Category Archives: Sports

Lebron’s Lakers Impact and the Kings KANGZing


Unless you’re an out of state Laker or Warrior fan, I hope you make enough disposable income to get NBA League Pass. Because with the best and most popular NBA player in the league now joining the most storied franchise, you’re about to be inundated with even more Lakers games on national television than before.

According to data collected by Yaya Dubin, the Lakers had the fifth most amount of nationally televised games (ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV) in the league, trailing only the Warriors, Rockets, Cavs, and Thunder. Keep in mind, the Lakers hadn’t won more than 27 games since the 2012-13 season.  For a trash lottery team run by a family that’s basically enacting a low-rent sports version of Game of Thrones in their front office, that’s more than these perennial playoff teams: the Celtics, Spurs, Clippers, and Raptors. The Bucks had fewer than five, and they have the second best player in the Eastern Conference in Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Now that the LeBron James business has joined the Lakers, you can bet that there will be even more televised Lakers games. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had over 60 games on national tv, dwarfing the younger, rising teams like the Sixers, Celtics, Pacers, and Jazz, for example. In fact, they’ll dwarf every team’s numbers, even the Warriors. Hopefully the league will trojan horse those young fun teams into the national spotlight by showcasing their games against the Lakers. More people need to watch the majesty of Giannis, the workman’s grit of Oladipo, and the high-flyingness of Donovan Mitchell. By the way, expect every Lakers/Warriors game to be televised, no matter how much Golden State smokes them by.

Which will happen. LeBron is not flanked by Paul George, who signed a long-term contract with OKC, or by Kawhi Leonard (yet). He’s got…Javale McGee and Lance Stephenson as the other big free agents the Lakers signed. The second best player on that team is Brandon Ingram entering his third season. The NBA will subject you a 34 year old LeBron who plays no defense before May running the court with kids and morons.

Most teams are waiting for the 2019 offseason, which bodes ill for the Kings

Ever since the first weekend of free agency, this offseason has been boring. No big trades, no signings of immediate high impact, and a bunch of casualties of limited cap space. The market was always going to be a little limited for Demarcus Cousins, but nobody saw him signing with the Warriors for $5.3 million.

The cap spike of 2016 continues to fuck over teams and players. Instead of blaming Michele Roberts and the rest of the NBPA like we’ve been doing, we should probably blame these general managers for the insane contracts they gave out. As of now, only the Kings have significant cap space anymore. And that’s partially because of them forcing the Bulls to match a pricey contract for Zach Lavine. Speaking of Lavine, he had to pivot from “Sacramento wanted me more” when he signed their offer sheet to “I always wanted to be in Chicago” after the Bulls matched. It was an inelegant exercise in pre-emptive expressions of loyalty. He tried to make it sound like he just wanted to be wanted, instead of acknowledging that he was trying to get as much as he could have, which is not just his right but also his responsibility, coming off an ACL tear.

Next year is the year those 2016 contracts come off the books and cap space opens up for a lot more teams. Some of those teams, like the Pacers, will be one max-level player away from true contention. According to Spotrac, about 9 teams will have enough practical cap space to outright sign a max guy, depending on the guy’s years of service. That includes the Pacers, the Clippers, the Knicks, and the Lakers. The Kings are also there, but they lose all the leverage they have this year if there are other choices.

The Kings, for their part, still operate on a completely different level than anyone else. Not in a good way, either. They passed on Luka Doncic to avoid taking the ball out of De’aaron Fox’s hands, according to Vlade Divac. They then…offered Zach Lavine 4 years and $80 million. There are no rumors that they were even players in the kind of trade that Denver engaged the Nets in that offloaded two expiring contracts and a first-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for basically cap space. The Kings will have more cap space than anyone besides Brooklyn next year unless Vlade Divac gets a wild hair up his ass and signs another washed ass veteran.

