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Chainmail: Fan therapy session

The Kings are no fun. Let’s talk about it!

Welcome back to Chainmail! The last time we posted a mailbag, the Kings had just won their fourth game in a row, and at least half of us had foolishly bought into the team, despite knowing that we should know better. And look where that got us!

The Kings are now mired in a seven-game losing streak, even though they’re legitimately trying to win, and things haven’t looked worse at any point this season. Luke Walton has stubbornly stuck 2.2 point per game scoring maestro Moe Harkless into the starting lineup for likely Rookie of the Year Tyrese Haliburton for reasons unknown (i.e. he’s the worst coach in the NBA), and he also recently benched Richaun Holmes down the stretch of an important game.

After riding the fence at the trade deadline and not making any major moves to win or to shed salary or to tank or to do literally anything at all, Kings GM Monte McNair has done nothing and said nothing since the seven-game losing streak began. Luke Walton is still employed, the bad vets are still playing over the young players despite there being no real hope of the play-in, and we’re still pretending that there’s a plan in place.

On the flip side, De’Aaron Fox has been incredible on the offensive side of the floor all season, and especially lately. He’s the only Kings player in the Sacramento era to average over 25 points and over 7 assists in a season, and he’s at almost 30 points per game over his last 19 games. Unfortunately, Sacramento is clearly lacking leadership from both the coaching staff and from the players inside the locker room, and Fox doesn’t seem anywhere near ready to take on that role, despite his status as the franchise’s cornerstone player.

In a little bit of good news, at least Marvin Bagley is with the team, cheering on his guys while he recuperates, and isn’t sitting at home with dad. Oh...oh wait...sorry...well, there’s no good news.

Now get to asking so we can get to answering!

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April 13, 2021 9:34 am

Can the NBA retroactively give Joerger the COY award for somehow winning 39 games with this organization?

April 13, 2021 12:20 pm
Reply to  1951

But they were “a super team — just young.”

April 13, 2021 9:37 am

Is there something more important for this team than showing up for a game?

April 13, 2021 9:49 am

Tyrese games in April have been a bit disappointing.

How much of that is Tyrese hitting the rookie wall, and how much is it that opponents focused more on him and/or figured him out?

Also, with all our rumbling about Luke benching him, could it be an attempt by the FO/coaches to actually boost his ROY campaign? Playing more against bench players should have helped Tyrese, in theory.

April 13, 2021 9:54 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It has been a pretty precipitous decline, at least in RPM – he is now rated 71st (out of 90 point guards) overall. And last in defense (Fox is 84th in defense).

Could be the rookie wall, could be that injury is lingering, could be that the league has started focusing on him and he hasn’t figured it out yet. I still have a lot of confidence in his future, and still would like to see him as the primary ballhandler more often when he’s on the floor with Fox.

Last edited 1 month ago by Otis
April 14, 2021 7:40 am
Reply to  Otis

Could be de-moralized after being benched again for no good reason

April 13, 2021 9:49 am

What needs to happen for the kings to play Woodward, Ramsey, Guy, and James?

April 13, 2021 11:13 am
Reply to  02kingsfan

Directive from the FO to Luke.
I’m guessing the FO directive (Vivek) is keep playing the vets to try and make the play-in.

April 13, 2021 10:05 am

Right now the only hope I can find is in a fox/haliburton backcourt and luck in the lottery…where else can I find hope?

April 13, 2021 12:44 pm
Reply to  Peja


April 13, 2021 8:05 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

The biggest hope is that we can somehow bring him back.

April 13, 2021 10:06 am

I don’t understand the snottiness about Harkless’ numbers when they’re primarily based on the eleven games he played in Miami, averaging under twelve minutes a game. He’s been providing excellent energy here, particularly on the defensive end.

One can argue that he should or shouldn’t be starting, but citing his points per game for this season is a pretty disingenuous tack to take.

April 13, 2021 10:08 am

Is Damian Jones really so much better at redirecting straight-line drives to the rim than anyone else that has played Center for the Kings this year? Or was it just that the Pelicans were exhausted from taking so many uncontested trips down the lane during the first half of last night’s game?

