Sacramento Kings’ Recent Rumors Familiar To Warriors’ Fans


The Sacramento Kings find themselves in an eerily similar position to their neighbors to the south.

There he was. An athletic center/power forward. One of those players who changed a game in a five minute span. As a young player, the whole team looked to him for guidance. He usually led by example though, as it was rarely his style to get in the face of a teammate. Often seen as surly, there wasn’t much of a relationship between he and the head coach. But on the court he was dominant. And still very young.

Apr 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; TNT broadcaster

Chris Webber

during the NBA game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Of course for a Golden State Warriors fan, this describes a fellow by the name of Chris Webber. If you are a Sacramento Kings fan, you’ve got DeMarcus Cousins.

Both players were drafted to be the team’s savior on the court. The player who would change things. Oh, it changed things in Golden State alright. Webber and Don Nelson did not see the vision together and thus after one season together, the not so happy couple broke up.

Now, the fact that the Warriors traded up just two spots to get Webber was not astounding (Anfernee Hardaway was drafted and sent to the Orlando Magic). The fact that they needed to include three future first rounders to do it, is. The point is, the REALLY wanted Chris Webber. So you would think that you would do as much research as you can right? Maybe ask a few “friends” of the player to make sure they are going to buy in to the system that you have in place. But instead, knowing how hard Nelson can be on younger players, you draft a fast-break machine and put him under the basket.

All this stems from a lack of communication between management, the coach, and the player. Webber had an opt-out clause and threatened to use it if not traded. The Warriors were able to get three future first rounders (thus creating a wash as far as the trade on draft night). But they received Tom Gugliotta, who was another player who had much more success in a different uniform. After one season, he was traded for Donyell Marshall. By that time Nelson was also gone.

What does all of this mean?

Well you can see the similarities in the two situations. The Kings have a coach in George Karl who wants to be the authority on the court. And that is his right. If management does not trust the decisions that are being made, then they should not hire coaches who are confident in their craft. A veteran coach like Karl, who was the coach of the Warriors prior to Nelson being hired in 1988, will not bend to the will of the players. It is up to the general manager to provide the correct players to work under the coach’s system. Otherwise, you are drafting random players every year hoping that the team somehow just magically gels.

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The management of the Kings needs to make a decision. Based on history, a team less than one-hundred miles away decided to side with the coach. Perhaps if the team decided to exploit the talents of the big man, as opposed to playing him out of position, maybe things go differently. Maybe if Webber was paired up with a veteran big man who could provide guidance on and off the court, the Warriors’ organization wouldn’t have gone into a downward spiral.

Well, Webber ended up having a solid career, having been the key figure in multiple playoff runs with the Kings. The Warriors didn’t see the playoffs again until Nelson’s return in 2006.

If you believe in results, the last two NBA Champions relied heavily on unselfish play on the court. The chemistry between the players was evident. This formula is required especially on teams that are still growing. Patience and continuity make for long-term success. And when the best player on the team attributes the success to their teammates and coaches, it makes for a high quality environment to play in.

So the onus is on both the Kings’ management as well as Demarcus Cousins to commit to the success of the franchise. If the player does not see the long-term goal of the franchise and share in its vision, they should not be a part of the ride. But it is also up to the franchise to make sure that the vision is clear, and to give the proper amount of time to develop the chemistry needed.

Obviously professional sports has a “win-now” mentality. But if a franchise shows that it is competent, the fans will also be patient. You don’t need to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you do need to see that there are tracks leading there.

Next: Kings Must Bite the Bullet And Trade Cousins