Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kicking Us While We're Down: The Maloof Story

That title may be a little dramatic. But it's essentially the case regarding Kings fans at this moment. The Kings were supposed to stay quiet during this year's deadline, since the sale of the team is causing enough distractions as it is. Yet today news broke that Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, and a second round pick were being sent to the Houston Rockets for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, and Toney Douglas.  It is shocking considering T-Rob was one of the best assets on the team and a key block for the future.  And the Kings got back who?

Kings fans are like Michael Scott, and the Maloofs are Toby.  Just hear me out.  Right now Toby is moving to Costa Rica forever, never to be seen again.  Except this time on his way out he burns the office down and Michael is sunsequently fired despite his pleas that Toby was the reason for the chaos.  Even after all the optimism recently with talks involving Ron Burkle and the NBA Board of Governors, this recent trade honestly just kills my team spirit.  I find myself rooting for our players to get traded and go on to better organizations, better coaches, better support in general. Robinson will flourish in Houston surrounded by shooters and playmakers, or they may just pawn him off to another team after his value rises and get an even better power forward.  And he'll do just fine wherever he ends up, because his development won't be stymied by this franchise. There's a reason Michael Scott always yells at Toby, and there's a reason that the hashtag #FTM exists (you'll figure it out).

Now this move is a cost-cutting move at its core, which are sometimes necessary.  Look at the Grizzlies: they have made two cost-cutting trades to get out of bad contracts, yet they are as relevant as ever.  That isn't what the Kings are doing though.  They have traded they're 5th overall pick in last year's draft, a highly coveted spot 8 months ago, for players that won't even be on the team next year.  It's LITERALLY as if draft day didn't happen for the Kings, even though Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes, and Andre Drummond were picked immediately after Robinson.  But Robinson not having the same level of talent as those guys isn't the problem, it's the Kings. If Drummond were over here, he would have the same developmental problems because there is no chemistry or identity to this team.  Over the past few years there have been pieces that fit wonderfully on paper, solid players like Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes, JJ Hickson, and Robinson himself, but they never find any sort of role or purpose because of poor team construction and poor rotation consistency. That's why Patrick Patterson won't do anything in Sacramento either.  He was the 5th best player on a playoff team, yet he will be cast aside sooner rather than later.  

Basically, the Rockets had a few picks to trade at the beginning of the season and tried to get Robinson at the draft. Instead, they snag James Harden out of nowhere and still get Robinson with the scraps.  Beautiful.  Rockets GM Daryl Morey is most likely the smartest guy in the league, and it shows in his insanely young playoff team.  The Kings, or at least their fans, come out the bloody victims, with eyes swollen and spirits shot.  This is a lot cynicism, but the Maloofs deserve to be chased out of the league for what has happened in the past day and the past seven years.  I love this team, and always will, but my memories will be forever scarred because of one family who just couldn't stay out of their own way.  

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