April 13, 2021 10:10 am
Reply to  Jman1949

He really showed some nice ability to stay in front of ballhandlers, and provided real rim protection. Adams was getting rebounds in his sleep until Jones came in, at which point he was largely a non-factor.

No clue about his abilities on offense, but it was nice having a mobile center-sized center in the paint.

April 13, 2021 10:29 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Hard to tell. I think the second half Pelicans performance was a team on the second night of a b2b taking their foot off the pedal.

April 13, 2021 10:12 am

If you were to introduce movies to someone who had never seen a movie before and you had to pick:

  1. A comedy guaranteed to make them laugh
  2. A movie guaranteed to scare them
  3. A movie guaranteed to blow their mind

What would your three picks be?

What, you think I’m going to ask about these dreadful, awful, terrible, no good, boneheaded, worthless, spineless, manipulative Kings?

April 13, 2021 10:20 am

Man, I believe that there are no guarantees when it comes to tastes. Something I would’ve thought everyone would like…not everyone likes. I don’t think there’s any youtube video that doesn’t have at least 1 downvote (unless it hasn’t been up for very long). I mean, even Jman’s brilliant, fun limericks get a downvote every so often. I bet our old ever-optimist friend on the old site would get downvoted now by someone.

But I’d love to see people’s recommendations still! 😀

April 13, 2021 10:29 am
  1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb “Gentlemen. You can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!”
  2. Hereditary 😣
  3. Coherence
April 13, 2021 10:41 am
Reply to  ajon_es

Can’t agree more on Coherence. Fantastic movie that will leave you puzzled for days

April 13, 2021 11:07 am
Reply to  ajon_es

Hereditary was fun!

April 13, 2021 10:38 am

Good questions, thought-provoking.

  1. Tough one. I’d go with Caddyshack or There’s Something About Mary. There’s enough physical comedy in either that understanding the context wouldn’t be a big deal.
  2. Blair Witch Project is pretty effective in the literal sense, although Gattaca is pretty frightening in its broader implications.
  3. Off the top of my head, Memento. The Usual Suspects or Fight Club also have nice twists, but I’m clearly showing my generational biases.
April 13, 2021 10:44 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Intriguing, Gattaca is one of my favorite sci-fi movies and I never would have thought of it as scary/horror, but I guess it could be a sort of future horror? It’s clearly dystopian, perhaps a horror in the same way Blade Runner and Planet of the Apes could be considered horror movies.

April 13, 2021 11:09 am
Reply to  andy_sims

The Gattaca swimming scene/metaphor is lovely.

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April 13, 2021 12:25 pm

#3 because I often just laugh at myself while I scare others, but I always love to be blown.

April 13, 2021 2:21 pm

1 Caddyshack
2 The Shining
3 2001 A Space Odyssey

April 13, 2021 2:44 pm
Reply to  Marty

Good calls on 2 & 3. I can’t praise #1 because I said the same thing and don’t want to get into the whole self-congratulatory thing.

April 13, 2021 6:23 pm

1) Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds has become a American hero.

2) Insidious. THAT jump scare scene alone, but excellent movie overall.

3) Se7en. WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!?!?! Also, my personal favorite Interstellar 🤯

April 13, 2021 8:13 pm
  1. Tommy Boy
  2. Candyman or The Ring
  3. Memento
April 15, 2021 2:47 pm
  1. The Hangover
  2. The Ring
  3. The Matrix
April 13, 2021 10:14 am

Q: Why do you stick around? (Asking everyone)

Yes, for some it’s probably more about the TKH community at this point than the actual basketball team, but I’m sure there are other places for folks to find friendship and/or forums to talk about interests/hobbies.

We make fun of our “Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown” tradition of always coming back to see if things change, but 15 years is a big chunk of your life, and is there even a light at the end of the tunnel?

