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Chainmail: Let’s talk about these Kangzy Kings

You ask, we answer!

Welcome back to Chainmail! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend, and I sincerely hope everyone was able to ignore the dumpster fire that is the Sacramento Kings for at least a few hours and spend some quality time with some friends or family.

Over the past week, the Kings have been their usual selves. Let's recap for those whose minds are still on turkey and green bean casserole:

  • Interestingly enough, the Kings have won three of their six games with Alvin Gentry at the helm, yet no one feels particularly optimistic about this team right now.
  • Last Friday, the Kings beat the Los(ses piling up) Angeles Lakes in triple overtime, despite missing multiple starters. How exciting!
  • Two days later, the KANGZ showed up and they were punked by the Ja Morant-less Memphis Grizzlies, losing by 27 points, and the game wasn't even that close.
  • On Sunday, the Kangziest Kangz arrived, as they built a double-digit halftime lead against the Lakers before a disastrous second-half, including a 40-8 Lakers run that saw the Kings get completely destroyed at home. The arena seemed to support more Lakers fans than Kings fans, as there were chants of "Let's go Lakers" throughout the second half, and Sacramento's players were so pissed that they hugged and joked around with their opponents after the game.
  • On Wednesday evening, the Kings crushed the Los Angeles Clippers, who were missing their only two above-average players (and superstars), Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
  • De'Aaron Fox has been more like himself since Gentry's takeover. Over the last five games, he's averaging 21.6 points, 5.2 assists, and 4 rebounds on 48% shooting from the floor, 38% from deep (4.2 attempts), and 89% from the foul line. There are still obvious moments of invisibility from Fox, especially when the Kings are facing moments of adversity, but at least his per-game numbers are starting to turn a corner.
  • After a better-ish start to the season defensively, the Kings are back to their old ways. They rank 28th in defensive rating, 29th in defensive rebounding rate, 28th in opponent points per game, 30th in opponent second-chance points, and 30th in opponent points in the paint.

Now get to asking, so we can get to answering!

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1951
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December 2, 2021 8:21 am

Can Fox ever be what the Kings need him to be in order to be a true title contender?

RikSmits
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December 2, 2021 10:41 am
Reply to  1951

Do Kings fans even care about being title contenders?

I think almost everyone of us would be content with consecutive 6th seeds.

Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 10:43 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I’d say a good first step would be to reach the playoffs in consecutive years with the idea that the championship is always the goal. Realistically, there’s a bunch of teams out there, the Jazz come to mind, that almost certainly will never win a title but have those aspirations.

It’s one thing to aspire for it, but you have to be realistic and recognize that a lot of winning a title is due to luck, too.

RikSmits
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December 2, 2021 10:48 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

you have to be realistic

Who are you, Logen Ninefingers?

RikSmits
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December 2, 2021 10:04 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Just one other Joe Abercrombie fan?

Sad.

1951
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December 2, 2021 10:56 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, I may be odd because it’s all I care about.

It’s why I am not opposed to tanking and don’t care if the playoff drought extends a few more years.

I just want a competent FO that realizes top-end talent rules this sport. Come up with a plan to get some of that, damnit!

Last edited 9 months ago by 1951
Adamsite
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December 2, 2021 11:13 am
Reply to  1951

I’m with you. If you are not trying for a title then are you even trying? Why should any team’s goal be anything short of winning it all, especially in a salary capped league full of talent.

Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 11:35 am
Reply to  Adamsite

What does aspiring to win a championship have to do with actually winning one?

Adamsite
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December 2, 2021 11:39 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

You have to be aspiring to win a championship to actually win one. Teams don’t back into titles.

Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 11:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I see you don’t have an answer. I figured as much.

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December 2, 2021 11:48 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

So what is your answer?

Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 11:50 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t see what the expectation of winning a championship has anything to do with actually winning one. And I’m curious why you, and others, think there is a correlation.

Last edited 9 months ago by Kingsguru21
Adamsite
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December 2, 2021 11:54 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I don’t see expectation as the same as aspiring. Those two are totally different.

Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 11:55 am
Reply to  Adamsite

If you can’t answer the question, it’s utter and complete bullshit Adam. You’re dancing around that very fact. Put up or shut up.

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December 2, 2021 12:03 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

You’ve totally lost me, Nate?

IMO, the Kings haven’t tried (aspired) to win a championship in well over a decade. They tread water and are now settling for the goal of simply making the playoffs. Hence my comment:

If you are not trying for a title then are you even trying? Why should any team’s goal be anything short of winning it all, especially in a salary capped league full of talent.

