There was a cliché thrown around when Lebron James took his talents to South Beach. "It's not that he left the team, it's the way he did it." At the time, I thought it was such a tired and stupid reaction and the people who said it just sounded like robots repeating commands from BSPN.
Alas, the natural reaction to the plans to sell the Kings to
Satan a group of owners in Seattle is, "It's not that the Maloofs are flinging crap on the city Sacramento, it's how they're flinging it". And yeah, I know crap is crap but the Maloofs have been flinging heaps of it on Sacramento in a style that reflects either ambivalence or outright hostility.
There are a series of sad stories propagated by the Maloofs. However, the tip of the iceberg is when the city of Sacramento signed a deal to devote a boatload of cash to a new stadium, and the Maloofs said "that stadium looks nice and everything but we are going to put the franchise on Ebay and see what happens."
Well, it happened somewhat like that. As of now, Sacramento is putting up a fight and might possibly keep the Kings. However, this is kind of like an orangutan fighting a hyena. The orangutan has a chance, but only the smallest of chances.
The Spurs are traveling to the Sleep Train Arena to take on the Kings. By the way, how ironic was that sentence? Not only is one of the worst teams in the NBA this year called "the Kings", but they play in a place that includes the words "Sleep Train" in its name. Hey, let's go watch an exciting sporting contest at the Sleep Train Arena! Anyways, here are three questions about tonight's opponent.
Is DeMarcus Cousins the NBA's version of Mario Balotelli?
DeMarcus Cousins is an incredibly talented player. Sometimes his numbers don't reflect that talent, but more often than not they do. He is constantly heralded by the press as being a bad boy and at times is given unfair penalties basically because of the name on the back of his jersey. That sounds a lot like Mario Balotelli.
For the uninitiated, Mario is an incredibly talented soccer player who has the dreaded "bad boy" label slapped on his very muscular shoulders. When he was playing for the frenzy-inducing club Manchester City, he basically waged war against the oft nefarious British press. Things got so bad people were saying he might "waste his talent". He left for AC Milan then promptly scored two goals in an ultimate screw the haters kind of moment.
Of course, Super Mario and DeMarcus can not be directly compared. European soccer clubs don't draft players, they cultivate them in some kind of human farm akin to the one in the Matrix. So Mario has essentially been playing for a contender since he was 17 years old. Actually, 15 years old if you count his quick stint with FC Barcelona, which is totally depressing because when I was 15 the most remarkable thing I did was almost set a tree on fire, (cool story, bro). However, Mario's story does have parallels with the career of DeMarcus Cousins. What will happen next? Will DeMarcus Cousins allow his play to silence the chatter, or will he succumb to the noise? As fans of basketball, let's hope for the former.
Is Jimmer done?
Jimmer Freddette had a great collegiate run. A ridiculous name, but a fantastic run. Was he over-hyped? Sure, but that happens with talented players. Kevin Durant was ridiculously over-hyped in college, and look what happened there. Wait, did I just compare Jimmer Freddette to Kevin Durant? What am I drinking? Oh, just coffee, I thought we were in trouble.
Anyhow, Jimmer is not receiving many minutes this year, and his percentages are not cool. As a result, he is either going to get traded and have some crazy Lin-like resurrection, or just fade away into the sunset. If the latter happens, then that would be a bummer. Let's hope Mr. Freddette "Jimmers" his way back to the top soon.
Will Isaiah Thomas's nickname always be Isaiah "with two a's" Thomas?
It must be hard having a name that sounds exactly like the name of a legendary point guard. You know what is even worse than that? Being a point guard with a name that sounds like a legendary point guard who, after retiring, nearly burned down Madison Square Garden.
But hand it to Isaiah "with two a's" Thomas. He has made a name for himself despite... um... having a crazy name. He's basically the lone bright spot for what might be the worst season in the history of the Sacramento Kings. The Spurs should keep an eye on Mr. Thomas in this game.
The Kings have pulled off some crazy/improbable wins this season. But recently, the Kings have been five shades of horrible. The only teams the Kings beat in the entire month of January were the Cavs, the Wizards, and the Bobcats. (Proof again that the Western Conference is better than the East this year.)
The Kings have looked a touch better in February but not drastically so. The Spurs might be a little slow after all that all-star rust, but that is the same story with any team in the league. So keeping that in mind, it's likely the Spurs will finish with a comfortable lead provided something weird doesn't happen .
Key Bench Players
The Kings' perspective can be found here @ Sac Town Royalty
Game Prediction: Spurs by 17.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.