Categories
30Q | Articles | Commentary

30Q: How could Doug Christie help the Kings?

In his first NBA coaching role, Doug Christie wants to take care of some "unfinished business" with the Kings.

It was no surprise to Sacramento fans when Doug Christie was named as the newest Assistant Coach for the Kings back in early August. After providing several years of color commentary on the Kings broadcast, where he was able to exercise and flex his basketball IQ muscle, it seemed only a matter of time before he would transition into a coaching role.

Though Doug Christie spent his 15-year career on seven different NBA teams, his most successful and, what I like to believe, his favorite years, were spent in Sacramento from 2000-2004. In all five seasons with Christie at the shooting guard position, the Kings competed in the NBA playoffs and were known around the league for their palpable team chemistry and showmanship. During his time in Sacramento, Christie solidified his identity as a defensive specialist and racked up multiple All-Defensive team awards. Christie left Sacramento in 2005 as 2nd in all time steals in franchise history.

His success as a player and subsequent commitment to this organization and city in his retirement has already secured Doug Christie's legacy in the hearts of Kings fans. But now he has a new opportunity to further this legacy by contributing to the team from the sidelines. Christie has stated:

"It's been a dream of mine to coach for the Sacramento Kings. I feel like I have some unfinished business."

As an assistant coach, directly involved with the day-to-day and in-game action with the team, how could Doug Christie help the Kings this upcoming season? Here are some of my hopes of how he will impact this team:

DEFENSE: In case we haven't all heard this enough, here's another reminder, bolded and in all-caps, that the Kings recorded the second worst defense in NBA history last season. We suffered through countless defensive breakdowns, both individual and team, and saw little improvement as the season progressed. As a player who earned numerous accolades for his performance on the defensive end, Doug Christie seems like the perfect kind of basketball mind to mentor and mold this Kings team into shape on defense. While Mike Longabardi, new defensive coordinator for the Kings, undoubtedly has proven his knowledge and experience and could help this team on the defensive end, Christie can bring another layer of first-hand experience to the coaching staff that will hopefully further permeate to the players.

Team Basketball: The Kings have shown improvement on the offensive end, especially with the development of De'Aaron Fox and his ability to disfigure defenses by getting into the paint. With such a gravitational force in Fox, the next step for the Kings is to figure out how to utilize this to their advantage to uplift everyone else's play. Known for his role in the Kings' starting five that became known as "The Greatest Show on the Court", Doug Christie knows a thing or two about how to play team basketball. The Kings have developed some real talent on their roster and I'm hoping Christie can help guide this team in how to use and maximize it together as a collective unit.

How to Win in the NBA: In the past two shortened seasons, the Kings have finished with the exact same record: 31-41. They haven't won more than 40 games in a season since 2006. Needless to say, this team has been struggling to put a significant amount of wins together for awhile now. For his five years in Sacramento, Doug Christie was a part of the winningest basketball this franchise has ever seen. My hope is that Christie will be able to use this experience to teach and instill in this team what it takes to consistently win in this league.

Development of Tyrese Haliburton: It seemed like it only took a few moments after drafting Tyrese Haliburton for Kings fans to recognize and appreciate the similarities between him and Doug Christie, right down to their physical resemblance. Both have demonstrated high basketball IQ on the court, on both sides of the ball, but most alluringly on the defensive side. They seem to share a similar sixth sense in anticipating passing angles and knowing just where to be on defense. Christie finished his career averaging an impressive 1.9 steals per game, even having a season in Toronto where he averaged up to 2.5 steals per game. In his rookie season, Haliburton averaged 1.3 steals per game. Given their similarities in their natural knacks for defense, I hope to see Christie be a big part in Haliburton's development for his second year in the league.

I want nothing more than to see Doug Christie as a part of this team and take care of the "unfinished business" he refers to like he's the main character in a redemption-themed action film. I have a few movie titles floating in my mind already (i.e. The Second Coming: Return of Christie) but we can work out those details later. For now, I look forward to all the impactful ways Doug Christie can help this Kings team in the upcoming season.

Subscribe
Notify of
24 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1951
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
September 11, 2021 8:34 am

Can he still play?

Last edited 3 days ago by 1951
1951
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
September 11, 2021 8:52 am
Reply to  1951

Hey Malrock,

Follow this idiot on twitter so we can private message!

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
September 11, 2021 9:22 am
Reply to  1951

Can he play SF?

bearcatjack
September 11, 2021 8:53 am

Luke Walton has a lot of tunnel vision. I hope he spends at least a little time with Doug and gives him a chance to bring some new coaching ideas to the Kings.

OG_Aggie
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
September 11, 2021 8:59 am

This is me trying and failing to insert the Rick Fox gif.

Last edited 3 days ago by Rob Rodgers
Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
September 11, 2021 9:13 am
Reply to  OG_Aggie

You mean the “unfinished business” gif!

comment image&ct=g

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
September 11, 2021 9:23 am
Reply to  Jman1949

“FOX FORCE FIVE (knuckles)!”

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
September 11, 2021 9:17 am

His success as a player and subsequent commitment to this organization and city in his retirement has already secured Doug Christie’s legacy in the hearts of Kings fans. But now he has a new opportunity to further this legacy by contributing to the team from the sidelines.

I’m sure people said similar things about Vlade (and Peja).

