Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mind of Kings Fans V

The following is an email exchange between two die-hard Sacramento Kings fans -- myself (SonDog -- living in Vail) and Aaron (OZ -- living in Sacramento). The exchange came yesterday, the morning after the Kings' finished a disappointing 1-3 road trip with a loss to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats --

OZ -- Great decisions last night. The last 6 minutes (including the horrendous overtime) were some of the worst basketball minutes I've seen in a long time. What was Bibby thinking? Where was Peja? Was he even in the building? Not that I wanted him to get the ball since he's been shooting around 15% steadily.

SonDog -- Oh man, what a bad game they played. I know it was the last game of a long road trip and bla bla bla... the performance was inexcusable. The Bobcats were without Okafor, Knight, and Felton for part of the game, and they STILL won?! Bibby's decision making in the fourth quarter has been pretty bad lately. He's turning into a volume scorer (20-something points on 20-something shots every night) which isn't good. I thought Peja left the game in the first quarter? Really, you mean... wait... he was on the court the entire game? I had no idea.

OZ -- A 6-18 team beat us without 3 of their starters. A SF embarrasses our center at tip-off. Our star point guard is apparently incapable of leading this team. Great road trip.

One thing is clear. Bonzi makes a huge difference for this team. I don't think they could have beaten anybody last night after he went out. I really believe that our only hope for Sacramento to right this ship is for Peja to be traded for Artest. Otherwise, how can we not start looking at the off-season?

SonDog -- That says it all right there. Personally, I don't think even an Artest trade rights this ship. I'm still a believer that they should send out Peja, but I'm starting to lean towards a deal with Chicago for Luol Deng and picks. One guy isn't going to make a difference.

In addition, I'm absolutely sick and tired of hearing about how the offense is the problem. It's not. Defense and rebounding is the problem. They allowed the Bobcats, a poor scoring team (96.4 per game) to score well above their average... without three starters for most of the game (Rush, Okafor, Knight). Adelman needs to go. They need a new direction. And yes, I am one more abhorrent loss away from giving up on this season and looking forward to next year.

OZ -- We aren't alone here. There seems to be a numbness in Sacramento as to how bad the team is playing, but there is also a large faction that is screaming for Adelman's head. What the hell is it going to take? Will they have to finish last, not make the playoffs and move to Vegas before they realize that something's wrong? I've scoffed at that theory of yours, but this situations seems like when they make a movie about this team 70 years from now, it will be as apparent as the White Sox throwing the 1919 series in Eight Men Out that the whole goal was to suck and move to Vegas. I guess that makes Bonzi John Cusack's character as the only guy on the team that wasn't trying to throw it, and now Bonzi's injured.

SonDog -- That could be one of the worst sentences you've ever tried to compose.

I just can't seem to get over the fact that the Maloof's are staying eerily silent this season. When, ever, in years past, have you NOT heard from the Maloofs? This year's team is clearly the worst Kings team during the Maloofs' reign and you don't hear a word from them? I'm telling you, they are one more failed ballot away from moving this team, and I think they are using this season to see just how dedicated the fan base is to the team. If they somehow manage to not sell out a game this year... I don't even want to think about it. In the past the Maloofs always ACTED, not REACTED.

For all the knocks Mark Cuban takes, isn't it pretty impressive how he just refuses to let his teams fail? Dirk is the only player remaining from their original rise to glory (along with Sac), but they just keep winning and he just keeps spending.

OZ -- That's like comparing Bruce Wayne to Batman. The Maloofs are very wealthy, but they make good, sound decisions and are figureheads for other owners and businessmen. Cuban runs around at night in a costume with a money clip for a utility belt, and he's completely out of his mind.

I agree though, Dallas has been very successful and has been able to continue that success when Sac has not. But don't think they haven't made mistakes. Like, say losing the MVP from last season and getting nothing but a sour taste in return. Or maybe making the ultimate owner lack of cognizance decision and acquiring Antoine Walker. Anyway, he's less than perfect and it's going to take more than deep pockets to emulate that success with this team in Sac.

SonDog -- Don't you get the feeling that Cuban would have made a huge trade by now though? Peja... must... go. I'm totally over him. I think I scared the hell out of my in-laws last night because I was throwing so much crap around the living room. "Um, Lisa, I think you married a psycho. And, we decided to fly back to Manchester, England... tomorrow... okay?"

I'm almost at the point where I think they need to blow this thing up. Think about this for a second... For Chris Webber, Doug Christie, Vlade Divac, Hedo Turkoglu, Scott Pollard, Gerald Wallace, Jim Jackson, Bobby Jackson, and Greg Ostertag, the Kings have received... Brad Miller, Bonzi Wells, Kenny Thomas, Brian Skinner, and Corliss Williamson, That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. That, my friend, is gawdawful. By the way, I know I told you this at the time, and I have said it 425 times since, but they gave up on Wallace waaaaaay too early.

OZ -- Baaaaaaah. Wallace is a highlight reel and nothing more. Sure he'll have spectacular plays, but he's not a team leader and he REALLY needed the playing time that Charlotte was able to offer him. At very best, he'd be getting 15 minutes a night with Sac and that wouldn't have been enough. In other words, get over it.

Peja's SaoTSARBoE is off the charts for me. Keep in mind that this statistic is tracked by person (i.e. my favorite team is Sac so my Artest SaoTSARBoE isn't as high as it would be for somebody living in Indiana) and my feeling on Peja has never been ambiguous. Granted, I've wished him better fortune than you have as my ultimate goal is for the tem to succeed, whereas your ultimate goal is for Peja to not be a King, but that guy is just unbelievable. It is his mere presence that makes me doubt the Maloofs desire to win.

