December 18, 2012

Slim Margin For Error

The Sacramento Kings are like a bad drug. I can't quit them. They're terrible, don't look like they can improve, and really don't look interested in improving. The owners are broke don't have money and are threatening relocation to the moon since Virginia turned them down. Bad times for the Kings and yet I can't quit them.

"Do you watch their games though?" asked the Colonel.

"I don't, but I still follow the news coming out of that team."

"What bothers you about the team?"

And that's the thing, everything bothers me about this team. I'm bothered the Maloofs won't say they're committed to staying in Sacramento or leaving. I'm bothered they don't have money to properly scout players. I'm bothered they keep Geoff Petrie around even though it's clear he's failed at rebuilding this team. I'm bothered that players aren't developing. I'm bothered Tyreke Evans hasn't improved and is almost always hurt. I'm bothered DeMarcus Cousins has the maturity of a 5-year old and won't seek counseling. I'm bothered that they have three small forwards, none of them that are good. I'm bothered by Keith Smart's rotations. I'm bothered they don't have a competent point guard. I'm bothered that with such a slim margin for error, everyone has failed.
At Sactown Royalty the other day there was a post comparing the rebuilding Kings to the rebuilding Golden State Warriors. If you haven't noticed the Warriors are actually pretty good this year while the Kings are the dregs of the league. They both started rebuilding around the same time and the Warriors are actually showing improvement while the Kings are stuck in a perpetual rebuild.

"Well one thing the Warriors and Kings have in common is Keith Smart," says the Colonel. "Is he the problem?"

Smart is a part of the problem. Smart's rotations are simply terrible. Some players play on some games and then sit others. Warriors fans always complained about Smart's rotations during his one season with the Warriors. The main problem is that the Kings, specifically Petrie, have drafted/signed/traded for the wrong type of players.

There was one comment in the Kings/Warriors post that drew my attention. In summary the comment said the Warriors spend more money on scouting and coaching and that has helped with the rebuild and the development of players. The Kings are working with a much slimmer margin for error.

And we go right back to the Maloofs. The Maloofs claim they're not "broke" but they certainly don't have money for proper scouting. Scouts and other front office employees have fled Sacramento in recent years to greener pastures.

Now there are a lot of teams in all sports that work on tight budgets. I understand that. But with a small budget the margin for error is much smaller. A small mistake becomes a big problem quickly. And a rebuild with mistakes turns into years of struggle and incompetence.

The Kings are a study in failure from the top all the way on down. Incompetent owners turn into incompetent general managers turn into incompetent coaches turn into incompetent players. Failure at the top (ownership) turns into failure at the bottom (players). The Kings overall haven't done well with a slim margin of error. The Warriors can make all their problems go away with money.

"So are you still going to watch this team?" asks the Colonel.

"I will still kinda follow this team, but it will be with a perpetual sigh."


  1. I haven't watched the Kings as much in recent years, but this team started to decline the moment Petrie traded Webber for Corlis, Kenny Thomas' horrendous contract, and Brian Skinner. That trade sent the team back 5 years because of K9's contract and they haven't recovered since.

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