And as much as I like Doug and I think that he has the knowledge and skills to be a decent assistant coach, time will tell. It is hard to shake the feeling that this is just a copy of Vivek’s previous MO. Therefore, I wonder if Walton really wanted him on his staff, whether he is a ownership plant, whether he is mainly a hire to make the fan base happy and/or he will be the choice to supplant Walton because he is inexperienced, cheap and not inlikely to give a hometown discount.

Unfair to Doug to think this way? Absolutely.
Unfair to Vivek. No.

I hope he can have some influence within the Walton coaching staff, but I can’t shakle the feeling that Bobby Jackson tried to put an emphasis on similar things and didn’t seem to move the needle much.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
September 11, 2021 9:50 am
Reply to  RikSmits

As someone who loves Doug Christie and Bobby Jackson (and Vlade and Peja, et al) I think this is a fair point to bring up. Like you said, it’s more about Vivek and his cronies.

I have to admit that there’s definitely a part of me that wants to believe in the “unfinished business” possibility that Doug mentions. It would be truly special to see a redemption of sorts for the golden era Kings.

Bobby’s Summer League coaching stint was really nice to watch. That team played a lot more inspired and together than I’ve seen most Summer League teams play. And I enjoy listening to Doug talk about the game. I think on (Deuce and Mo?)’s podcast he talked about how Davion is a great one-on-one defender, but now he (Doug) will work with him to become a better team defensive player. And I thought he had lots of nice insights to share during his color commentary days (ducks and runs).

Anyway, I hope Sacramento fans and the Kings organization can all enjoy the Hall of Fame ceremony today. It’s pretty unique for us to have 3 personalities tied to our team(s) all go in at the same time. I hope the current players watch it and get inspired. Maybe someone should dig up some tape for them to watch. I remember Chris Webber in one of the first Bee articles after he suited up for the Kings said that he wanted to change the culture….“We are Sacramento, and we’re going to beat you.”

By the way, do you all know who is also getting inducted into the basketball hall of fame today? This time around for his coaching career?

None other than former Kings coach Bill Russell:

…Bill Russell is also being enshrined for his coaching career, making him the fifth person to receive the honor of being a Hall of Famer as both a player and a coach.

comment image

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/28220366/basketball-hall-fame-everything-need-know-class-2021

Last edited 3 days ago by Kosta
murraytant
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
September 11, 2021 9:57 am
Reply to  Kosta

Bobby has grown into the job- worked hard at it and it is now showing. But it took years.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
September 11, 2021 10:11 am
Reply to  murraytant

Jamal Crawford says Doug’s been doing it for years tho!

Last edited 3 days ago by Kosta
Hozr
Comments
Original Member
Comments
Original Member
September 12, 2021 9:01 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Everything Bill Russel said always went over Jerry’s head.

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
September 11, 2021 11:20 am
Reply to  RikSmits

 It is hard to shake the feeling that this is just a copy of Vivek’s previous MO.

Yes, but unlike Vlade as GM, DC13 is eminently qualified to share his basketball wisdom withn these younger players. Assistant coaches matter, yes, but more to the player development program. I could see plenty of NBA teams without the connection the Kings have to Doug hiring him to do what he’s doing now. The stakes with Doug as an assistant vs Vlade as GM just aren’t even remotely the same.

 I wonder if Walton really wanted him on his staff, whether he is a ownership plant, whether he is mainly a hire to make the fan base happy and/or he will be the choice to supplant Walton because he is inexperienced, cheap and not inlikely to give a hometown discount.

I wonder about the Walton angle, too. But I doubt it’s to replace Walton as HC. If that’s McNair’s call, I would suspect Gentry is named interim if it comes to that.

As far as keeping the fanbase happy, I don’t think the fanbase was so happy with Vlade and I doubt Doug being an assistant placates many fans if any.

Guess we’ll see. I like the way Jerry said it: Bobby and Doug being named to their respective positions might have not been for the right reasons or using the right criteria, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a reasonable expectation that it might end up on the right side of things anyway.

Last edited 3 days ago by Kingsguru21
murraytant
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
September 11, 2021 9:55 am

DC is a nice and decent man. He was a good NBA player, noted for teamwork, intensity and defense. He was a good “locker room guy”.
He seems to want to teach and talk basketball.
Can he be organized and disciplined enough to coach basketball beyond his own anecdotes and beyond his own personal experiences ?
Coaching is different than talking, than telling stories, than giving advise. Coaching will require some study, some gathering of universal information, of exploring other systems and schemes than what he was exposed to and will require the skills that professional teachers acquire in their long and extensive training.
This is more than just going out and saying “this is what I did”. It will require film study, hands on and a plan to address each player somewhat differently.
I think he knows intuitively that defense is different for Fox than for Bagley- different skills and techniques customized to position and to body type + skill. I think he knows how to reach all different kinds of individuals. I think he knows teamwork. I think he will get the attention of the players.
I think he will have to study other coaches and other schemes- Larry Brown, Thibs, Chuck Daley. I think he will have to learn how to be a better teacher. how to balance the silliness with firmness, how to convert jargon into action words, how to be a coach and not a best friend/buddy.
I think he can do it but he will have to “learn into” the job. There will be a time when he has to choose between buddy and coach with firm expectations, a time when he has to study and learn from coaches and schemes from the past. It is not all in his head right now.
I do beliive he can do it.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
September 11, 2021 9:58 am
Reply to  murraytant

Doug can’t help it. The dude next to him is a buddy.
comment image

Last edited 3 days ago by Kosta