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Denver’s playoff win reminds Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, and Isaiah Thomas what could have been

Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, and Isaiah Thomas reflect on what could have been if the Kings hadn't fired Michael Malone.

NBA fans were treated to a nail-biting Game 7 on Tuesday, as the Denver Nuggets barely held on to defeat the Utah Jazz. Denver had trailed the series 3-1 but managed to come back and advance to the second round of the playoffs.

The Nuggets, of course, are coached by Michael Malone. Malone, you may recall, was the head coach of the Sacramento Kings once upon a time. He was Vivek Ranadive's first and best hire, but was fired by Pete D'Alessandro in 2014. The Kings had started that season going 9-6, but DeMarcus Cousins missed time with viral meningitis and the Kings had slipped to 11-13. D'Alessandro used that as his excuse to fire Malone.

(Pause for a second to reflect that a Kings GM thought being two games under .500 while missing your best player was a good reason to fire the coach)

Malone's firing caused a rift between the roster and the team that never fully healed. DeMarcus Cousins despised the front office and George Karl, Malone's eventual replacement. Rudy Gay had just signed an extension to stay in Sacramento, in part because he wanted to continue playing for Malone. The extension had been agreed to just a month before the Kings fired Malone.

This is all ancient history at this point, but those wounds remain for the players who felt they were building something special in Sacramento. After the game Rudy tweeted about what might have been, and other Kings quickly chimed in.

Ok, I'm going to go cry now.

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Aykis16
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Nostradumbass 13
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Nostradumbass 13
September 2, 2020 9:23 am

I still can’t get over the fact that Pete D’Alessadro didn’t think it was worth keeping Isaiah Thomas (a 24 year old who had just averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists a game in his 3rd NBA season) especially when he was a Restricted Free Agent. Instead he wanted a “pass first” Point Guard and spent money on Darren Collison, who in his entire career never averaged more than 6 assists in a season or averaged more than 16.1 points a game.

Falconsfury
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September 2, 2020 9:27 am
Reply to  Aykis16

Good thing Vivek surrounds himself with people smarter than himself

beephop
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September 2, 2020 11:46 am
Reply to  Falconsfury

I honestly believe he does surround himself with people much smarter than him. It’s easy, he’s not very smart you guys…

Murf
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September 2, 2020 9:35 am
Reply to  Aykis16

Even if he didn’t rate IT, its that he failed to get anything of value for him if he didn’t want him on the Kings roster

RORDOG
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September 2, 2020 10:34 am
Reply to  Aykis16

I wish they would’ve kept them both.

Otis
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