I think we are talking about two different things, or at least I don’t understand what you are talking about. I’m throwing in the towel and need a third party to help me figure out what is going on here.

Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 12:05 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Again, this is not about the Kings. It’s very simple: What does aspiring to win a title have to do with winning one?

It’s a simple question and I feel like you cannot answer it. Your answers continue to illustrate such. The issue is the methodology, nothing more.

1951
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December 2, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I don’t want to speak for Adam, but alas …

My understanding, he is equating “aspiring to win a title” with being the strategic goal, even if its execution is a longer term result oriented plan.

And contrasting that with a strategic goal of just getting to the playoffs, with the team building action being more short term result oriented moves.

He and I expressing our preference for strategy A is with the belief that said strategy has a higher probability of “winning one” even acknowledging that other factors (including a lot of luck) will likely be needed to actual get there.

Now, maybe I am flubbing up this whole convo, but alas (again) …

Last edited 9 months ago by 1951
Adamsite
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December 2, 2021 12:44 pm
Reply to  1951

You are correct. In reading my exchange with Nate a few times, I think it comes down to our possible different definitions of “aspire”. For me aspiring to achieve a goal means putting in the effort with thought and determination. It’s goal setting (even if long term) with plan and effort. This is something I don’t think the Kings have done in 15 years.

Maybe for Nate the definition of “aspiring” has more to do with want, then than effort. I can “want/aspire” to be a doctor but if I can’t pass my GE classes, it don’t mean shit. If this is the case, I see his point because wanting to win a championship has little to do with winning a championship.

Semantics, I guess?

Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 12:49 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Semantics, I guess?

This is not a semantic issue Adam, it’s a pragmatic one. How can you possibly aspire to be a championship team if you aren’t ever in the playoffs?

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December 2, 2021 1:41 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I guess it’s about methodology. Philly wasn’t in the playoffs and tanked seasons away to get high draft picks with the long term goal of a championship. Phoenix did it by tanking to #1 pick, going all in with Booker, and traded away two starters and a first rounder for an older by still excellent CP3.

Both of those teams were not in the playoffs and made long term and impactful decisions to aspire to be a championship contenders. I point to those two teams because they didn’t rely on free agency to help them like an L.A. team for Brooklyn. That doesn’t take as much effort, IMO. They made a concerted and strategic changes to compete. I’d argue the Kings haven’t done that since the turn of the century. Floating rudderless in Purgatory Cove is not strategic.

Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 3:34 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

 I’d argue the Kings haven’t done that since the turn of the century. Floating rudderless in Purgatory Cove is not strategic.

I’m curious as to what opportunities the Kings passed up on the way to a potential contender status. Because I’m clearly missing that part of the equation.

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December 2, 2021 7:30 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

It’s not just just opportunities (Luka!) it’s decision making and management. Just in the Vivek era we have 3 GMs and 5 coaches. It’s hard to continuity towards an understood goal when that happens. Hire a quality GM, hand him the keys, step away, sit courtside and sip your cocktail.

For one example, I’ll point to draft pick trading. The Kings have traded 2, yes just two, first round draft picks away in the Sacramento era. The first was by Petrie back in the 90’s when he was building the glory era team, the last was by Vlade…and he did it for cap space. He did not trade the pick to improve the team, but to simply have the cap space to try and improve the team. I think you and I can agree how bad that decision was.

Not once in the Sacramento era has this team traded a pick to improve the roster RIGHT NOW. When you look at contenders, most have done it, regardless of market size.

I’d argue that the Kings have young pieces that aren’t currently working together and they have all of their picks. This is when ballsy GMs make a move to compete. Houston’s has done it. Philly has done it. More recently PXH has done it and the Bulls just did it.

You have to swing if you want a chance at a homerun otherwise you are bunting in hopes of making first.

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December 2, 2021 8:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Adding…

I’ve resigned myself to realizing that this franchise has stopped trying.

That’s it. They don’t try. No risk, no reward. They are the C- student of the NBA. They get away with little effort year after year because they can.

1951
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December 3, 2021 8:04 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Cade, Mobley, Barnes, Edwards, LeMelo, Zion, Ja, to name a few.

By not bottoming out you deny yourself the opportunity to land the players with the most potential to be transformative.

Rese and Mitchell are nice. Love those dudes. But Rese ain’t Ant or LeMelo and Mitchell isn’t in the same tier as Mobley, Barnes and even Cade.

Kingsguru21
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December 3, 2021 1:45 pm
Reply to  1951

Oh. So the Kings have passed on players who have yet to even play 100 games in the league and that’s their major sin.

