As I stalk the message boards and blogs, one thing that I always notice are the lofty predictions that many King fans give not only the players, but the team. By no stretch is this all King fans, and to say we’re the only fans that do it would be bullshart. But the question begs, do we overrate our talent? It’s hard to say we don’t…
Tyreke Evans seems to be the most promising player on the roster and the high expectations that come with the fourth selection in the NBA Draft are expected. However, moving past that – things do tend to get a bit foggy.
Kevin Martin is an incredible and unique scoring talent, but he’ll never have the ability to be a #1 player. His lack of defensive effort at times along with a Rip Hamilton like rebound and assist average make him a nice complimentary player – a Robin to a Batman if you will. Which is great…assuming you have a Batman. Zach Harper of Cowbell Kingdom proposed the thought of trading K-Mart recently and soon wished he didn’t. The fans poured over to his blog, claiming Martin as the face of the franchise, a rare player, a superstar even – deemed “untradeable”. A thought that is extremely difficult to swallow when most compare the term superstar with Kobe Bryant’s, not Kevin Martin’s.
In addition to the continued K-Mart praise, both Kings big men have been talked up, especially after the deadline deal that allowed Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson to man the Kings front court. Both Thompson and Hawes are decent big men that have some unique skill sets for players their size, and that’s always a plus. But at the same time, both have some large flaws that are just as relevant as their pluses. The same things could be said for guys like Omri Casspi and Donte Greene as well. Both do have some special skills you don’t see from players their size, but like Hawes and Thompson, they have major holes in their game that we tend to overlook in excitement.
Look, I understand the Kings are young and to expect much out of them right now as players is simply unjust. Hawes and Evans are a few years removed from becoming legal adults, and the rest are extremely young as well – but the lofty expectations seem to be a set up for failure, not only for the fans, but for them as well. All of these players will grow and improve, but the question begs – how much?
There is little reason for fan bases such as Minnesota or Memphis to not be just as excited, if not more, with their current youth movements. And I’m pretty positive early 2000 Chicago Bull fans felt the same way with Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. I’m pretty sure Charlotte Bobcat fans felt the same way with Emeka Okafor and company. And…the list goes on. The fact is, fans pretty much always over-hype their own youth and many times, it simply never realizes the potential it was supposed to have.
Am I trying to say the Kings are going to suck and they’re destined for a 1980’s era repeat? Not in the least bit. They won’t be. The Kings do have some talented youth on their roster, but, with such high expectations, failure almost seems inevitable. The continuing building process will set the course for this franchise, and with an ownership like the Maloofs – losing will only go on for so long before it’s turned around. With all of that said though, there are still a lot of holes in this boat that still need patching before it’s ready to float, let alone sail into the NBA seas.
With only 17 wins last season, there is simply no place to go but up, and that’s a nice feeling…even if the current progress might only be 20-25 wins. It’s a start…
Just don’t start sailing before the holes are patched, Sacramento.