Seven games into the NBA season,and the Kings are off to a bad start,as predicted by many and by design,if you will.
The latest result,a 101-83 loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Kings dropped to 1-6 and have the third worst record in the league at press time. Many fans are distraught,disappointed and angry that the team isn’t winning,and you could argue that many of them are still missing a guy by the name of DeMarcus Cousins,wishing that he was still there and wishing that the team hadn’t gotten rid of him at the trade deadline in February. Some fans are even trying convince other fans that Cousins is coming back to Sacramento.
What isn’t being realized by those fans who wish Cousins was still here is the fact that the trade was made to give the team a clean slate and do what they should’ve done the last 11 seasons,and that’s a proper rebuild,and that’s what’s happening right now,and it doesn’t start or even get done if Cousins doesn’t get shipped out.
This team has a lot of young talent that are just starting their NBA journeys. This is the first season for De’ Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, and Frank Mason III. Harry Giles has yet to make his NBA debut. Bogdan Bogdanovic is also in his first season in the NBA, but not as a pro. Toss in second year players in Skal Labissiere, Giannis Papagiannis, Buddy Hield,and Malachi Richardson and you’ve got what is a project where the team is building a foundation to teach these young kids responsibility, accountability,and trying to establishing relationships with these players.
We’re seven games in and a lot of fans are as impatient as I’ve ever seen them with a group of guys,many of whom are just starting out in the league and it kind of makes me wonder if these fans have it in them to be patient as these young guys get more seasoned in the next couple of years to come.
Yes,there’s going to be losing in a rebuild,and a lot of it. But the hope is that these losses can be purposeful in that they need to use the losses to teach lessons that will build character in these young players. Take your own job,for example. You didn’t go into it knowing everything you know now,did you? Of course not. These rookies and even some of these sophomores are going through those growing pains,too.
I get it,it’s frustrating that the Kings have been seemingly losing forever and a return trip to the postseason is long to be desired. I’d like to see that,too,as would Vlade Divac and Dave Joerger. But the thing is,there really hasn’t been a true rebuild on this team for as long as they’ve been missing the postseason. It’s been just a bunch of patchwork rosters that haven’t won more than 33 games in a single season during this time. To me,this is the first year of that rebuild and honestly, I’m fine with how it’s going right now. I’m fine with veteran players like Zach Randolph and Vince Carter taking a game off here and there so that younger players can get starts and/or more minutes. I’m fine with the approach this team is taking and their 1-6 record at this point is almost not a surprise to me.
There’s a reason that Divac and Joerger are signed for two more seasons,and it’s because this team is rebuilding. I can hang a couple more seasons to watch this team grow and learn their way in this league. I understand that for some fans,it’s a hard pill to swallow and for them,that’s their cross to bear. If you want them to finish 38-44 every year and 10th in the West, that’s up to you. But if you have the stomach for them to win 25-30 games at best and have something good brewing with their rookies, I think the wins they do get will be much sweeter for you.
Hang in there, Kings fans. Things are going to be fine!