Got it. I knew it was something like that. I just appreciate you admitting it it’s mostly ‘grass is greener on the other side’ envy or something like that.

1951
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December 3, 2021 2:11 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Cool, so you aren’t trading Rese for Ant or LeMelo right now because “too small a sample size?”

You wouldn’t trade Davian for Mobley, Barnes, or Cade?

Come on, don’t be coy! Of course you are and you know damn well those young prospects aren’t all equal.

1951
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December 3, 2021 2:15 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

And what did we get in return for not prioritizing the draft?

Another year of development and continuity under Walton? How is that plan working out for the Kings?

But sure, let’s just add the next round of Afflalo/ZeBo/Vince Carter/Moe/TT/Temple/[insert meh vet] to our core of non-all stars and keep drafting in the 8-12 range of NBA purgatory every year!

Gotta reach that play-in range some time!

Last edited 9 months ago by 1951
outrider
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December 2, 2021 8:35 am

Why have the Kings whiffed on so many high lottery picks over the years? This spans multiple regimes, so even Petrie is culpable here. Is it bad scouting? Bad luck? Ownership meddling? Sheer stupidity (coughDonciccough)? All of the above?

Part two is more of an exercise than a question. Find legit trades/partners for Fox, Hield, Barnes, Holmes.

Last edited 9 months ago by outrider
TheBanquetBear
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December 2, 2021 8:39 am

Often I think we fall victim to fan bias in overrating our own players and the impact they have on team success. What are some examples of players that have been on the kings that have moved on and had bigger roles with their new teams? Isaiah Thomas is the biggest positive example I can think of, but then I think of players like WCS or Jason Thompson who barely had much of a role after leaving Sacramento. In other words, who were the players that were being kept from their potential by the Kings in this playoff drought?

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December 2, 2021 8:41 am
Reply to  TheBanquetBear

Actually, I figured it out, the answer is Seth Curry

1951
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December 2, 2021 8:55 am
Reply to  TheBanquetBear

Alec Burks is a pretty good example.

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December 2, 2021 9:23 am
Reply to  1951

Ben McLemore had an okay month of playoffs. Hassan Whiteside did well after his first kings stint, but I don’t think of that as our fault. Bogdan is roughly in the same role now on the Hawks. Dewayne Dedmon?

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December 2, 2021 10:42 am
Reply to  TheBanquetBear

McLemore is interesting because he has a smaller role now that he has left the Kings, but has become a better basketball player in his off the bench shooter role.

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December 2, 2021 4:52 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

We have a long and glorious history of expecting/asking role players to do more than they’re capable of.

TheBaker
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December 2, 2021 5:07 pm
Reply to  TheBanquetBear

Gerald Wallace

RockRichmond2
December 3, 2021 9:17 am
Reply to  TheBaker

That didn’t happen during the drought though, did it? My recollection is Wallace never realized his potential here because the teams he was on were 10 players deep so they left him unguarded in the Bobcats expansion draft.

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December 3, 2021 1:55 pm
Reply to  RockRichmond2

He was behind Peja Stojakovic on the depth chart. They let him go, I suspect, because they believed in Kevin Martin (he was drafted in 2004 even though Wallace was already a Bobcat by then) more long term and Speedracer was cheaper for longer, too.

Wallace was let go in the 2004 expansion draft which did, in fact, predate the drought by 3 years. But it’s one of those things some fans just can’t let go.

Last edited 9 months ago by Kingsguru21
RobHessing
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December 3, 2021 2:03 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I don’t think that Martin was with the Kings at that point.

The choice kind of boiled down to Wallace or exposing Webber, and they just didn’t realize at that point that Webber was not going to be much more than a shadow of his former self. Songaila may have been an option, too, but he was actually logging rotation minutes while Wallace was not. One of the things that worked against the Kings was that Vlade Divac was an impending free agent, so they could not count him among the available players on the roster. They had to expose at least one player, and I think that their option boiled down to Wallace, Webber or Songaila.

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December 3, 2021 2:05 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Let me clean this up a little. With Divac leaving, Songaila was projected to play a larger role moving forward, while, to your point, Wallace was behind Peja, and also was an odd fit for that roster and Adelman’s style of play.

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December 3, 2021 2:20 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

And a cherry on top –

The draft allowed each team hold onto up to eight players, but each team had to expose at least one player. The Kings only had eight players under contract for that draft: Webber, Miller, Peja, Christie, Bibby, B-Jax, Songaila and Wallace. So one had to be exposed.

