The Sacramento Kings are one of those teams that have looked to build for future success. With a couple of pieces in place already, the Kings are certainly further along than other franchises that might be in the ‘rebuilding’ process, but Sacramento still has a ways to go before they start talking championship.
This offseason, Sacramento hired a new head coach, Mike Malone, and so far his main goal has been to completely change the way the team acts, thinks and practices. Changing the entire culture of the team has been the main thing on his mind.
In an interview with The Sacramento Bee, Malone gave some insight as to just what he has done to make that change.
“This is going to be a process. We have to change the culture, establish an identity, and while we’ll try to win every night, we don’t want to skip steps,” Malone said. “We don’t want short-term success. I’m not sure what year we get into our new arena, but by that year, we want to be a playoff team, and not to just be competing in the playoffs.”
He went on to further explain his goal and what it means to change the culture of the team, especially defensively.
“Are our young guys getting better? Are we defending? Gang-rebounding? Running with discipline? The only thing I promised Vivek is that we will no longer be the worst defensive team in the league. So if we do that and change our culture, that will result in more wins and a better product.”
I’d say that’s a great goal to start with right away. Defense always leads to offense in any sport, and the Kings certainly could use some improvement on that end of the ball. If Malone’s number one objective is to improve the culture and defense, I’d be pretty satisfied if I’m a Kings fan.
“I’m running sprints last week with DeMarcus Cousins and Travis Outlaw, and they said, ‘Coach, we’ve never had a guy run sprints with us.'”
It sounds like Malone is doing a fantastic job at being a true players coach, leading by example and building trust right away. If Malone’s hard work is any indication as to what is to come from the product on the court, we could see a very different Kings team soon enough.