Quick aside: a lot of Kings fans only saw this as adding two more power forwards to a team overloaded with them and thus not worth the pick. To which I say: do you not know that a team like the Kings can waive players like this and still have the cap space next year anyway? Speaking of which, today the Kings traded away Garrett Temple, the team’s best defender and a stunning example of on- and off-court leadership, to the Memphis Grizzlies for center Deyonta Davis and two old friends: Ben McLemore and Cash Considerations.


Apparently, the cash is to give the Kings extra leeway to buy out the two bootsy-ass players they received, so the Kings basically traded Temple for yet another second round pick and freed up an extra $900,000 thousand in cap space for a team already below the salary floor.

Which begs the question: *extremely irritated George Carlin voice* WHYYYYYYYYYY? Did Temple want out? I can’t blame him. But there wasn’t another team aching for a strong 3-and-D guy on an expiring contract who could have given a better asset?

Kings shill du jour Grant Napear assures that the team has a plan, but do they really? If the plan was to wait for the free agency boom of 2019, why offer Zach Lavine a giant contract? Because he’s young? Wouldn’t he take the ball out of the hands of Fox (and Bogdan Bogdanovich and Buddy Hield who also should get the ball)? More importantly, does Vlade Divac understand that draft picks have immense value? Does he understand that the more teams with cap space, the less leverage the Kings have on the open market because they’re total ass and no one wants to play there?

Does anymore offseason chicanery await us?

The Kawhi Situation and the Clint Capela/Daryl Morey standoff have yet to be resolved, but other than that there isn’t much I can think of that has the potential for fireworks. But that’s the best part of this league; it’s always what you don’t expect that yields the funniest results.


Marvin Bagley has to be better than Luka Doncic


The Kings made their pick. They made a lot of their fans angry or despondent. Read Kings Twitter or Sactown Royalty message boards and you can glean that the fanbase is as low as it’s been in the Vivek era. Luka Doncic was the consensus smart pick among fans, pundits, and draft experts. Some had him has the best player in the draft due to his skillset, polish, and accomplishments at such a young age.

But the Kings decided on Marvin Bagley III. In the post-draft press conference, General Manager Vlade Divac defended the selection.

“Marvin for us is better fit, better player and great talent. So, it was an easy choice for us,” Divac said. Divac also believes that Bagley can play the 3, a position no one on the team is currently equipped to do, and that with Bagley the Kings “will play smart and fast.”

I have questions:

  • If it was an easy choice, why were there numerous reports they were considering Porter Jr. and Doncic?
  • Why would Bagley play the 3 when he never played it in college and is projected to be a power forward or center by, oh I don’t know, everyone else?
  • Does Dave Joeger know they’re going to play fast? The Kings had the lowest pace in the league last year. And that team had De’Aaron Fox!

If you want to give this team the benefit of the doubt, you go ahead. But I would ask you to use this little thing called your brain to wonder why they deserve it. It’s not like they have a sterling record, even in the draft. Even Fox, the best pick Vlade has made, doesn’t look like a surefire all-star. And according to Carmichael Dave, one of the reasons they passed on Doncic was because they didn’t want to take the ball out of Fox’s hands. First of all, Dave Joeger will make sure it comes out anyway when he calls for a dozen dump-offs to Zach Randolph’s embalmed corpse in the post. And secondly, what about Fox’s rookie season made you think that this guy should dominate the ball so much? I like Fox a lot, but you don’t pass on a talent like Doncic for Fox. Even then, you could have multiple high level playmakers on the court if they both pan out. The league demands that amount of playmaking anyway.

As for Bagley, he is a good prospect; he’s super athletic (like seriously, he apparently jumps like four times before other dudes get up for a second jump) and he has a high motor, according to the scouts. He averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds in his lone season at Duke. I’m sure Dave Joeger had his input on this pick, considering his fetish for playing two big men at once, which runs contrary to pretty much every good team in the league. Bagley also contributed to a defense so porous, Duke had to switch up their scheme. A big who sucks at defense and only uses his dominant hand doesn’t scream “nba star” to me. But again, I’m just some asshole with a blog nobody reads. Doncic has his weaknesses, too.

