rarely made something useful out of their endless run of lottery draft picks, and unless something quite miraculous happens pretty soon, this is going to be marked down as another wasted season.