They weren’t at a point to float Webber out there – they were still a 50+ win team at that point. And B-Jax was their 6th man. So it was Wallace or Songaila, and they exposed the guy that had shot 44% from the field and 50% from the line while showing zero perimeter game and no game-specific skill. He could jump out of the gym, though.

The question that I have is how come the Kings didn’t sign Rodney Buford or Jabari Smith to a deal that would have gone through 04-05. They could have then exposed that player and protected Wallace. I guess that’s how little they thought of Wallace.

Kingsguru21
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December 4, 2021 12:21 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Here’s a question: Do you think G Dub would have made much difference if he stayed? I’m of the opinion he needed Charlotte more than they needed him.

Last edited 9 months ago by Kingsguru21
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December 4, 2021 8:14 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I don’t know that he would have ever found the floor that much in Sac. over those next 2-3 years. Those Kings teams were into competing, not development.

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December 4, 2021 12:20 am
Reply to  RobHessing

They had to expose at least one player, and I think that their option boiled down to Wallace, Webber or Songaila.

Right. This is 100% accurate. I was just offering up my supposition that they believed they were going to draft Kevin Martin and believed in him more than Wallace moving forward.

I won’t pretend to know where Martin was mocked that year, but I’ve generally been under the impression that he was taken higher than many thought he would.

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December 4, 2021 8:16 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

It’s a good question. Martin went in the low 20s, so I’d be a bit surprised if the possible drafting of him entered into the equation. But those were Petrie in his prime years, so it’s at least plausible.

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December 4, 2021 8:18 am
Reply to  TheBanquetBear

Hedo.

outrider
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December 2, 2021 8:50 am

Why does talk never translate into results? Players and coaches talk about the need to get better, but we see the the same mistakes and lack of effort over and over and over again.

What can realistically be done with players who don’t put forth effort? (Hi Swipa. What up?) Is trading them the only recourse?

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December 2, 2021 9:39 am
Reply to  outrider

Lack of pride.

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December 2, 2021 10:29 am
Reply to  Hobby916

#SacramentoProud

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December 2, 2021 12:23 pm
Reply to  Kosta

The players apparently haven’t seen that before. Maybe tweet it at some of them and see what happens.

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December 2, 2021 10:43 am
Reply to  outrider

Why does talk never translate into results?

Wait, this is what you want to talk about? What results do you expect it to yield?

Kosta
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December 2, 2021 11:03 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I talk about my need to get off of twitter.

And I only use 280 characters in my talk.

Last edited 9 months ago by Kosta
Marty
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December 2, 2021 11:10 am
Reply to  outrider

accept the talk for what it is and it’s not really a problem.

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December 2, 2021 9:04 am

Why haven’t the Kings ever embraced tanking? Do you think that they just don’t believe it works? Why is the hope of an 8th seed and the inevitable consolation prize of picking 9th more appealing than accepting reality and picking in the top three? Why are the Kings the George Constanza of the sports world?

Marty
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December 2, 2021 11:11 am
Reply to  Yakshi

because it takes COURAGE, not a public relations campaign.

Why haven’t the Kings ever embraced tanking? 

Last edited 9 months ago by Marty Marty
Kosta
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December 2, 2021 11:14 am
Reply to  Marty

The lion’s share of the blame does not lie on Slamson!
comment image

(by the way, that’s a damn impressive leap by the Cowardly Lion. Reminds me of that amazing dive by Rodman way back when.)
comment image

Last edited 9 months ago by Kosta
Daydreamer
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December 2, 2021 12:42 pm
Reply to  Kosta

BTW, this is why Bulls fans loved Rodman, not the cross-dressing.

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December 3, 2021 2:59 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

not that there’s anything wrong with that

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December 3, 2021 3:04 pm
Reply to  Roaddog

!!

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December 3, 2021 8:38 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

comment image

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December 3, 2021 3:08 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Well, Bulls fans didn’t love him for the cross-dressing. But I could (and should) have left that part out.

He was the hardest working and smartest basketball player and so strong in his lower body that he could hold position against Shaq.

Last edited 9 months ago by Daydreamer
ZillersCat
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December 2, 2021 1:56 pm
Reply to  Yakshi

I can’t accept successful loosing as a building block to gaining success in drafting high and winning in the end. The draft is a crap shoot. Sure draft Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr and you win. Your best draft picks may be broken. I follow the successive improvements in building toward a team goal. Throwing your best players out, then loose, to draft better players .. I’m not in it!