But he has far more skills more translatable to the modern league and he was the favorite among pretty much everyone else, like I said. Bagley has to be better than him to justify this risk. He has a lot of work to do, not just because of his flaws but because of the team’s fucked up structure. They are still woefully short on wings, with Justin Jackson being the only guy with the size and length to play small forward. This team’s defense is going to likely be godawful for a while.

All this negativity being said, I’ll still root for the guy. It’d be a dick move to root against a 19 year-old who, by all accounts, is a high-character guy just trying to make his living. And if he turns out to be a baller, then I will gleefully admit I was wrong and adopt him as my child (Buddy Hield is the only competitor for that so far).

But if Doncic is everything we thought he’d be over the next couple years, and Bagley underperforms, then I will cry a river of tears for what could have been for my sweet Slovenian Son.

The Prophecy has been Shunned.

More Draft Notes


  • The Hawks traded down from 3 to 5 and grabbed an additional first round pick from Dallas, who picked Luka Doncic while the Hawks picked Trae Young. This isn’t a bad move for either team, to be honest. Atlanta gets the worse prospect, but an additional pick in a long rebuild.
  • Michael Porter Jr., the guy the Kings had at the top of their board until like a few days ago, slipped all the way to Denver at 14. Porter is a fine gamble for a team that’s already got most of its pieces and could use another stud scorer.
    • As a guy with chronic back pain himself, I hope it works out for MPJ, because I know it sucks but also because I might need surgery, too.
  • Vince Staples, who is the best fucking follow on Twitter by the way, killed the draft by threatening to kill his favorite team’s coach…and @’d him in the process
  • The real winner of the draft was Woj, who undercut ESPN’s demand for him to not spoil picks by spoiling picks in increasingly creative ways

Kings Draft Preamble

On Lottery Day, the Basketball Gods looked down upon the Sacramento Kings, and they blessed them with good fortune not seen since the day Chris Webber said “ah shit, man I guess I’ll stay in Sac.” The Kings will pick 2nd in the NBA Draft, the highest they’ve ever picked and buttholes have never been clenched more tightly.

Historical precedent tells us that there is a not insignificant chance that the Kings will fuck this up. This doesn’t weigh as heavily on my mind as it does some other Kings fans, but that’s only because I have resigned myself to the nihilistic embrace of constant disappointment. Anything better will just be gravy. I fully expect one of the following terrible outcomes:

  • The Kings draft Luka Doncic who just becomes a more handsome T.J. McConnell
  • The Kings draft DeAndre Ayton who just becomes Jahlil Okafor with better muscle definition
  • The Kings trade the pick for some combination of players and picks that lead them in the lottery for the next five years before jumping again and we go through the same fucking cursed process

The stakes haven’t been this high for the Kings since 2003, when they were competing for actual championships. The future of Vlade Divac and his handpicked front office compatriots hinges on this draft and its immediate aftermath. Divac’s seat has been getting warmer and warmer since the moment he set his ass on it, with only a handful of successful transactions permeating a minefield of failures: the 2015 Sixers trade, the George Karl saga, the Georgios Papagiannis selection, the 2017 draft selections that weren’t De’Aaron Fox.

If he fails, he continues the cycle of futility Kings fan now know like a second language: lose 50 games, whiff on pick, lose 50 more games, make a promising pick, watch prospect fail, lose 50 more games, repeat.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Pick options

Reports are that the Phoenix Suns will pick DeAndre Ayton, who apparently has a body crossed with Hercules and Patrick Ewing, with the first pick. If that happens, the Kings should take Doncic. Some say his skills overlap with other guards on the roster, which is true. Know what else is true? None of those guards are worth ignoring Doncic over. Buddy Hield might be a starter on a contender. De’Aaron Fox might become an average shooter. Bogdan Bogdanovic is 25 and he also might be a sixth man Manu Ginobili type for a winning team. You don’t ignore a guy like Doncic whose game is perfectly suited for modern NBA teams.

