Maloofs getting cold feet on Sacramento arena deal


Maloofs getting cold feet on Sacramento arena deal

In case you forgot, a few days before the Sacramento power structure announced that it had nailed down a deal to build an arena and keep the Kings in the capital, your humbler servant pointed out that no deal is a deal until the deal is done.Well, consider this the proof.According to Los Angeles Times Lance Pugmire, the Maloof boys are starting to get either cold feet or arthritic wallet hands, because the unthinkable has already begun to be thought in earnest.
But in case thats too much bother, let us summarize Pugmires story:The Maloofs have growing doubts that Sacramento can get the building done by 2015, dispute that they have a firm agreement to contribute to the building of the sports and entertainment complex that would house the Kings, and are willing to re-engage with Anaheim to relocate their troubled franchise.In other words, the deal they all trumpeted, some tearfully, is already on the verge of blowing apart because the Maloofs say they didnt agree to what they seemed to agree to mere weeks ago. And at the very least, whatever they did agree to is quite likely more than they plan to actually adhere to.Now do you see why nothing is done until its done? Now do you understand why press conferences are to a satisfying meal what Top Ramen is to steak and lobster? Now do you understand the difference between talk and walk?I mean, we did try to warn you, didnt we?This may just be posturing by the Maloofs, whose own financial shoes are being squeezed more than they wish (theyre supposed to be down for 75 million, with the remaining 316 million, give or take the usual cost overruns, covered by the city and AEG, the arena people). Maybe they see that the new deal pushes them closer to selling the team they clearly want to retain. Maybe they just dont feel like it.But the ink isnt dry yet, and mayor Kevin Johnsons plan has already taken on substructure damage. Put another way, if the Maloofs were still on board, they would not have had their spokesman, Eric Rose, release a statement that read in part: If an arena project cannot be completed by the timeline set by the city, then the Kings would be forced to explore all of their options."And:The leadership in Sacramento is aware of the many challenges in completing the project in the timeframe they set. The city has previously committed to having the Kings in a new arena by the start of the 2015 basketball season.In short, the Maloofs told Sacramento they doubt this can happen in time, and are ready to walk before they throw their share into the pile.And since they argue about both their share and the existence of the agreement that makes the pile, the arena is suddenly back to square 0.5, with a city trying not to jump too high when its arena tenant say, Up!How this turns out remains every much to be seen, but it is one more example of how little the press conference matters unless it is competing with the noise of a jackhammer. Or put another way, nothins nothins until everyone sees the somethin.And that completes our lecture for today.

Patience needed for young and inexperienced Kings


Patience needed for young and inexperienced Kings

The Sacramento Kings are attempting to do something rarely seen in the NBA. They’ve paired four first round selections from the 2016 NBA Draft with another five rookies for the 2017-18 season. They’ll open the season with nine players with one year of NBA experience or less and three others with two years in the league or fewer if you include two-way contracts.

Veterans Vince Carter (40), Zach Randolph (36), George Hill (31), Garrett Temple (31) and Kosta Koufos (28) push the average age of the Kings to 26.1. According to RealGM, they’ll enter the 2017-18 season tied for the 15th youngest roster in the league.

If you remove the veterans, the Kings youthful core averages less than 22 years of age. But age doesn’t tell the entire story.

Entering his third NBA season, Willie Cauley-Stein has seen action in 141 of a possible 164 games. On the current roster, he might as well get lumped in with the veterans.

Buddy Hield donned a Kings uniform for 25 games last season after coming over in a midseason trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. He played 82 games in total between the two clubs, which is five more combined contests than his fellow 2016 draft mates Skal Labissiere (33 games), Georgios Papagiannis (22 games) and Malachi Richardson (22 games) played in.

Sacramento selected three first rounders in the 2017 NBA Draft, including De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles. They also landed point guard Frank Mason III with an early second round pick and convinced 25-year-old former first rounder Bogdan Bogdanovic to leave the European game behind and join the club.

Without bringing two-way players Jack Cooley (16 games) and JaKarr Sampson (147 games) into the discussion, the Kings have a major experience issue. They’ll walk into the season with 10 players having a combined 300 games of NBA experience and 223 of those games were played by Cauley-Stein and Hield.  

Sacramento’s veteran group has appeared in 3718 regular season contests. Dave Joerger will have no choice but to turn to the group for plenty of minutes as the Kings’ young players learn on the fly.

Patience is necessary. Vlade Divac and his team have assembled a lot of talent, but they will need time to develop. Joerger has a strong staff in place, including Elston Turner, Bryan Gates, Duane Ticknor, Bob Thornton, Jason March and Larry Lewis. Phil Ricci was also added to the staff as a player development coach this season with the influx of young players.

Even with an expanded staff, there is no way Joerger can fit all 10 of his youngsters into the rotation. They’ll need playing time to develop and there is a good chance that some of these freshman and sophomore players will spend time with Darrick Martin and the Reno Bighorns.  

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'


DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

Some professional athletes take a stand by kneeling on the sidelines or raising a fist into the air. Some write succinct tweets expressing their dismay with the current political climate in the United States of America. Others just get right to the point with a poignant off the cuff statement to a waiting camera.

Former Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins has certainly mastered the art of the cryptic tweet, but he’s also never been one to shy away from a direct question when asked. When an inquiry was thrown his direction about confederate statues in New Orleans and his home state of Alabama, Cousins was brief with his words, but very clear.

"Take all them mother****ers down," Cousins told TMZ while navigating a security line at the airport. "Take 'em all down.”

Cousins may not have chosen the most eloquent words, but his point of view is shared by plenty of others. He isn’t the first athlete to take a stand with regards to race in America over the last week as racial tensions have spilled out into the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia. Social media is filled with professional athletes adding their thoughts to the conversation.

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant has made it clear that he will not visit the White House and President Donald Trump, a visit most teams make following an NBA championship.

"Nah, I won't do that," the 8-time All-Star told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now.”

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant continued. “That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Garrett Temple has used Twitter to make his thoughts known as well. Recently named the Kings’ Players Voice Teammate of the Year by the National Basketball Players Association, Temple has used his position as an NBA player to speak out multiple times.

Over the last week, he’s fielded questions and had plenty of discussions through social media on the issues of race and equality. His Twitter timeline is littered with thoughtful replies and some not so thoughtful ideas as well. Plenty of fans thanking him for using his position to further the conversation and of course, there is the occasional, “stick to sports” comment.

Agree or disagree, today’s athletes have huge platforms to share their opinions. From Cousins to Temple, there are varying degrees of engagement, but the time of players staying out of the discussion is long gone.