Any kid born at the start of the playoff drought is now in high school and probably learning how to drive a car. Any big dog (like a Malamute) born at the start of the playoff drought is probably dead. Some fans who were far from retirement at the start of the drought are now thinking about retirement life. Some fans are thinking about how much time they have left in life and how they might not get to see a Sacramento Kings championship in their lifetime (or even another WCF).

Some days I have spent the majority of my waking hours reading/commenting about the Kings online. If I would’ve spent all that time learning the Theremin I probably could’ve been a professional Thereminist by now.

Not saying we should all get off of here and quit. I won’t. Just wondering and curious. Not trying to shame anyone, as I’m in the same boat.

Maybe for my answer: It’s just become a habit.
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Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
April 13, 2021 10:28 am
Reply to  Kosta

It’s funny you mention it, my daughter (who just turned 18) walked in while I was watching the game last night – she got pretty excited to see Isaiah check into the game for the Pelicans!

She was three or so the last time the Kings made the playoffs, so she missed out on the really good Kings teams. But she met IT at a signing he did in EDH when she was 10, and she was a huge Rudy Gay fan as well (the only Kings jersey we ever bought her). We had seats one year right near the radio booth and got there early and Gary Gerould sat down for a couple minutes in front of us and chatted. So there was a time when she was really locked into the team, and was always bugging me to buy tickets and take her to the games.

Last night, she said she didn’t recognize any of the names on the current roster. And she hasn’t watched a Kings game in years. So whether it’s my lack of pushing, or just fatigue with the losing and roster churn, the franchise has kind of lost her. Makes me wonder if that’s a problem across the fanbase, or simply anecdotal.

And Netflix ruined Cobra Kai! Send it back to YouTube! 🙂

April 13, 2021 10:31 am
Reply to  Otis

I do think this franchise is in real danger of losing the next generation of fans who haven’t seen them any sign of success. I have no idea how the team gets itself out of the hole it’s dug itself.

April 13, 2021 1:01 pm
Reply to  Otis

My daughters are 2.5 and 9 months old. I hope someday they will ask me to take them to games. I wouldn’t even care how bad they were either.

April 13, 2021 1:02 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

**how bad the kings are** lol. Not my daughters.

April 13, 2021 1:03 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

LOL, I think it works both ways.

April 13, 2021 1:07 pm
Reply to  Otis

I won’t argue with that!

April 14, 2021 8:46 am
Reply to  Otis

My son turned 18 in August. Same story.

April 13, 2021 10:33 am
Reply to  Kosta

The answer for me is a combination of this community, habit, and the sheer entertainment of the drama. As soon as Joerger was fired, I stopped following and treating the team as a sports team to root for and more as a soap opera in the background to make me chuckle at their absurdity. The Kings have become a sort of zany sitcom that you’ve seen every episode of at least five times where you know exactly what’s going to happen, but you still laugh at the jokes because they’re just that funny.

April 13, 2021 2:26 pm

I think that’s a pretty damn good description SMF.

April 14, 2021 8:48 am

Did you mean, “As soon as Malone was fired…”?

April 13, 2021 10:34 am
Reply to  Kosta

I think it’s a combination of things for me.

This community, stubborness, loyalty, not wanting to become a bandwagoneer elsewhere, the irrational hope that if they one day make it, it will be so much sweeter, the even more irrational fear that they will become relevant the moment I turn my back on them, this community, habit, the sometimes unabashed pleasure of complaining and ranting, unwillingness to admit defeat (especially towards my wife), plain stupidity and a bit of masochism.

Did I mention this community yet?

Last edited 1 month ago by RikSmits
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April 13, 2021 10:41 am
Reply to  Kosta

I stick around for your GIFs, Kosta.

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April 13, 2021 11:36 am
Reply to  Klam

In all seriousness…

Aside from this awesome community (which I have been a part of since 2013) and the fantastic articles by the writers, I guess for me it’s a combination of hometown pride. I unfortunately wasn’t really into the Kings that much when they were good (I only started following them the year the MISSED the playoffs for the first time since 1998), but my Mom and Dad (especially my Dad) were big fans. Even before they were good my parents followed the team, especially considering it was the only major league sports team in my hometown. I love talking with my Dad about sports in general, as he follows the Niners, SF Giants, and A’s as well. I love discussing how the Kings are currently doing (even if it means laughing and making fun of them), and I love talking to him about old Kings stories he has to share. When we watched The Last Dance he pointed out to me several players that were interviewed that were part of the Kings at one point, as well as when they would show the Kings/ARCO Arena in certain clips.