If the Suns take Doncic and leave the Kings with a choice of Ayton or Jaren Jackson Jr., I will plant my flag firmly on the JJJ hill and die there. And as I bleed out watching Dave Joeger’s stupid offense funnel Ayton and Zach Randolph’s geriatric ass post touches while two 40% three point shooters twiddle their thumbs, I will scream out in anguish.*

Jackson showed the tools and skills to be a modern NBA big: a rim-protecting, three-point shooting modern marvel with a nose for help-side blocks and a nascent playmaking skill. He also committed approximately 400 fouls over the season so he needs some work. Again, I’m only right until I’m not.

We won’t know until Woj tweets it out, but we will be here, sphincters ever tightening, hoping against hope that the Kings just don’t fuck it up again.

*i fully reserve the right to contradict this in a bald-faced lie

A frustrated, confused Kings fan and a lost season

Yesterday morning, Sacramento Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro appeared on local radio station KHTK to speak about the turmoil the team finds itself. The stated purpose was to answer some of the most pressing questions that fans had. What happened was Jed York-level question-dodging. If KHTK callers and hosts are any indication, Kings fans are more confused than they were before, myself included.

Nobody should argue that Vivek Ranadive wasn’t the right person at the right time. He has gotten the team and the city a new arena under construction in downtown. Vivek is exactly the man that we needed in 2013. But that doesn’t mean he is the right guy right now.

Now, it’s depressing to be a Kings fan again. In a complete 180, Kings fans feel dejected and baffled after such optimism in the early goings of the season. Questions and issues aren’t being answered or changed. The team looks actively angry and uninvolved on court. The chemistry that elevated them to a 9-6 start against one of the toughest NBA schedules has evaporated. Now…

we suck again

And D’Alessandro’s appearance did nothing to assuage my fears. In fact, he did more to confuse and frustrate me. Here are some pressing questions on every Kings fans mind:

1. If it’s about wins and losses as Vivek stated, then why did they fire the man who had led them to their best start in YEARS? They were 9-6 against the toughest schedule in the NBA?

2. Why, as D’Alessandro said, is Ty Corbin the coach for the rest of the year even though he is 3-7, losing against absolute garbage teams like the Celtics, the Pistons, and the Magic? By the way, two of those wins were nail-biters against two of the NBA’s worst teams: the Timberwolves and the Knicks.

3. Why are you so infatuated with a faster pace? Here are some of the fastest teams in the NBA:

  • Boston
  • Philadelphia
  • Denver
  • Minnesota
  • Lakers

You know what those teams have in common besides pace? They suck. Unequivocally. Yet Memphis, one of the best teams in the NBA, is 27th. The Warriors are first. Sounds more like pace doesn’t factor into a team’s quality much.

4. Why are you obsessed with pace when your two best players are DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay? These guys  thrive in the half-court. Cousins dominates everybody in the low block and draws double and triple-teams to him. Then, he can kick it out to somebody who would be left wide open. Rudy Gay is at his absolute worst when he has to take more than three dribbles with the ball. But he plays like an all-star when he posts up and relies on a quick move or two to get a close jumper.

5. As asked on Carmichael Dave’s show yesterday, why not sign Corbin to a longer contract for stability? D’Alessandro said that Corbin was their guy, yet balked at this question. “Why would we?” he replied.

What the hell is going on?

I’ve been used to the Kings sucking, but this lost season feels all the more painful because of how good they played at the beginning of the year. And management doesn’t seem to care about being forthright with the fanbase or its players since DeMarcus Cousins keeps finding out about major coaching changes through Twitter.

This season leaves me with two painful possible truths: either the Kings management doesn’t know how to right the ship, or it doesn’t care and this is all political. I don’t know what’s worse.