In the recent weeks, the Kings have fallen into a far too familiar position: the NBA cellar. The Kings have lost five straight to fall to 2-8 overall. Although it is only 10 games into the season, plenty of red flags have arisen.
Kings fans have booed their own team on several occasions during these ten games. Many media outlets have been quick to point fingers, as Ailene Voisin made it clear how she feels in Tuesdays edition on the Sacramento Bee; her headline reads;”It’s Time to give Petrie the boot.” Some fans have already rekindled the flame of last year’s talks to get the Maloofs out of Sacramento.
The Kings have never exactly had the best team durning their tenure in Sacramento, only making it to the playoffs eight of the 28 seasons they have spent in Sacramento. So why is the 2012-13 season so different? Why have fans and sports writers such as Voisin jumped ship so early in the season?
The Kings have talented players who continue to fight amongst themselves, and are surrounded by owners that refuse to bring big name stars in or spend big money on big names. While the Maloofs made a relatively good move in the acquisition of point guard Aaron Brooks, with the Kings so far under the salary cap. Brooks was certainly a great addition at a great price, but the Maloofs have all of a sudden become bargain hunters. They have not made any moves since losing Ron Artest to bring in a real pivotal player to the franchise.
While some seem ready to question Sacramento Kings’ General Manager Geoff Petrie, we as Kings fans must remember that Petrie is a major reason why the Kings have had those eight winning seasons. He has proven that he is more than capable of taking a team with limited financial resources and turning it into a winning team. After being hired as the Kings’ General manager in 1994, Petrie put together a playoff team with players like Mitch Richmond, Spudd Webb, Brian Grant, and Walt Williams. Petrie helped the Kings get to their first playoff berth since moving to Sacramento in 1985. While most of us will look to the most recent seven winning seasons, this writer fondly remembers the 1996 playoff debut of the Sacramento Kings. But Petrie once again helped the Kings find their way back to the playoffs in 1999. In then next seven years, the Kings made their way to playoffs, and made several real NBA title runs.
In the 18 years that Petrie has been the Kings’ General Manager, he has helped create a playoff team for eight of those 18 seasons. Petrie has been on the hot seat as of late, and would be a devastating loss to the Kings’ franchise. While some people are up in arms to get him out, and are so quick to forget all the success he has afforded our team, and our city; we must ask ourselves a question. We must ask ourselves a question that the Maloof’s and Petrie seemed to forget when the team decided not to retain the services of former Kings head coach Rick Adelman. If the Kings let Geoff Petrie go, who could even come close to replacing him? Sure they could find someone that opinion writers such as Ailene Voisin would like; someone who looks good and smiles at cameras. But like Adelman, no one will do the job like Geoff Petrie, and anyone would be hard pressed to find a way to make this Kings team better with the same financial restrictions from the Maloofs.
When your team is struggling; we as fans must remember the good times, and focus on the positive. The Kings lost to the Brooklyn Nets. But unlike the 4 previous games, they finally competed. Yet, while they still didn’t win the game or seem to completely find their way, they showed improvement. The Kings will have a hard season this year as they are a young team, in need of several things. But the answer isn’t mutiny. The team is struggling, and needs the support of its city.
Sleep Train Arena has felt empty this season, and many have speculated that the people of Sacramento are simply done with the Maloofs. These are not people who are done with their Kings, but people who are tired of the game of Tug O’ War the Maloofs have played with our hearts. The team has always thrived in Sacramento, continuing to be one of the only consistent franchises in the NBA. They are annually amongst the most lucrative and financially successful teams in the NBA.
While the Maloofs may be mirror images of the villainous franchise owner in the movie Major Leagues, and seem to always be searching for a way out of Sacramento, the Kings still need their fans. Without people coming to the games, they lose what used to be a home court advantage. Sacramento used to sell out every game, and be one of the toughest places for other teams to play in the NBA. Fans used to eat, sleep and breathe Kings’ basketball.
If the Kings are going to be a good team, it starts with the fans. We must endure these times with our Kings team. We must show that even though we do not get to suit up next to Tyreke Evans or DeMarcus Cousins, we feel for our young players and want to see them win. We as fans are just as important to this franchise and this Kings team as the players who set on the court. We must play our part and support our team, especially during the rough times. Lets show some faith in our team, Sacramento.
Tags: Ailene Voisin Brian Grant Brooklyn Nets DeMarcus Cousins Geoff Petrie Maloofs Mitch Richmond Rick Adelman Ron Artest Sacramento Bee Sacramento Kings Sleep Train Arena Spudd Webb Tyreke Evans Walt Williams