- Great to finally have the site back!
After quite a while off-the-grid, I’m excited to finally bring back SacKings.com. A lot has happened over the past few seasons and the Kings are looking like they are posed for a fun run over the next few years. Vlade Divac has really put his fingerprints all over this current roster and is determined to complete some unfinished business from the early 2000s. I’m not sure what direction this new version of the site will go during the season, but I’m looking forward to getting back to writing some articles and sharing my thoughts on the team. I welcome all who want to join in and speak their mind as well. Let’s go!
- Great to finally have the site back!
I’ve been working hard over the past month to get SacKings.com back to its high standard of design and functionality, and I think we are close. I’m going for the clean look again. No clutter and most importantly, no stupid ads. This site will never be one of those click-bate sports sites throwing up hot takes for no other reason than to get eyeballs on the page and try to make money. I am looking forward to people joining the community and sharing their thoughts on the Sacramento Kings or NBA in general. I know it will take some time to rebuild any sort of following, but you must start somewhere, right? Would love to hear any and all feedback on what people would like to see on the site.
- Vlade’s dismissal was 5 years in the making
I will be honest, I am extremely disappointed that Vlade Divac was forced out of the GM role before he had a chance to see if his vision would work, but not at all surprised. When he took over the job from Pete D’Alessandro in 2015, the franchise was in such disarray that I doubt anyone would have wanted to step into that dumpster fire. It would have been a career killer for sure. Pete was clearly in over his head and had shown that he really was not loyal to the city and fans of Sacramento. Cue the dude on the white horse. Vlade was one of the few guys who loved the team, the city, and the fans enough to take the role and put his heart into it. Unfortunately, the NBA world was not interested in an awkward Euro with a thick accent who appeared bumbling and confused when trying to hold a simple press conference. The NBA fraternity of cookie-cutter GMs dismissed him as a clueless joke and stopped taking the Kings seriously whenever dealing with them. Divac was far from clueless, but the optics did not look good and the prejudicial opinions had already been established. Bringing in Brandon Williams to be the public face of the front office did not help much as it was still known that Vlade called the shots from behind the curtain. After Williams was fired in 2019, Joe Dumars was brought in as the new "face with street cred" in the front office, but Vlade would not relinquish his power and the struggles obviously continued. I can only hope that Dumars is willing to fully embrace this team, this city, and this fan base, or he too will be tarred, feathered, and run out of town just like Pete D. At least Vlade brought this city the glory years of the early 2000s, and he will always be loved for that. Joe has not done anything for Sacramento, so he will be entirely judged on what he does moving forward from here. Good luck dude. This is Sacramento, it is a different game out here.
- Tuning out the noise
The team is struggling right now, but I don’t see any reason to panic and blow it all up. Unlike past seasons, Sacramento has a young core (aka young assets) that they can continue to try to build around. If not, plenty of other teams would love to get their hands on them and pay Sacramento a rather pretty penny in exchange. It wasn’t too long ago that the Kings had only DeMarcus Cousins and a bunch of old C-level assets with no realistic hope for a future. Now that was a time to panic and blow it all up. And they did just that. Today, I can’t read a Kings blog, listen to a podcast or the radio without being bombarded by all the noise coming from Kings fans. Sure, things are tough right now, but this isn’t 2017. Not even close. The Kings have a lot of questions that need to be answered during the second half of the season, and that is what I will be focusing on. And I’m sure Vlade Divac and his staff will be too. What I’m looking forward to finding out… Can De’Aaron Fox rise to an All-Star level of play by the end of the season? Can Marvin Begley and Richaun Holmes co-exist in the starting lineup? Can Buddy Hield find his shooting touch again? Will Bogdan Bogdanovic accept his role with the Kings and return next season? Can Harry Giles secure his spot as the fourth big man on the team? Is Harrison Barnes the Kings’ long-term solution at small forward? Can Marvin Bagley stay healthy for the rest of the season? Did I miss something?
- Are you excited for the Orlando restart?
