For the past decade, the Sacramento Kings have always ended the year near the bottom spectrum of the NBA standings. Ever since Rick Adelman’s era (1998-2006), the Kings have changed their head coach five times with not one of them producing a winning season.
However, with Vivek Ranadive as the new Kings’ owner, the road ahead is looking a lot better. The Kings are given a second chance to completely restore their image for the better. But to accomplish this task, they must tear down everything and rebuild the franchise starting with the top executives, then coaches and facilities.
The Kings must start making changes from the top of organization by not renewing general manager Geoff Petrie’s contract. Petrie has been the GM since 1994 and has accomplished so much with his given resources. He won the NBA Executive of the Year award twice (1999 and 2001) and assembled a roster that almost made it to the NBA championship in 2002. But that is as far as his success goes.
Petrie’s decision has filled the Kings’ roster with like-minded talents and one-dimensional players that can either only play offense or only play defense. Marcus Thorton, for example is a great scorer. Some might even say he is the best scorer on the team, but you won’t hear that same praise with his defense. Jimmer Fredette is another talented scorer without a defensive mindset.
It is time for the Kings to part ways with Petrie and bring in a new leader with new ideas, perspective and goals to assemble a complete, well-rounded roster.
Sacramento must also find a good coach that will maximize the potential talent the GM brings in. Even though the Kings, under Keith Smart, had their best winning percentage (0.341) season this year (comparing the last four seasons), that percentage was still way below par. A 0.341 winning percentage is not a percentage one want to carry to a “brand new” team. Smart must go.
The Sleep Train Arena must also be changed along with the GM and head coach, which is a plan that has already been presented to the public. It is this plan of a new arena that factored into the NBA’s Board of Governors decision to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
If the Kings want to shed off the disappointments of the last decade, then building a new arena is a must. A new and better arena will create an amazing atmosphere for the “new kids on the block.”
The possibilities are endless for the Kings right now. With a new owner and possibly a fresh start, Ranadive has complete control of the Kings future. Hopefully he can choose the right pieces to create a masterpiece.