30 Teams, 30 Days
Sacramento Kings Season Preview.
We’re back continuing to preview the Pacific Division with the Sacramento Kings. You can read past previews here.
A man in Sacramento is going to approach you on the street. He will be shifty and he will never look down at his hands. He is going to offer you tickets to an NBA basketball game.
DO NOT TAKE THESE TICKETS.
These tickets are poison. Eye poison. They are not tickets to an NBA basketball game.
Matt Caputo and I went to an Oklahoma City Thunder practice last February. We were there to watch Kevin Durant shoot three-pointers over various teammates we’d recognized from games we’d watch on TV or (usually) players whose names we’d glanced over in a boxscore once.
But we were struggling on one player. There was a guy in a corner, lightly jogging, who we thought was maybe Michael Sweetney. Or, potentially, a condominium. Maybe this man was several houses.
We didn’t know if it was fat or muscle. We thought there was a good chance it was muscle. He could probably only work out his upper-body. He had a kneebrace on that was the size of Canada.
But we were blanking. We didn’t know any 15th-man centers with knee injuries on this team. Number 34? Who was number 34?
It was Desmond Mason, who had bruised his femur and tibia a couple of weeks before and was learning once again how to move around correctly. That was a couple of months ago.
Or, wait, maybe I should say: It was Desmond Mason, the starting small forward for your 2009 Sacramento Kings!
Okay, so, you’ve taken the tickets and your hands are not on fire. Congratulations!
You are now the proud and rightful owner of 2009 Sacramento Kings season tickets. What is wrong with you?
You’re right, maybe we should focus on the positive. I can think of four things right away:
1) If you look up “Desmond Mason is…” on Google, you get this: “Desmond Mason is a horse with wings while the world yearns for Pegasus – his existence not nearly as fabled, but awesome nonetheless.” That has to count for something. How many horse-wing flaps constitute a travel? Is that what a crab dribble is?
2) Hey, they’re not the Minnesota Timberwolves. I wouldn’t even be talking to you at that point. That kind of incompetence is contagious.
3) Although blind from having to watch the actual game, the center tandem of Spencer Hawes (a Republican who doesn’t believe in warmth and might truly beat the s–t out of you) and Jon Brockman (a mentally challenged treeman that is sprouting emo junior high schoolers as leaves) will be there to protect you. This is one of the biggest and most horrifying 1-2 center combinations in the league.
They’re big enough to clear out space for one of those nasty Jason Thompson putbacks. You will like these very brief and bright glimmers of hope. They will help you see the light again.
And by “see the light,” I mean “literally see refracted light.” The dunk will be noisy and the janitor in Arco Arena will turn the light on to figure out what all that god damn commotion was about.
See, in truth, they’re doing it all right.
The Kings have one bad contract (four more years of Beno Udrih at $Robbery per), but the rest is a mix of young, primarily flashy players and veterans that everyone seems to like.
Sergio Rodriguez appears to be Jason Williams without all of the tattoos but with all the delicious churros. Sean May is decidedly anti-churro. Donte Green (hot-handed, defense-stretching three-point shooter) and Melvin Ely (bruiser with some moves down low) have shown flickers in the past at two completely different things.
And Omri Casspi will actually shoot me if I write another joke about how bad they’re going to be. This section may or may not be related to that threat.
It would be devastating, though, for another northwest city to get deeply emotionally invested in some very good, very young players and have two guys with a lot of money and a retirement plan drive to the South to die there again.
Kevin Martin is one of the only unique players in the NBA. He fits no mold. That doesn’t happen anymore. This team has been managed correctly in its rebuilding so far. It’s not the Timberwolves. It won’t be this year, but they’ll get Kevin Martin his help before his prime.
They already got his point guard. Tyreke Evans is going to actually win this team some games singlehandedly. It’s heresy to say it, but let’s all yell it out loud: He might be the best player in this draft.
Hey, louder. You, sir, from Sacramento: Louder. You wagered your eyes on Kings season tickets, for God’s sake. Louder, sir. They won’t take them away if you’re loud during the bad years. You’ll get to see them grow up this time, like it’s supposed to happen.
Omri just bought a house here. He was just starting to get comfortable.