Sacramento Kings: Who Brings The Chemistry?


An intangible like how much chemistry a team has is hard to define, let alone predict.  And if you listen to the naysayers, the chaos of last season and the missteps of the off-season are going to affect the play in games.

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DeMarcus Cousins, George Karl and Rajon Rondo have all been described as having abrasive personalities and people are predicting a complete train wreck of a season because of it.  Even if the Kings roster looks good on paper, it won’t mean a thing if they can’t play as a team.  That takes chemistry.

The Sacramento Kings are going to have a boatload of chemistry this season. And I’m not just talking about the infectiously hustle play style of Omri Casspi or the veteran leadership of Caron Butler. No, I predict that Boogie, Rondo and even Karl will be the surprise emotional core to this years’ Kings.

For those of you that remember all the way back to the beginning of last season when the Kings were 9-6, you were probably as excited as I was. The one aspect of those early games that stood out to me was that the team was actually having fun. That, and Casspi seemed to be the DeMarcus whisperer. 

Mar 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the Kings acquired Caron Butler, people weren’t talking about his on court playing ability, but about his veteran leadership and his calming presence in the locker room.  And as noted during his press tour for his new book, Caron is a highly respected player across the NBA.  

For a Kings team that has lacked leadership and direction the past few seasons, along with an unstable front office, the intangibles that Caron brings to Sacramento is priceless right now.

But if the Sacramento Kings are going to win games Cousins, Rondo and Karl all have to get on the same page. And perhaps that job is even too big for Caron Butler. But I’m not worried yet, because there is something those three men have in common that will unite them.

It’s something that has united other controversial teams over the years and which has led to great success: They hate to lose.

And not just that. Like Brad Pitt says in Moneyball, they hate losing more than they like winning.

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

If you are not convinced that such a sentiment can galvanize a team to win, can glue big personalities together and have them march into the post season, there are some previous examples of successful basketball teams doing just that.

For example:  The Patrick Ewing/John Starks Knicks,  the Isiah Thomas/Bill Laimbeer “Bad Boys” Pistons,  and, of course, the Bibby/Webber Kings. There’s a theme running here, and it is telling us what we can expect from Rondo and Cousins this year under a George Karl system. When you hate to lose, you do anything to win.

There will be a lot of chemistry on the court for the Kings in 2015-16, but it’s not going to always be sunshine and rainbows. Caron and Casspi will be very important for the mental and emotional health of this franchise.

But if Rondo and Boogie start clicking, things might get a little nasty out on the hardwood. And that can be a very good thing. 

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Next: The Kings Have Built Chemistry This Summer