I must admit, I am tepid at best about the NBA restart next month. While I miss Kings basketball desperately, is what we are going to get starting July 31 really going to be Kings basketball? Or NBA ball at all? The games will be in empty arenas/gymnasiums. The camera angles will be different. The lighting will be different. The sounds will be different. The announcers will be different. The energy will be different. The hardcore basketball fan will tune in for that 10:30am Thursday morning game between the Kings and Pelicans, but the casual fan will not. All this so that owners, players, and TV outlets can make a little extra money. Is the product being put out there for our consumption worth our time? Is it going to be NBA basketball, or glorified street ball? Think about it. The only people in the stands are going to be other NBA players. They are there to see their friends connect on 20 three-pointers, or throwdown that windmill dunk. We risk this turning into a bunch of highlight real attempts. I am sure it will not be as bad as the All-Star game, but players want to impress their peers more than the fans and that could greatly impact the quality of the play on the court. Coronavirus health concerns aside, what are we going to see on our TVs in a month?
- Belly for the win!
Nemanja Bjelica nails the big 3 to give the Sacramento Kings a 102-100 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers enroot to their eventual 106-102 victory to close out the Bubble scrimmage season in Orlando. Just another Kings win over the Clips this season. 😎
- Kings to buyout Anthony Tolliver's contract
The Sacramento Kings are working to complete a contract buyout with forward Anthony Tolliver prior to the march 1 deadline. Tolliver was owed $2,564,753 this season, and the team should be able to negotiate terms that will save them a little money for the rest of the year and give Anthony a chance to sign with a contender where he might have an opportunity to see some court time. With the Kings’ so deep at the forward spot, it was unlikely that he would see much, if any meaningful game minutes the rest of this season.
- Is TV or radio better for following these Bubble games?
For the first scrimmage, I caught Gary and Doug’s call on League Pass to see how these Bubble games would look on TV. While I have been listening to the G-Man for some 35 years, the game was kind of disappointing. I think it was more due to the distraction of an empty gym, those flashy video boards, and the lack of any excitement when something spectacular happens on the court. Not to mention the camera angles and production quality of the game was rather limited. Kind of looked like a Division II college broadcast. I know Gary and Doug really have not worked together before and calling a game from nearly 3000 miles away is just weird, I can only hope it gets better when the games really count, or viewers are going to tune this experiment out. For Saturday’s game, I listened to Jason and Henry’s call on the League Pass audio broadcast. While it had some of the same issues as the TV call, not seeing an empty gym and those distracting signage boards allowed one to imagine something a little closer to a real NBA game. They still sounded some 3000 miles away from the action, but I am hoping the audio feed levels can be increased a little to make it sound like they are closer to the game. I will admit, I do enjoy Jason’s call of the action and he plays off Henry well from their years of working together. I have not caught an ESPN or TNT game yet and am very interested to see how they attempt to make the broadcast more like what we are used to seeing. Of course, it will never be the same as the experience in a packed arena, but the NBA should be able to get creative and bring the fans something new and exciting to the game telecasts.
- The Jerry Reynolds Show
I recently came across a new YouTube channel featuring Sacramento’s very own Jerry Reynolds. Apparently, he has a new video podcast called the Jerry Reynolds Show. In it he interviews local Sacramento and Kings personalities. Its not bad at all. I have all the episodes to date featured on our Video page under “The Jerry Reynolds Show” category. The Jason Ross episode was interesting as he got his start in media the same way I did, but he stuck with it while i jumped ship in pursuit of the $$$. Ha!
- Are the SacKings becoming a defensive powerhouse?
