What's on the Menu? "mmmmmm . . . Basketball!!!!"

Saturday, June 8, 2013

SDH Present the 2013 End of Season NBA's Worst to First: 28. Sacramento Kings

Overall Win/Loss Record (At Season’s End): 28-54,  fourth place Pacific Division

At Season’s End:

Team Statistics and League Rank (At Season’s End)
  • Points Scored: 100.2 (10th)
  • Points Allowed: 105.1 (30th)
  • Team FG%: .447 (19th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .472 (28th)
  • Team FT%: .769 (11th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .363 (12th)
  • Rebounds per game: 40.6 (25th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 43.6 (24th)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.0 (16th)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 14.1 (15th)

Individual Statistical Leaders (At Season’s End)

Taking a Look back at the Season that Once Was . . .

SDH Worst to First Recap
Time Period
Change (+/-)
At Season’s End
SDH Player of the Year:
Jimmer Fredette

It is a sad case where someone who played just 14 minutes per game in the regular season would get more respect than those who start, but in the case of Jimmer Fredette, it is more than deserving.  Despite being on a team that was by far the most selfish, laziest and by far one of the biggest embarrassments in pro sports, Freddette came out every game playing with heart and showed a semblance of professionalism and class that none of his teammates possessed.  He was actually the sole bright spot on a team filled with self serving, immature spoiled brat players that there ever were in the NBA.  Although his playing time was limited to put it lightly, he made every minutes counted as he averaged nearly over seven points per game and he boasted per 40 minutes averages of 20.6 points and 3.7 assists per game.  Hopefully, the new coach of the Kings will recognize this and give Freddette the minutes and credit that he deserves.  

When the news surfaced that the Sacramento Kings may be headed for Seattle, it was met with a rather positive response.  The Kings, who have spent most of their history essentially under a rock would have been relocated to a city which a rich basketball tradition along with a larger more lucrative sports market.  The NBA would have also righted an atrocious wrong to the city of Seattle after their franchise of nearly forty years was unjustly fleeced from them.  For those who do not remember, it was billionaire carpet bagging cowboy named Clayton Bennett swooped in, ripped the once proud Seattle Supersonics, a team with history and a strong winning tradition, from its roots and dragged it to his home town of Oklahoma City.  He stripped the team of its name, its history, colors and legacy and remade it into a soulless campy looking expansion franchise and gave it an uninspiring generic name otherwise known as the Thunder.

The Kings' relocation to Seattle would not have only revitalized a city of avid NBA supporters that had their hearts ripped out of their chests, but it would have also meant a fresh start for a rather moribund Kings team.  Despite that short stint in the mid 1990s where they experienced the glory of victory, most of Sacramento's history has been marred by losing and despite the strong local backing, the team has never really emerged as a viable contender.  With their limited media exposure and their rather small sports market, the Kings do not have the limitless resources as bigger market teams to attract and retain their own free agents.  Include the fact that the salary cap structure with its ensuing luxury taxes hinder smaller market franchise like Sacramento than help it, one can see how beneficial a change of scenery would have been for a team that desperately needed it.  In summation, the move would have been beneficial to all parties concerned--the NBA, the Kings franchise, and the city of Seattle--with the sole loser being a small insignificant city that was of little or no consequence to begin with.

Sadly, however, neither the Kings or the city of Seattle would get their second chance at redemption as the NBA's relocation committee barred a the sale of the maligned franchise to a ownership group that wished to bring the team to Seattle.  Add the fact that league found a local ownership group, thanks to the rather unwelcome interference of Sacramento mayor and former NBA great, Kevin Johnson, the Kings will continue plodding through mediocrity and will never rise up to be anything better than it is now.  The Kings will never have a chance again to savor the glory and bask in the spotlight as other NBA cities that enjoy greater media exposure and a larger consumer base.  They will return to play once again in their appropriately named Sleep Train Arena where they continue to lull crowds to sleep with their uninspiring play that lack any sense of discipline or purpose.  The citizens of Sacramento that there are can raise their fists in victory and defiance, but it is a shallow one at best as it really give them nothing but the pride to cheer a pathetic and dysfunctional team.

Keeping the team in Sacramento will not change the somber mood or the culture of ineptitude and ambivalence that the team has shown over the past eight years.  Much of that was due to the attitude of the team's previous owners, Joe and Gavin Maloof, who grew tired of being situated in a small backwater town as Sacramento and wished to relocate to a larger, vibrant and more lucrative market.  Against all values of morals, decency and good taste, the Maloofs went on a despicable campaign to cripple team and fan morale bad enough to enable them to go about their dastardly designs.  Unfortunately, their strategy backfired as it not only angred the city's fan base, but it galvanized them to action to fight to keep their NBA franchise at home. It then resulted in a public relations fallout which all but ruined the Maloofs' reputation in the league forcing them to cut their losses and sell the team.

Many would claim that it served the Maloof brothers right to fall from grace the way that they did; unfortunately, however, regardless of how heinous their actions were, the Maloofs were well justified in their action.  They were looking to maximize the returns on their investment in the Kings which had begun to slowly diminish once they bought the team.  Also it must also be mentioned that in all fairness, the Kings saw their best moments under the Maloof's reign; however, with the current salary cap structure of the NBA, the glory years simply could not continue because the team would always incur a loss despite the avid fan support.  The new group that took over the franchise will soon learn the same hard lesson as the Maloofs did, despite all the grandiose promises it gave to change the culture of the team and return it to its past glory.  As for the NBA, it will probably end up with egg on its face as it chose to support the desires of a rather marginal fan base over the greater good of the team and the league as a whole.