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Reasons Aplenty for Kings Being Garbage

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

If we’re to take the small sample size provided, it seems as if the Sacramento Kings are going to be horrible (again). This isn’t necessarily a “big, if true” moment, although many fans of the Kings were more than optimistic heading into the season — likely making their wretched 1-7 start all that more infuriating.

Many members of the media weren’t as high on Sacramento prior to the season, though. They were met with a lot of backlash by Kings fans who claimed some sort of wrong was being done to their favorite team by way of {insert fans’ irrational justification here}. However, without diminishing the media’s unbiased eyes, there were reasons for the fan base to feel as if this season was going to be different. Something that will be touched on in a minute.

Sadly, that optimism, a true sense of it which has evaded the fan base for many years, while possibly misguided to some degree, is dead. Not even murdered, either. More like failing to reach their pills in time before suffering some sort of medical calamity. After all, Sacramento’s woes aren’t because of someone else, like murder is. No. It is, per usual, their own doing.

Back to the glass being almost all the way full for fans. This offseason was different for many reasons. For one; questions surrounding DeMarcus Cousins became less a “can they win with him/does he care” and more a “Boogie is the dopest/get talent around him and the sky is the limit” type of thing.

That’s a big deal because perception drives everything. From expectations, people began losing the ability to reason with logic being thrown out the window in favor of ideas of things. Cousins wasn’t a different person or a far better player than a year before (yes, of course he’s better, but not leap and bounds), it was that the national narrative shifted from questions about him to questions about the Kings doing more to utilize his talents.

Then Sacramento did… kind of. Well, depending who you ask.

Whatever was left of Rajon Rondo made its way to Sacramento by way of a journeyman’s travels — which isn’t something usually done so by a player previously thought to be one of the best at his position. No matter. Rondo was once great, and fans wanting to believe in the idea of the version of Boston was still good Rondo coming instead of the regressing 2013 Rondo and beyond, viewed him as a great addition. One which would help put Cousins and the Kings over the top.

Of course that blindly ignores how difficult the Western Conference is. Sure, it would be a maneuver which one could only assume meant people think highly of a roster which features Rudy Gay humorously prominently. And why not, it’s not as if people knew they’d be reliant upon a career ho-hum Kosta Koufos, a disappointing at best (so far… probably always) Ben McLemore and whatever we consider Darren Collison at this point — though no one is considering him an above-average point guard.

Oh, wait. Everyone knew this, and still thought they’d be good?

Regardless, this isn’t meant to be a “told you so” to Kings fans. Whatever their reasons — George Karl, Rondo, Cousins, etc. — for thinking they were going to take the next step isn’t all that relevant to the fact that they aren’t even competent in the NBA today. The issues here are, well, finding out the issues. What are the reasons for Sacramento not being what fans were hoping?

The answers are aplenty. We can delve into stats, rotations and the like to pull up factual information about everything going wrong on the court, but it wouldn’t touch on the biggest issue at hand — the roster is still an abomination.

That is it, really. There’s no hidden reason or rotation which will solve the issues plaguing the team. It’s that iffy roster, which would help explain the horrible stats, not the horrible stats helping to pinpoint issues within the roster or rotation.

It isn’t an accident that the Kings rank in the bottom 10 of both offensive and defensive rating (although Cousins getting hurt doesn’t help). It is, by their own design, a flaw of their team — which is a roundabout way to say the talent on the roster isn’t all that good.

Unlike previous versions of the Kings, ones which didn’t have a fan base feel as positively as they did about this one before a game was played this season, there are few reasons to cling to hope for a better future. Honestly, without there being a true fixture worth keeping around on the roster other than Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein, one could say that it’s time to blow it up completely — which would mean departing from Cousins. This would be, obviously, a nuclear type of an option.

But what other ones do they have? There are no true tradeable assets on their roster other than Boogie and the idea of Cauley-Stein, so how would they get better this year while being able to continue to build around Cousins? Don’t get it twisted either, as it is the Kings who failed the Boogie era and not the other way around.

We have yet to mention the entire debacle now unfolding before us, as Vlade Divac is apparently asking players for advice regarding George Karl’s job security! Let the cluster{curse word} of all of that sink in for a minute. And, truth be told, this column was written more than 24 hours prior to the finding out about this hot mess (under the hood issues, friends). Now that Sacramento has seemingly gone rogue in every sense of being normal, functioning or competent on any level, I feel like I did a disservice by not mentioning the nuclear options for the organization during the opening sentence.

Here’s where the Sacramento Kings are today if we’re to be honest with the roster: Not in a single better position than they were last year, the year before that or even the year before that. It’s a never-ending cycle of lottery picks which have mostly been blah, disappointments in free agency and an apparent poopshow in management. Because of that, it’s time to put a fork in the Kings…as their season is already cooked.

Talent, organizational skills and being somewhat competent still trumps all in the NBA. The Kings lack all of it. A rather easy explanation to their woes. Sleep easy.

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