I wanted to wait to write this column to get a good feel of my favorite NBA team, the Sacramento Kings.
To be as fair as possible, the Kings have struggled for the better part of a decade to put a good basketball product on the court. We could get into the revolving door of point guards, general managers, and coaches. We could talk about the DeMarcus Cousins trade that was polarizing. As we have gotten through the first 12 games of the year, the Kings are one thing they have not been in quite some time, a fun team to watch.
This has been a team that has struggled with its identity for the better part of a decade. The Kings have finally decided to go all in on a youth movement. Calling this Kings team “good” is a stretch, but calling this Kings team fun and one you can be proud to watch 82 games a year feels fair. In the post-DeMarcus Cousins era, there was not much room for fun and pride.
Here is where this starts to get tricky for fans. The Kings finished an impressive road stretch defeating the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, and Miami Heat by convincing margins. There was room to rejoice in those victories. WE LOOKED LIKE A COMPETENT BASKETBALL TEAM. Then the groundswell began “what if they kept this up all season, could they make the NBA playoffs?”
With this next 10-game stretch ranging from teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, and Los Angeles Lakers to name a few, we may get a better sense of what this team is about. You can have pride in your hometown Kings and still understand they have a long way to go to be a playoff team.
For now, I encourage fans to enjoy having a basketball team that they can be proud of for 82 games a year that will play at a breakneck speed. However, keep in mind that most guys on this team are young and still have a long way to go.
You can enjoy this team each game and understand they are not a playoff team. For a sport that promotes “the process” more than any other sport, the Sacramento Kings are finally trending in the right direction in “the process”. That in itself should be something to take pride in.
Enjoy having a fun basketball team, because, at the end of the day, everyone is playing for second place.