Where do fans of the team even go from here?
After this unthinkable trade where they turned one of the better big men in the game in DeMarcus Cousins into a Buddy (Hield) and some loose change, where do the Sacramento Kings fans go from here? You could forgive them for saying they have a vivid itch to scratch, and it’s name is Vivek.
But let’s forget about Vivek Ranadivé and what his heart may want, because who the hell knows these days. Think of the fans.
We should have known, let’s start there yes. We should have known—not that Vivek and co. would trade DeMarcus but that the trade would be so laughably bad. We should have known, right around when Vivek started floating the idiotic 4-on-5 idea. We should have known, though this will be of no comfort to Kings fans.
Not that I myself am a Sactown fan, rather I identify with what used to be not so long ago a similar group of sad sack loveable idiots in the Golden State Warriors fans. Which is to say: things change quickly in the NBA, but now Kings fans have realized that things will mostly change for the worse.
We should have known that being a Sactown fan wouldn’t go along well, not even when you have Boogie on the team, because it never has. Their fans know that of course: we all make our own choices. Including Kings fans, who picked hell.
The team theoretically exists since the 1948 season, starting first as something called the Rochester Royals, but let’s focus on the current Kings era. I’m 31 years old, and it turns out that the Sactown Kings have been a thing for my entire existence. And it is with great humblebrag that I say I believe I’ve achieved quite a bit more, pound for pound, in my time on this Earth.
The Kings managed to win back-to-back division titles in 2002 and 2003 but we remember those teams for their losing/choking/getting jobbed out of Game 6 against the Los Angeles Lakers. Doug Christie was a guy, but your friends probably just remembers his, erm, special relationship with his wife. Peja Stojakovic was a wonderful treasure but like, yeah. Chris Webber is probably a better player than your favourite franchise’s best player ever, but what about that timeout? Sure he was at Michigan then, but win a title and maybe we’d remember you for something more.
But maybe a history lesson isn’t what the youngsters signed up for when they clicked on this headline. Maybe what they want is the good stuff on the current-era, Ranadivé-led Kings, and sure let’s jump right in.
Because you see, this last trade of giving away Boogie for, like, 15 cents on the dollar just ‘cause your owner turned buddy-buddy with Hield and had delusions of grandeur?
Source familiar w/ Kings’ thinking: “Vivek thinks Buddy [Hield] has Steph Curry potential.” Am told that fixation was a key driver in deal.
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) February 20, 2017
Quick note: DeMarcus Cousins has hit six more 3-pointers than Buddy Hield this season.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) February 20, 2017
(And you know what, Kings fans? It may be even more sinister than you realize, so just look away for a quick second.)
The Boogie trade was just the shitty cherry on top of the shitty sundae: sure, GM Vlade Divac’s inexplicable decision to accept this deal when he had a better one on the table (and subsequently inexplicable decision to admit so to media) is awful in an eye-opening way. But by and large in Sactown? Plenty more shitty where that final serving came from.
The Kings traded former rookie of the year Tyreke Evans, by then a shell of the 20-5-5 machine he was in his first year, for Greivis Vasquez. Sactown picked Darren Collison (and his arrest for domestic violence) over Isaiah Thomas. Sim Bhullar playing NBA basketball. The team canned Boogie’s favorite coach ever in Mike Malone because he beefed with GM Pete D’Alessandro, so much so that the pair now works together in Denver. George Karl. Jimmer Fredette over Klay Thompson. The disaster of a trade that was shipping Nik “Stauskas?” Stauskas to Philly.
Let’s stop there, shall we?
All of this points to the central tenets of the social contract of life in sports: you, as a dear and fair-minded sports fan, promise to cheer and stay loyal to your beloved sporting team X and in turn, said sporting team X promises to do its darndest to bring home a championship “for all the fine folks of city X who bleed with us and who love this team and,” yada yada.
But that’s mostly a lie.
When a team does all it can to win a championship, it’s mostly because it can make a ton of money doing so—which is and always will be its aim. But of course, there are a myriad of ways of doing so. Winning a championship happens to be the easiest way for a team owner to make a boatload of cash, yes, but it’s also the riskiest: there is only one true satisfying outcome, and a wide array of others that aren’t. Better to just kick back, talk a good game, and relax, amirite Vivek?
In short, there are about a million different ways to lose and the Kings have just about tried them all.
