There was a time when fans actually brought cowbells into a NBA stadium. Back in 2003, Phil Jackson called Sacramento “an old cow town.” As a result, fans proceeded to bring cowbells to home games and provide a truly unique home court advantage,
We haven’t heard much about it lately because, well frankly, the team has sucked. And who has the energy to lug a cowbell into a stadium and ring it when there are very few things to cheer about? They have not won 40 games in a season since Metta World Peace played for the Kings and was named Ron Artest. Man, I totally forgot he played two years in Sacramento. Crazy. Anyways, things are slowly transforming. The team opened Golden 1 Center last year, installed a three-foot-tall cowbell on the wall, and have changed their logo. I love the logo. The lions and the color scheme make me think of the Decepticons from the Transformers and the Voltron lions. The most shocking development has been the positive feedback from the basketball community about their personnel moves. When’s the last time that’s happened?
2016 record: 32-50
- De’Aaron Fox via draft
- Frank Mason via draft
- Harry Giles via draft
- Justin Jackson via draft
- Vince Carter via free agency
- George Hill via free agency
- Zach Randolph via free agency
- Bogdan Bogdanovic via free agency
- Aaron Afflalo via free agency
- Ben McLemore via free agency
- Ty Lawson via free agency
- Rudy Gay via free agency
- Langston Gallowy via free agency
- Tyreke Evans via free agency
- Darren Collison via free agency
I’ll be honest. At first I didn’t really understand the offseason moves of the Kings. It seemed to lack any coherent vision and plan. Did they want to play uptempo or slog in the half court? Were they rebuilding or trying to contend? After contemplating on the moves and looking at the depth chart, I think I have a better understanding. There is a nice mix of youth and veterans. Not only will be they be able to mentor the young guys, but they provide depth and solid production from the second unit. I think eventually they want to be an uptempo team, but for now, they will vacillate between the two styles. The product should be much better in Sacramento, but I’m not sure that it will translate into many more wins than the 32 they won last season. The West is freaking stacked.
PG – George Hill signed a three-year, $57 million contract and will be the starter. He’s proved more than capable of playing in the league, as he’s averaged 16 ppg twice in his nine year career. He’s shot over 40% from three-land the past two years and will grab some boards, dish out some dimes, and contribute a little in steals. With that said, he’s going to get phased out at some point during the season because….De’Aaron Fox <beep beep> is waiting in the wings. It’s really just a matter of when. He probably won’t be a contributer in the three-point department, but could be an asset in assists and steals. I’m really excited to watch him play because his speed is truly elite and I love his bulldog mentality. Frank Mason, the Kings’ second-round pick, probably won’t receive any significant minutes.
SG – Buddy Hield, Vivek’s Steph Curry, is the starter. Let me veer off topic here for a sec. Who am I to diss a person that earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from MIT and an MBA from Harvard? Who am I to question a man that started a multi-billion company and became the first person of Indian descent to own an NBA franchise when he became co-owner and vice chairman of the Golden State Warriors in 2010? Well, he did compare Hield to Curry and the Warriors did win the NBA Championship the year right after he left. What’s it all mean? Basically that he is the man and I am not. I guess when you are in that position, you can say whatever the F you want. I want to cry now. Anyways, back to Hield, he can shoot, as he shot 43% from three-land when he joined the Kings. The only thing from a fantasy persepective is that he doesn’t contribute much of anything else besides some boards. Bogdan Bogdanovic is a 25-year-old Serbian who will be coming over to the States for the first time. He balled out in EuroBasket and showed that he can score, shoot the three, dish out dimes, and get his pilfer on. The questions will be regarding minutes and how his game will translate to the NBA. With that said, there’s upside here and worth a late-round pick. Garrett Temple could play both shooting guard and small forward this season. While he shoots a nice percentage from three-land (37% last season), he doesn’t contribute in much else besides steals. There’s limited upside here.
SF – Justin Jackson, the 15th-overall pick, is the front runner to start at small forward. A three-year player at the University of North Carolina, he should come into the league more prepared than most of the rookies. I love that he returned for his junior year to work on his deficiencies and improved. With that said, while the IQ is high, the J is still suspect and will he be athletic and physical enough to play in the league? I have some doubts. Vince Carter is the backup. He can still play, which is amazing at 40 years old, but….he’s 40 freaking years old. There have only been 10 players in the history of the game that have played at an older age. I can see this position being a trouble-spot for the Kings, which should provide an opportunity for someone. Keep an eye on how it plays out.
PF – I’d imagine that Skal Labissiere starts, but it may be Zach Randolph who finishes games. We shall see. Skal is 21 years old and has a ton of potential. He can shoot the three, but just doesn’t chuck up many. With his length and agility, he can grab a ton of boards and put up a steal and block per game if given significant minutes. He thrives in transition so should love it when Fox starts playing more. The Kings are taking the Yin/Yang thing a little too far, as Randolph is literally the opposite of Skal. He can’t jump, run….I’ve seen him jog from time to time. I kid. What he lacks in athleticism, he more than makes up in guile. He is so good down on the block. Faces defenders up, gives them a little shimmy, and gets his little J off. He’s the hero of every dude at the Y. Harry Giles will probably spend most of the time in the G-League.
C – Willie Cauley-Stein will probably start and receive more than the 18 mpg he received last season. An athletic marvel at 7′ 0″ 240 pounds, WCS could easily be mistaken for a gazelle, as his agility and hops are off-the-charts. If given significant minutes, he will grab a ton of boards and get a steal and block per game. Like Skal, WCS should thrive more with Fox at the healm. Kosta Koufos will be the backup. He’s a more traditional center and can score, rebound, and contribute in steals and blocks. It’s tough to envision more than 20 mpg for him, though.