I guess no matter how bad things have been and how much the team continues to disappoint, I’ve stuck with them for this long, and I suppose whenever that day comes when the team is good again, it will make those moments even more worth it.

April 13, 2021 10:50 am
Reply to  Kosta

I’m here because I root for the team (including to tank), and this is far and away the best place for content about them.

My original favorite teams remain as such: Reds, Bengals, tOSU, Dayton Flyers, and Ohio Bobcats. These were the teams that I would watch while sitting by my father, from the time I was able to be propped up on the couch. I may not be as invested in the outcomes as I was when I was a kid, but I’m no fair weather fan.

And since I didn’t have an NBA team when I came to Sacramento, I adopted the Kings. For better or worse, I’ve been able to really get the same feel for the team as fans going back to the eighties: Brief moments of real joy, surrounded by years and years of disappointment. The only way I’d quit on one of my teams is if they relocated, which I would see as a betrayal.

Plus a lot of you are kind of funny, and keep me on my toes. This site and its predecessor have attracted some very bright and insightful people.

April 13, 2021 11:00 am
Reply to  Kosta

Just to remind you all that Steph Curry showed up on draft night wearing a purple tie.

April 13, 2021 11:14 am
Reply to  eddie41

No, seriously, it’s because the first team I followed was that team with CWebb and Vlade. But now it has taken on a whole new absurd significance where half the fan base prays for losses. Fans angry at each other because they are not really unified in purpose of whether they should win or lose a game.

April 13, 2021 11:15 am
Reply to  Kosta

I don’t watch the games or the NBA anymore, But I still follow it passively via news, occasional pod whilst driving and coming here for some takes.
The older I get, the less interest I have watching dudes run back and forth trying to put a ball in a hole. Aliens must think we’re stupid for wasting time on such a thing.

April 13, 2021 2:24 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Dude, have you seen, Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey?

It’s incredible.

April 13, 2021 2:53 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I’ve been asking myself this for years. More so in recent years. A lot of it is TKH community. Even though I just stated posting, I’ve been lurking and reading everything on this site and the other VOX site (Eff them) for the better part of a decade.

In truth. I’m a kings fan. I’ve been a kings fan since my first game at the original Arco in 1987 and always will be. Stupid heart wants what it wants. They sucked back then too!! So I don’t really need them to be successful, I’ll always be there with tears welling up in my eyes when the season ends. I would like some hope that they could be good one day. I have very little hope left in the tank though. Only enough hope left to hope for more hope.

C’mon KANGZ!!!! Get your shit together!

April 15, 2021 2:55 pm
Reply to  Kosta

TBH, I haven’t watched a single game this season. I catch the highlights/lowlights on YouTube, and read the recaps and analysis here. This team is like an aging, washed-up band that was popular 20 years ago. The members are all different, but the songs never change. They just suck.

April 13, 2021 10:58 am

1) Is there a way for the Kings to shift the chairman/CEO/oversight of the team from Vivek to one of the other owners through some internal voting mechanism? Or is Vivek an outright owner of the team and here to stay unless he sells his share of the team?

April 13, 2021 11:16 am
Reply to  mthai

If there was, guessing it would have been done by now. The minority owners can’t be happy with Vivek’s stewardship, my guess is they have no authority to do anything.

April 13, 2021 11:29 am

Last night when the kings were down 20 in the second quarter, I had a weird sensation, I felt a little joy for the first time in a long time while watching this team. I actually enjoyed watching them getting embarrassed and getting their asses kicked.
What is wrong with me? Where do I go from here?

April 13, 2021 11:53 am
Reply to  Marty

Most likely, you’re just a pragmatist.