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December 2, 2021 3:21 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

I agree. After Jordan left the Bulls they tanked by Jerry Krause’s design to draft Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. That didn’t work. Then, ten years later, they lucked out in the lottery and were able to draft Derrick Rose, then hire Thibs. (Dates and sequence might be a little off.) Then they got better, but not because they tanked by design.

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December 2, 2021 3:37 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer

Luol Deng went 7th in the draft, Jimmy Butler 30th.

Last edited 9 months ago by Daydreamer
Roaddog
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December 3, 2021 2:59 am
Reply to  ZillersCat

I can’t accept your spelling of losing.

RockRichmond2
December 3, 2021 9:19 am
Reply to  Roaddog

Then losen up

Yakshi
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December 2, 2021 9:13 am

If the Kings hosted its own Squid Game, with all of the players, coaches, Monte, and Vivek participating, who is your favorite to win?

sonny
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December 2, 2021 11:33 am
Reply to  Yakshi

Bagley – he’s always out of position, bullets will miss him!

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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December 2, 2021 9:34 am

Can we Kickstarter a fan-owned bid for the team?

Kosta
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December 2, 2021 10:28 am

I’ll throw in $245K.

*dependent on certain outcomes

Gregoryl
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December 2, 2021 9:43 am

The team has embraced the 3-guard line-up, going small, etc., and its not working. Any thoughts on trying a big line-up like Holmes/TT, Holmes/Jones, TT/Jones, etc.?

SMF-PDXConnection
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December 2, 2021 9:58 am

Just how much worse would the situation have to get before we collectively decided we’d be better off turning this into a cooking blog or any other topic besides the Kings for the sake of our sanity?

Kosta
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December 2, 2021 10:26 am

We’d never reach the cookoffs.

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December 2, 2021 10:45 am
Reply to  Kosta

But we’d get all the smoke.
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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 2, 2021 10:44 am

Please don’t give Tim any ideas.

SMF-PDXConnection
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December 2, 2021 10:45 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Tim’s food ideas > Vivek’s basketball ideas.

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December 2, 2021 10:47 am

That isn’t exactly a compliment.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 2, 2021 10:49 am

Yogurt pie vs. 5 on 4? That’s quite a toss up.

Kosta
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December 2, 2021 11:00 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I tossed up!
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ZillersCat
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December 2, 2021 7:05 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Drink plenty of fluids and stop sitting in the front row at Kings games safety Cat..
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Kosta
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December 2, 2021 10:58 am

Time for a Billboard against Tim and his menu meddling?

Last edited 9 months ago by Kosta
Kingsguru21
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December 2, 2021 10:45 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Twitter unfortunately does.

ForKingsandCountry
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December 2, 2021 10:00 am

Does anyone other than Vivek actually matter to the long term success or more likely failure of this organization?

Kosta
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December 2, 2021 10:26 am

Vomit Man, maybe?

I don’t know, I got nothin’.

Klam
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December 2, 2021 11:09 am
Reply to  Kosta

I keep forgetting how that was just the most fitting Kangz ending to Walton’s tenure.

Kosta
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December 2, 2021 10:18 am

This team is on pace to win about 32 games this season. The last Kings team with that record was the 2016-2017 squad under Dave Joerger.

In a matchup via hot tub timemachine, who wins?
comment imagecomment image
(ignore the highlighted names…no reason for the highlight)

Last edited 9 months ago by Kosta
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 2, 2021 10:46 am
Reply to  Kosta

Go to eliminate some players from that second roster. Quite a few of those players were not on the team together. DMC, Buddy, and Tyreke for example.

Kosta
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December 2, 2021 10:56 am
Reply to  Adamsite

D’oh! Haha, I’m stupid.

Yeah, something looked off at first glance. I guess go with the roster that was there at this time of year? (December…so I think DeMarcus is still on the team, not Buddy and cohorts. Plus, it’d be weird seeing Buddy defend alternate universe Buddy.)

Last edited 9 months ago by Kosta
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December 2, 2021 2:21 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Four accused domestic abusers on that 2016-17 team. We’re 75% better today.

Last edited 9 months ago by Carl
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December 2, 2021 10:23 am

If you are not able to get tickets to a game at G1C (say you didn’t get tickets before they stopped selling them) but were in the vicinity of DOCO, where is the best place to watch the game on TV? Is there a bar that most people go to in that area?

Kosta
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December 2, 2021 10:24 am

What do you think the season would have looked like if the Kuzma / Hield trade went through?

Maybe you can also answer for the Divincenzio / Bogdan trade.

Heck, feel free to answer about if the Webber / Richmond trade didn’t go through.