SonDog -- I'm not going to get over Wallace. At the very least, he provides a solid effort, which is better than what some other players on the current roster can say.

The bench's SaoTSARBoE is ridiculous. I started last night counting laughter towards that figure as well. As in, Francisco Garcia trying to play defense (as Stapes mentioned in a comment from the SaoTSARBoE article). Or, as in Jason Hart tackling Burleson at the goal-line last night to save a touchdown (did you see that play? What the hell was he thinking?). I guess that makes sense though, because all I knew of Burleson before last night's game was that I thought he was a wide receiver for the Vikings.

OZ -- You're stuck on Wallace because you picked him to be great when he came to the Kings, and had your ego deflated when all he got was some table scrap minutes at the end of games and a McDonalds commercial.

Side note: Is McDonalds a jinx? Bobby J., GW, Mamba, all had McDonalds endorsements.

As for Garcia, I give him credit for effort. He's all of 12-years-old and he's out there trying to prove himself, even through the worst 3-point percentage since the half-time mid-court shot was invented.

Side note: Where do they get those guys? It's always the overweight, unathletic type that either barely get the ball past the free throw line or sends it into the stands behind the structure. They always say the same thing, "At least it was on line". Of course it was on line, you only threw it 10 feet!

Brad was giving effort last night. He wasn't succeeding, but the effort was there. I remember a series of plays when Bibby took an ill-advised shot with nobody underneath that resulted in 5 Bobcats fighting for the rebound amongst themselves, and the next time down Brad missed shot but chased it down to the baseline, only to save the ball and have his choice of 5 Bobcats to throw it to. Effort only pays off when everybody's involved.

SonDog -- I think Wallace would be a better reserve than the list of players the Kings currently have that would struggle for playing time for the World Champion Monarchs.

Miller tries, no doubt, but his crippling lack of athleticism just makes it look like he's not trying very hard. No matter how much he scores, Shareef has got to do a better job of securing the rebounds that Miller can't get to. Lord knows Peja treats a rebound like it's a contagious disease. Why don't they play Kenny Thomas some at the 3 and go with a big lineup of Bibby, Bonzi, Kenny, Reef and Miller at times? I don't get that. I'd also move Peja over to 2 for portions of the game when Wells is out.

OZ -- Wait a minute, you mean why doesn't Adelman try something other than what he had planned at the beginning of the year? Because he plans the year out and then won't change. His substitutions are more predictable than Old Faithful. His offense is as stale as croutons. His defense is best represented by a man that has to take penicillin shots before games due to severe allergic reactions to rebounding and double teaming. The guy has no creativity left. He's at the end of his preverbal rope.

SonDog -- And you're at the end of your metaphorical allowance for one email chain. Honestly, stop it.

So, what's the general feeling around Sac regarding the roster? Are there any Peja supporters left? It seems to me that the most popular player right now is Corliss.

OZ -- Oh c'mon, that was funny. I couldn't figure out a way to get a good set of clich├ęs in there. That would have made you "blow your top".

No. This city is wiped clean of all Peja support. I believe that he is unable to show himself in public without people throwing things off the wall in his general direction to watch him flinch due to the ensuing rebound.

Honestly, I hate to say this, but the vast majority of Sac fans are too stupid to know what's wrong. They'll all applaud and treat Peja like a "King" as long as the TV and local broadcasters tell them to. Kings fans are the epitome of sheep, and they are lead by the moron twins. Peja has the same support he's always had, less a few disillusioned naysayers.

SonDog -- It's funny to me that these are the same people (media and announcers) who virtually ran Webber out of town when he came back and struggled following his knee injury. They're the same people who screamed at anybody who would listen that Peja was the next Larry Bird. It was always Webber's fault for demanding the ball and failing to find Peja. Well, who's fault is it now? If you had a choice today of Peja or Webber, who would you take? Webber still puts up nights like the 27 pt, 21 rebound game against Garnett... and overall numbers close to 20-10-5... and that's WITH Allen Iverson on his team. The short-sightedness of the Sacramento media astounds me. Webber's gone, and he's not coming back, but it's time to do the same to Peja. (By media, I speak to Mark Kreidler , Ailene Voisin (who could be the worst sportswriter in the history of the profession), Marty McNeal, Grant Napear, Jerry Reynolds, Sam Amick.)

One of the huge problems with this team is that they largely built this nucleus off of complementary players, and no superstar. They expected Peja to take The Leap, but he didn't. Then they expected Bibby to take The Leap, but he hasn't. And frankly, unless Ronnie Price takes a Leap as big as the Grand Canyon, this year is screwed.

OZ -- There is absolutely no question that Ailene Voisin is the worst journalist in the country. She has no business writing about the Kings. She has obviously never played and provides nothing more than an ignorant opinion on anything she covers, from games to off the court administration like trades and the stadium. She is the reason I don't read the Bee. Grant Napear and Jerry Reynolds are morons, as I've stated many times, but at least they aren't ignorant. It doesn't mean I'm going to listen to them (I've listened to the last three games on mute or on radio delay), but I wouldn't use Aileene's writing as toilet paper for fear of contracting disease. McNeal and Kriedler are just in the middle. They aren't morons or ignorant, they're just not good.

But I don't blame these people, I blame the people who listen to them and give them their power. If people didn't read the Bee sports page, they'd get different writers. If people rallied against Grant and Jerry, they'd get canned. But the replacements would be just as opinionated and just as bad and could manipulate this fan base in the same ways. Say what you will about the fan bases in New York, Philly, and LA, they don't put up with the Peja's of the world regardless of what the media tells them.

SonDog -- This is going to be the longest blog post in the history of blog posting. I'm out like your willingness to read the SacBee sports page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude!! The Kings suck ass! Get over it. DMo