Tuesday, March 1, 2011

KIngs more of a mess off the court than on

Presumably, when Kings coach Paul Westphal asks you where you’ve been writing, that means your hiatus has been a bit pronounced.

However, if you don’t feel it, then it’s better to wait until you do feel it, instead of just writing some garbage. As my man legendary funkster George Clinton says, “If you fake the funk, your nose will grow.”

Thinking of Westphal and looking at how this season has unfolded for him, made me think of Detroit head coach John Kuester’s situation.

As jacked up and uncertain as things are for the Kings, at least there have been no reports of boycotts and uprisings.

On virtually every life level, whenever it seems as if things aren’t going your way, look around. There’s likely someone close by who has similar or worse problems.

Kuester Monday received the dreaded support of Pistons President Joe Dumars. Often times, that’s a coach’s kiss of death. However, Kuester’s Pistons are 5 1//2 games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and that’s close enough to keep him around until season’s end.

There would be nothing served positively by replacing Kuester.

As for Westphal, he and the Kings receive credit for being consistent. Sacramento is 8-22 at home and 7-21 on the road. Unfortunately, the Kings have been consistently poor.

With 24 games remaining, there is plenty of time for improvement, individual and team.

Forget not knowing whether the Kings will continue playing in Sacramento or be moved to Anaheim or elsewhere for that matter.

From a team standpoint, the Kings have displayed the ability to effectively perform every facet of the game. It’s their inability to sustain a high level of efficiency that has left them with a 15-43 record.

Yet, unlike those semi-experts such as Hall of Famer and TNT broadcaster Charles Barkley who believe the Kings talent is totally subpar, that’s not the case.

Certainly, it’s not equal to the level of the league’s best, but the Kings have proven capable of competing.

Many, if not most, of the Kings difficulties have been born from inexperience, immaturity and unfamiliarity.

If you’ve listened to Westphal all season, his comments are so similar to those out of the mouths of other coaches whose teams lose close games.

And these teams are far deeper and more experienced than the Kings, yet the methods of winning games are all the same. Teams have to protect their lane and basket. They have to consistently execute their offense.

And perhaps most importantly, teams have to play with heart and ferocity. They have to take advantage of opportunities and minimize the opportunities they present to the opposition.

Rookie DeMarcus Cousins has struggled since the All-Star break and that’s not highly surprising. Cousins is shooting 32 percent (16 of 50) from the field and averaging 5.5 turnovers during his past five games.

No. 1, all players have their struggles. No.2 Cousins still hasn’t scratched the surface of learning his game.

That’s before mentioning the 20-year-old still is trying to figure out who he is and what he truly wants to become. If you are older than 20, then you might be able to remember what those thoughts were then and how life has run its ever-unfolding misdirection plays.

Look at Monday night’s starting lineup and only center Sameul Dalembert and guard Beno Udrih have a strong knowledge of their respective games and themselves. Hence, that’s hardly a logical prescription for nightly success.

As the Maloof family and their plans, those appear far shakier than the team’s prospects. It seems to me as if the Maloofs don’t know what they are going to do.

If they know they are going to relocate the team in Anaheim, the easiest and most humanistic thing to do is say that’s the deal.

That’s more so for their employees if not just for their devoted and loyal fans, many of whom I’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting to know.

Throughout my 13 years of dealing with them, I’ve always said the Maloofs are the most down-to-earth millionaire business folk I’ve met. Yet, what’s real is once the family decided to sell their Coors distributorship, that was a major sign their financial situation was approaching dire straits.

From a bottom-line perspective, until prohibition hits, beer likely always will be consumed. So desperation had to factor into that decision.

Moreover, that was their late father’s business – not something easily kicked to the curb.

Not knowing the family’s financial standing, it’s impossible to truly know how the Maloofs will play their hand. Shoot, we don’t even know what cards they are holding.

And I wonder if they do.


  1. Great to have you back. I've missed your writing. See you at The Arena this week.

  2. Hey Marty - Some maybe a lot of the kings problems may be the lack of great talent in the office. Look at their drafting - last two were good grabbing Evans and Cousins and in '04 Martin. But in 05 they took Garcia over David Lee. 06 was a disaster taking Douby over Rondo, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Millsap,Kyle Lowrie. We only had 1 in 7 and took Hawes leaving Carl Landry, Aaron Brooks and Big Baby on the table.

    In 08 JT over Ibaka is questionable. 9 could have been bustout good if Petrie had taken Blair at 31. And last year we could have had Landry Field at 33. Right under our noses at Stanford. Oh hell Stanford doesn't have future nbaers do they?

    Did you watch Blair at Pittsburg? He played every other center in the Big East like they were drums. His knees looked fine to me.

    Well, they're gone probably. Now we have the Warriors to critique from afar.

    Louie P.

  3. Thanks anonymous... glad to be back... say hi when and if u see me at what I'm calling the No-Name Arena... Yo, Louie P., undoubtedly when a team falls off like the Kings have, there have been missteps all over the joint. Can't question those draft mistakes. I had never heard of Ibaka, but I was high on Blair in a major way and i think the Kings passed on him three times. No doubt Landry Fields has surprised everyone other than the Knicks. Have a good one.... and as u say, the Kings do appear headed south, although I'm wondering if they'll get things done to make it happen for 2011-12, with the spectre of a lockout and all.