If there is one team that has suffered in misfortune more than any other, it would be the Sacramento Kings. Putting aside the tragic circumstances of Ricky Berry committing suicide a year after a breakout season with the team and the following car accident that cost former Kings first-rounder Bobby Hurley much of his talent, the team also had its share of draft-day gaffes.
Does the name Pervis Ellison ring a bell? The Kings took Ellison first overall in the 1989 draft, ahead of future stars like Tim Hardaway, Shawn Kemp and Dana Barros just to name a few. Joe Kleine was taken sixth by Sacramento in the 1985 draft. The names taken after? Chris Mullin (now in the Kings’ front office), Detlef Schrempf and Charles Oakley.
Like I said, the team is cursed. However every team has it’s share of mistakes — Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan anyone? What really defines a team is what happens after.
Fast-forward to 2013, and this team and organization are completely refurbished. Bankrolled by owner Vivek Ranadive with GM Pete D’Alessandro steering the ship, this team has some solid pieces in place. Isaiah Thomas was drafted before the new regime stepped in, but he has flourished as a starter. The front office then made good on its word to make DeMarcus Cousins a franchise player by offering him a lucrative contract extension.
At this point, the front office has done an admirable job at rebuilding. Sacramento and its front office did give up on their pet project Greivis Vasquez, but landed Rudy Gay in the reset. Gay easily becomes one of the more notable acquisitions the Kings have made.
No longer can the Kings cry over relocation matters — those days are over. They also can’t use the label of being undisciplined as a reason for ridiculous blowout losses. There’s also no excuse for a 5-10 record at home either. With Cousins, Thomas and Gay forming the Kings’ core, it’s time to lose the notion this team can’t be better than 8-18.