I can’t tell. Are the Kings really a team that has turned the corner over the last 6 games? Or are the Lakers not quite as good as everyone (and their record) says they are? This new-found thing called defense has really come on in a rather surprising fashion for Sacramento of late. I mean Kayte C on the telecast mentioned that the team was near the bottom in defensive rating during the first 5 games but have rocketed to near the top spot in their next 5. They totally shut down the Lakers offense tonight. If it wasn’t for the free throw disparity, we might be talking about one of the biggest upsets of this young season. But LA does have LBJ and AD, and superstars win games. Regardless, I don’t see any reason why fans should be pulling the plug on this season. This team will be able to hold their own until Bagley and Fox return. They are currently only two games out of the 8th spot and I still don’t have faith that the Suns, Mavs, and Wolves will hold up their hot play over time. Bring on the Celtics!
- De'Aaron Fox to return by his birthday?
Kings fans are definitely looking forward to De'Aaron Fox's birthday this year. The guard is targeting his return to the court by his 22nd birthday. December 20.
- A couple of feelgood games is just what we needed
After the ugly 0-5 start, the Kings have given us two nice wins to provide some hope. I liked that the victories were total contrasts of each other. A gritty nail biter down to the wire against the Jazz, and a runaway blowout vs. the Knicks. This team can win in several ways. They just need to realize that nothing will be handed to them. Perhaps the poor start was the wakeup call they needed. The team seems to be playing for each other again. Unselfish passing, and lots of communication on defense has been clear over the past few games. The competition steps up in a big way on Wednesday in Toronto. Even if they don’t get the win, I want to see this same level of intensity for 48 minutes.
- Can the Kings go 3-2 in the next five games?
Last night’s win over Portland was encouraging, but let’s be honest, the competition is about to ramp up slightly. The Next five games feature @Lakers, Celtics, Suns, @Nets, and @Wizards. The goal is to try to win at least 3 out of every 5 games. So far, 0-5 and 4-1. They are trending in the right direction. While I look forward to every battle against the Lakers, I’m not holding my breath for this one. Maybe we’ll get lucky and some AD load-management protocol will kick in for Friday’s game? Although crazier things have happened, the Kings tend to flop in big games against LA. The Celtics have the leagues best record, but they have been bitten by the injury bug of late and G1C will be rocking. A chance? 12:30 starts in Sac rarely go well as I’ve been to too many early start family games of late and always seem to walk out disappointed. I truly believe the Kings will be highly motivated when they get their rematch with Phoenix next Tuesday. Deandre Ayton killed them last time, but he’s out. If the Kings can control Devon Booker like they controlled Damian Lillard last night, they might be able to pull that one off. Revenge games are always fun. Remember the Utah games earlier this season? The Nets are a one-man show with Kyrie Irving and I personally think he is going to destroy all the good vibes they built up last season. They are very beatable but tend to really beat down on the Kings every year. Tossup. Same goes for the Wizards. Every year we go into that road game thinking we’ll get right and walk out feeling so very wrong. 3-2? It could happen, but the variants are very big, and we’ll just have to wait and see. Regardless, there is no way we should be even considering throwing in the towel so early in the season. Right now, the Kings are only two games out of the 8th spot.
- Harrison Barnes on the Full 48 Podcast
Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes joins “The Full 48 with Howard Beck” to discuss the resumption of the NBA season and how he’d like to see it happen, the campus/bubble scenario, coronavirus health concerns, the Sacramento Kings season, Marvin Bagley’s injury status, and Kobe Bryant. He also weighs in on a possible NBA schedule shift, mid-game trades, and playing in empty arenas.
- The Kings of one-possession games
36 percent of Kings games this season have been decided by 3 points or less. In those contests, Sacramento is 5-4. The team is still above .500 in one-possession games, but at that rate, can we as Kings fans handle 21 more nail biters this season? The margin of error is just too great. Three wins or losses either way could have already sealed the destiny of this team. Playing to the level of their competition is the only way to describe the 2019-20 Sacramento kings. Except for those first five games, the team has basically played themselves to near draws with every team they have faced since. They have yet to build a big lead early and run away with a game. At this rate, Kyle Guy will never get a chance to make his NBA debut!
- Can the Kings go 3-2 in the next five games?
Damn! AD's load management game is tonight vs. the Warriors.