Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Time for Joe and Gavin Maloof to take a stand and save the Kings

Okay, it's time for the older brothers to make a stand.

Where are you, Joe and Gavin?  Kings nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Why have you disappeared?

And why are you letting your weasel younger brother seemingly hijack the operation of the team?

Joe and Gavin Maloof used to be the faces of the franchise.  Young, energetic owners with a passion for basketball.  They  rooted with unrestrained gusto at courtside during the glory years.  They answered the phone when fans called.  They lived and breathed customer service.

But now they are invisible.  Why?

Are they not considered competent enough to run the franchise?  

Why has George, who presided over the business swoon of the Palms Casino, become the man in charge of the Kings?  Was it always this way and we just didn't know?

You have to wonder what Joe and Gavin are thinking, but they hardly speak anymore.  Do they want the team to remain in Sacramento?  Sure seemed like it when they did their premature dance at midcourt with Kevin Johnson before the ill-fated Sacramento arena deal exploded in a gory mess.

It's not too late for the boys to make a stand.  

It's not too late to turn this slow-motion community tragedy into a momentous victory for a city that has given its life blood to a franchise for 25 years.

It's not too late to regain your reputation.

Tell George to step aside.

Go back to Mayor Johnson and make a deal.

This is your team.

Act like it.

Make it happen.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Kings don't care anymore. Why should we?

Wow, that was fast.

A season down the drain in less than 10 games.

Even for the Kings, that's pretty damn impressive. What happens now is all about the ugly.

Attendance at Sleep Train Arena will continue to plummet.  Fan interest, already at an all-time low, will continue to wane.  And the players - that collection of ill-fitting, selfish, immature youngsters - will begin to implode.

But nothing will happen.

This might easily become the greatest train wreck in sports history.

Fire Keith Smart?  Doubtful.  The team has no money to hire a real coach and they just gave the guy an extension.

Make a huge trade?  Laughable.  That would entail Geoff Petrie actually rising from a decade-long nap.  And owners who are engaged.  Hint: They ain't.

The Kings have become a debacle of the highest order.

Professional sports should bring pride and passion and buzz to a city.  They should not make you feel sad.

But that's what happening right now.

Deep in the bowels of the arena, the truth is known.  Nobody seems to care.  Not the players.  Not the team management.

And if they don't care, why should we?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Can Petrie be charged with sports franchise malpractice?

Can team officials be charged with sports franchise malpractice?

Because that's exactly what should happen to the Kings' Geoff Petrie.

What he's done to this franchise over the page few years is a downright embarrassment.  A team that a decade ago prided itself on passing, ball movement, and team play has become the NBA's poster child for selfishness. 

And you can lay the blame at the feet of Petrie.

For some some reason, he fell in love with gunners. 

Tyreke Evans.   Aaron Brooks.  Marcus Thornton.  DeMarcus Cousins.  Jimmer Fredette.

None of them has ever shown the slightest interest in sharing the ball, but Petrie thought it was a brilliant idea to collect them all and shove them in front of a coach with no clue how to tame them.

That coach - Keith Smart - is not going to turn things around.  He is overmatched as a strategist and motivator.  Yet Petrie decided to hand him a contract extension during the offseason.

Petrie has been living off a few clever moves from more than 12 years ago.  But he is no longer considered an upper-echelon front-office guy.

He still hasn't found a small forward for the team, despite years of nothing at that position.  His acquisition of John Salmons last year was one of the worst personnel moves in NBA history.  And don't get me started on Travis Outlaw.

 The point-guard position is still weak, despite my soft spot for Isaiah Thomas.  Nobody on the team is capable of running  a simple pick-and-roll and setting up a teammate.

Cousins is considered a bright spot, but if the first few games are any indication, he is still a ticking time bomb, supremely moody and seemingly incapable of playing the game without making surly faces at every perceived slight.   

It's sad.  It's pathetic.  And it's time to point the finger at the man who is most responsible for this disaster.

Mr. Petrie, come take a bow.