I still root for them to win when I’m watching, but my brain knows that this team probably needs a deeper level of rock bottom to get Walton out, much less Vivek.

April 13, 2021 12:23 pm
Reply to  Otis

Oh yes I am VERY practical for sure.

April 15, 2021 2:56 pm
Reply to  Marty

You understand that they should lose, because they deserve to lose–especially (IMHO) the coach and the owner.

April 13, 2021 12:00 pm

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April 13, 2021 12:22 pm

New test

April 13, 2021 12:33 pm

What is TKH’s honest reason why this team has two separate 7-1 stretches, but also is 8-30 outside of those two stretches? I don’t believe in the early season reason of “we caught injured teams” because this was the same narrative last year as well. Why has this team been the epitome of Jekyll and Hyde the past 2 seasons? I say this is a coach thing, what say you?

April 13, 2021 12:52 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Most mediocre to bad basketball teams have stretches of good play, although I don’t remember many as roller-coasterish as this crew.

It probably amounts to defense. They are an upper-tier offensive team in the NBA this season. So if they produce a stretch of decent team defense, they can win some games as the offense shows up most nights.

For instance, when they had the 7-1 run in late January/early February, they were 11th in the league in Defensive Rating during that stretch. During the 9 game losing streak that directly followed, they were 30th. In their second 7-1 run, they were 18th. And in their last 7 games, they are 26th.

Of course, it could simply be a quirk of the schedule, opponent injuries, matchups, etc.

Last edited 1 month ago by Otis
April 13, 2021 12:35 pm

If a couple of those 3s fall for Fox, he brings us all the way back. The guy is incredible. The future with him is rosy AF. We have our superstar, Haliburton is having a better year than our superstar and the days are counting down to this coach being in charge. He is so gone and it will be a glorious day in Kings Land in Fluke gets the boot!

Imagine what we can do when McGenius gets us a coach as good as he got a player in last years draft?!

And with Damion Jones, he may have struck again!

One of the most precious commodities in the NBA is the player who can defend on inside and outside. Bagley can’t do it. Willie couldnt do it. Cousins couldn’t. Whitside can’t. Holmes can. Barnes can.

Harkless has been showing a little can-do spirit taking on Donovan and Zion in consecutive games so I take back my prior criticisms. (Unlike other fans on this forum, I may modify my assessment based on new real-time data!) Metu has a little bit of this attribute too.

Jones is bigger than Metu, and he looks bigger than Adams! He runs the floor tirelessly, he has good awareness (unlike Marvin) of where the pressure is coming from and where the open man is so he is not trying to force anything.

It is a surprise Jones could not catch on with LAL or PHX but I guess their bigs are set.

It is SO obvious our winning recipe is put a bunch of defensive role players around Fox, Ty and HB, with just enough scoring punch. This recipe excludes Marvin and Buddy. In fact, after the first half in which Fox and Ty were listless and awful, we looked like a real team on both ends in the second half.

Yes, the Pelicans probably let up and let us back in but we were cohesive in a way that has been conspicously lacking when Buddy and Marvin are on the floor, one or both, getting in the way of team synergy. It is so obvious.

It is a shame Terrence Davis is mired in a terrible and horrendous slump after his 27 point explosion. I wonder if his emotional moment after he said “the world is against him” or whatever distracted him mentally and emotionally from the task at hand. I suspect it did.

But it is a pleasant surprise that this coach is showing patience and confidence in him. He would have benched Kyle Guy for a dozen games DNP-CD for 1/2 the transgressions.

Since his big game in which he looked like a budding star (10-14 FGs, 7-10 on 3s), the potential I still think he has, Davis is 3 for 23 in FGs, that is only 13% shooting! But Davis plays aggressive D that included getting a steal off a missed FT and putback layup. We need that and we need that kind of play. This is the difference between Davis and Buddy. Davis at his worst can still keep you in a game. Buddy at his worst will torpedo the whole team.

So though losing streak is sad and pathetic, it is a blessing in disguise if it occurs in the context of justifying the firing of this coach, Fox establishing his greatness, and McGenius getting three potential core players for FREE going into next season: Davis, Wright and Jones.

