Almost as soon as the Commissioner Adam Silver handed the All Star Game MVP award to Anthony Davis for scoring a record 52 points in his home city of New Orleans, news broke that Davis was soon going to be adding a new, very talented teammate. His name is Demarcus Cousins, you may of heard of him or you may have not considering where he’s played in Sacramento, California. He is the best center in the game of basketball and AD the best power forward, both University of Kentucky products. The Brow and Boogie are soon teaming up and have one man to thank for it – Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.
I’m supposed to be writing a paper on the French Revolution for a Modern Europe class but I think this was a more unexpected event, even three days before the NBA trade deadline which is generally quiet when you’re talking about superstars being moved. It is not since Carmelo Anthony getting shipped to the Knicks six years ago that the league’s power shift changed so rapidly in the middle of the season. Cousins was supposed to sign what is called the Super Max extension for franchise players, under the CBA and promised to. This was a way for small market teams to keep their studs and not see them go to other cities. While his primary motivation for doing so was obviously for the money, Cuz as he’s also called always had something for his now first team. He never asked out, as many expected him to and he signed a contract just a few years ago where he gave $1 million to his local community charities. People can question his maturity but Demarcus had a big heart and only acted out because of hating losing that darn much; who could blame him? The thought always was that he’d initiate the divorce like his mentor Shaq did with Orlando and not the other way around.
The Kings have made the lottery for each of the last ten years and hit on a pick only once, drafting the man they just traded for scraps. I’ll save you from reading the names as you can find and laugh at them for yourself but what they did tonight was bad even for their standards. Aside from the famous Stauskas or Payton debate once had on ESPN after buying into the Jimmer experiment, Vivek couldn’t procure more than a single first rounder from the Pelicans. That’s less than the two the Denver Nuggets got for Hall of Famer Timofey Mozgov! This was a failure of epic proportions to put it lightly. They should’ve just let old man George Karl make the decision before firing him because he probably would’ve got more. It was their franchise that chose Thomas Robinson over Damian Lillard. It was their franchise that didn’t want to pay Isaiah Thomas more than $4 million. Lastly it was this franchise that released Hassan Whiteside.
Dysfunction starts from the top down and let me make it clear: your past success in other fields does not mean you can operate a basketball team. Michael Jordan was the greatest ever in the sport and couldn’t do it, forget about someone from Silicon Valley. Even James Dolan came to this conclusion with his billions of dollars; now he just kicks out former Knick greats from the arena. Speaking of arenas, the Sacramento Kings opened a new one last year and it was supposed to be the beginning of an era where they built around their franchise player and an actual good coach in Dave Joerger. Of course, the Kings are gonna King and GM Vlade Divac had to go find a deal. The man really admitted in his press conference today that he had a better offer on table a few days and had it pulled before he could accept or ownership let him. In the team’s official statement, they wrote “character matters” when building a winning culture while employing a domestic abuser in Darren Collison, a DUI driver in Ty Lawson and everyone’s role model Matt Barnes. No one forced them to make this move.
Bad decisions catch up to you. When you have no sense of direction, you go to the 76ers and give up future assets all in order to sign Rajon Rondo. That’s right, Ranadive and Divac gave away the rights to their 2019 selection as well as a swap this year if they have a better pick. Sacramento can win the number one overall and have to hand to hand it to Philadelphia! Want to rebuild? Good luck with that unprotected in a couple years, not to mention your credibility as an organization has gone wayside after repeatedly promising Cousins’ agent he would stay. They’ll say to themselves that they’ll prevent this year’s from going to Chicago and that Buddy Hield is a top five talent in any draft but it’s just sad teams have to do that. Hield is expected to become the next Steph Curry by his crazy front office who thinks a unique talent like that can be replicated with just any three point shooter and that’s not fair to him. Why not call it Kobe? Kings fans are leaving by the droves and are regretting everyday getting saved from Seattle. Skeptical about the art of tanking correctly? Had Sac-town finished with a few less wins, they’d be in that six spot last year instead of eight where Marquese Chriss wasn’t what you wanted. The Kings could’ve had both Cousins and Hield without surrendering assets and blowing it up.
There’s more than one loser though. The Los Angeles Lakers were in the final two yesterday and could’ve had their big ticket had Mitch Kupchak gave up Brandon Ingram. I don’t understand this either because in addition to Ingram’s bad rookie season and size issues, there is no guarantee he’ll become half the player Demarcus is right at this moment. The goal is to develop these athletes but if you can’t, trading for them is the next best thing especially in exchange for the unknown. He would’ve finally drawn free agents back to LaLa Land and put them back on the map.. Paul George isn’t happening, folks. The Celtics are the other conundrum: a chance to take the East with the Cavs’ injuries and Danny Ainge stands still. He’s prone to overvaluing and overrating what he has before him, and is doing it yet again. Markelle Fultz is going to be a very awesome backup point guard for them come a few months, blocked by their surplus in guards. Use those Brooklyn gifts already instead of them conveying in players! Whether Boston gets Jimmy Butler remains to be seen and the opportunity is fleeting. The Warriors are the other clear opposition that will undoubtedly be affected by this and it’s almost as if this idea was conceived as a riddle on how to make their lives harder in the Western Conference with the lack of competition. There could not be a better pair or duo to challenge their weakness in the front court since Cousins and Davis always have played well individually against them. I’d keep an eye out on that eighth seed and hope the Pels can make it to give Golden State a run for the money in a possible first round upset. Jrue Holiday is not a bad third piece to get this to work. Replace former Warrior assistant Alvin Gentry with John Calipari and we’re talking. While I’m dreaming, it’d be nice to get John Wall later down the road to form NOLA’s own super-team.
Whatever happens, Demarcus Cousins will be a whole lot closer to his home in Mobile, Alabama and probably more appreciated too when he faces his old squad in Smoothie KING Center on March 31. He can also focus on playing playoff basketball and not rumors too instead of having to answer questions while higher ups deflect responsibility.