You see, it’s the special kind of hell Kings fans are living in—they’re damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Without Vivek, there probably wouldn’t be any Sacramento Kings to speak of—the rub being right now because of Vivek, some Kings fans just might hope this team wouldn’t exist.
“But, but, but my Kings are just X games off the 8th seed.”
Sure, buddy. Suuuuuure. And maybe that’s the lesson here: sure it’s hell, but it’s their hell.
Ride The Wave
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers. Things were good then.
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers, drawing in a decent support team and a lot of talk that the West was looking incredibly dominant next to a “weaker” East. Things were good then.
Five months later and things couldn’t be farther from that idylistic picture. The East thrived without the King and GMs put together some of the most noteworthy teams in a while. And the Lakers? The Lakers currently sit in the 11th spot of the Western Conference with very little hope of making it to the playoffs. They’re a team that is constantly attacked for their lack of chemistry, skill, and effort. For the first time in a long time, LA became synonymous with “hopeless”.
This wasn’t the future we saw for the King.
On the heels of a night filled with one of his greatest achievements ever, the Lakers as a team walked away with a loss to the Denver Nuggets. A night that began on a high note went out on one that was equivalent to sour candy. Furthermore, a frustrated team left an arena, hopped on social media, and found a bevy of congrats for their star player, while enduring the storm that came with another Lakers loss.
It seems that James’ stardom has reached a tipping point, one that makes him a GM one moment, the King of the league the next, and finally the biggest point of contention within the locker room. The most notable thing is that it is clearly wearing him down. Chris Martin let us know that “nobody one said it was easy”, but you’ve got to ask yourself, does it have to be so hard?
The answer is unfortunately, yes. It’s always going to be this way, and there is no fighting the current, but there is beauty in riding the wave. Embracing that moment when the wave comes crashing down on you is important, because it’s always going to happen, but your attitude will always be remembered. LeBron rides high, and keeps things in the positive light for the media, but he’s got to realize that they are writing his story, and he doesn’t have to play into their’s. Ride the wave, and take the loss in stride with all the great that has come with it, but take the loss because your part of a team that is.
The wave has crashed down, but the current will bring another.
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
Year 15 of a legacy…
Something Out of Nothing
It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau. We’re meeting to speak about this exciting new idea I pitched to them. We were tired of spinning the wheels on our own individual internet shows, and I told them that it was time we stopped waiting for a network and became the network.
We spoke that weekend about creating a community of content creators that all loved ball and came together to make unique content with unique voices – voices we felt were never heard in the mainstream. This community was the base of Press and we’d continue to push forward from that spot. We spoke about some amazing show ideas, article ideas, social media plan. It was truly an exciting time, and still one of the best weekends of my life.
Two years later and that group is a lot smaller, and that idea is Press Basketball.
It caught fire at the beginning and we had people joining our bright shiny new plaything left, right, and center. It was exciting, but now I kind of realize that a lot of it was just that we were that “bright shiny new thing”.
We ended up with a lot of Press Basketball “members” but when I stepped back and looked at what was happening… it wasn’t what I’d imagined. The fire burned out. The idea was gone. We had just become another thing trying to stay alive, waiting for some deus ex machina to show up with money and make everything okay.
I’ve gone through most of my life making something out of nothing. It’s never easy, but when it happens it’s always worth it… ALWAYS. Press made me feel alive at a point. It was literally all I could think about, and while it still is on my mind, it doesn’t make me feel alive. This hurts more than I can ever explain.
Changes are coming my friends. We’re not laying down and dying, and if we do it’s not going to be like this.
The core of Press will be setting fire to a lot over the next few weeks and I personally can’t wait for this to start. From the ashes something new will rise (I watched a lot of XMEN growing up).
Stay tuned, because it’s not over.
Ride The Wave
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
An Ode to the 2007-2008 Warriors
USA VS EVERYBODY | The Break | Episode 17
Trading Places | The Break | Episode 18
Christmas Day Showdowns | The Break | Episode 10
Western Conference Preview | The Break | Episode 1
Eastern Conference Preview | The Break | Episode 2
NBA & More Mailbag with Josh Howe — TWT 102
Memphis Grizzlies Season Preview with Keith Parish — TWT 101
Ride The Wave
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers. Things...
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
Year 15 of a legacy...
Something Out of Nothing
It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau....
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