Fans should be excited about Jones, the guy is good and knows his role and wants to play his role, he knows his limitations and seems to play within them, and he fills a huge need for us, but if you are just accustomed to bemoaning the past and intent on the past repeating itself you fail to notice these bright developments.

April 13, 2021 12:51 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

If those are core players get ready for more 30 win seasons !

April 13, 2021 12:58 pm

If commenting goes down again, what do I do with my free time?

April 13, 2021 1:06 pm

Am I the only one that loves Metu (but thinks he’s being played out of position)?

April 13, 2021 6:25 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

If only Metu was a legit 6’11 but I think he’s a literal 6’8″ listed at 6’9″ so too small for center, not quick enough to play modern 4.

April 13, 2021 1:13 pm

When do we billboard again?

April 13, 2021 2:02 pm

This offseason, Luke Walton is fired. Gregg Popovich demands a release from his contract with the Spurs as he has always dreamt of coaching in Sacramento. No other roster changes are made besides adding the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft. How many games does the team win next season?

April 14, 2021 8:14 am
Reply to  LetsGoSac

less than the Spurs win this year. The roster stinks and until that changes the record will remain where it’s been for the last decade.. Remember, we’ve had coaches who succeeded elsewhere and failed here and we had coaches who failed here and subsequently has success elsewhere.

If you look back on history, just one good move in several failed drafts would have changed the franchise for a decade. The obvious failure was the draft where they picked Bagley No. 2. Sure they should have picked Luka but what’s never mentioned is that they could have made the same trade Atlanta made with Dallas and got Bagley and a first round pick the following year. The year they picked Fox in a loaded draft they made a big mistake at 10. They traded out of that position and drafted Justin Jackson and Harry Giles when they could have drafted Adebayo or Donovan Mitchell. They’ve had their draft opportunities and failed miserably. They have also failed badly in free agency overpaying for declining veterans ZZbo, George Hill, Dedmon, Joesph, Ariza and others.

Cleaning up the colossal mess created by Vlade will take some time but we have to do better than what we did near the trade deadline. A couple of good smart moves and the Kings can get to respectability but I’m not sure this management group has it in them.

April 13, 2021 6:30 pm

Wow, once again there’s WAY too much positivity in Vivek-land.

The Kings will have a worse record next year. They have had (and have wasted) a large advantage this season. They have mostly played with a full roster — far fewer than the average number of games lost to injury or Covid protocols or rest. Among players who actually see regular court time, there’s only Bagley’s current injury and an occasional game missed here or there by Fox or Haliburton or Holmes. They’ve routinely suited up against opponents with three or more starters and key rotation players out.

This advantage isn’t going to magically repeat next year. Even if other things improve — you know, coaching, say — the Kings will have a harder time winning next year.

Consider the Timberwolves — a truly sorry franchise. Their three best players, KAT, Russell and Beasley have missed 21, 31 and 18 of their 55 games so far this season. What would the Kings have looked like had Fox, Holmes and Haliburton been out that much? And Minnesota is far from the leader in having players miss time.

April 13, 2021 8:04 pm

Which players on our current roster do you expect to still be on the team come Game 1 of the ‘21-‘22 season?

April 13, 2021 8:33 pm

Now that the Kings have clearly entered familiar tanking (albeit without tanking) territory again…which teams should we be rooting for and why? Should we just move to baseball or hockey? Which draft picks should we start looking at to get our hopes up.

April 13, 2021 11:38 pm

Do you sometimes also regret that the best times for the Kings were so long ago? Not because of the duration itself (which seems somewhat excrutiating), but because all the highlights on Youtube are those grainy videos where you have to guess which player you actually see. Whereas nowadays, you could see Buddy chucking balls in Ultra HD.

April 14, 2021 8:49 am

Why does this feel like a funereal?

April 16, 2021 6:20 am

I vaguely remember a while back there was chatter about bringing a WNBA team back to Sacramento. What was the latest news on that front? Do you think there is still any chance this happens? I want championship basketball back (never forget 2005).

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