Brooklyn Nets’ Blueprint of Dysfunction: Sacramento Kings
The Brooklyn Nets have gotten their fair share of criticism from media and fans alike. The Boston fans taunted the Nets in the Boston Garden, thanking them for the first-round draft picks. That was after a dreadful start when the most hardened NBA critic had issues trying to figure out when the Nets would scratch the win column. How about that game against the Golden State Warriors? The Nets figured out a way to lose a game that was impossible to lose. After watching game after game of ineptness from the coaching staff down to Jarrett Jack’s shot selection, you would say that this team is full of dysfunction.
But have you NBA fans noticed something?
NBA coaches are starting to drop like flies around the league and there is one common denominator here…
THE BROOKLYN NETS!
The Brooklyn Nets started a chain reaction when they (finally!) fired Lionel Hollins and reassigned (aka, no more public decisions) Billy King to a position that fits the description of a General Manager while getting paid for it. Since then, Jeff Hornacek of the Phoenix Suns has been fired. David Blatt of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been fired. Derek Fisher of the New York Knicks just got fired down the street. All of these firings have the Brooklyn Nets written all over it.
Brooklyn’s Finest ran an article a few weeks called the Brooklyn Nets: The Blueprint of Dysfunction.
Since then everything that was mentioned in the article has come to fruition. So we have decided to expand it in to a series.
The first part to this series belongs to an NBA coach that has not been fired yet, but after the Brooklyn Nets put on a Golden State Warriors shooting display on his team, the franchise will deal with him either this week or after the All-Star break.
The Blueprint of Dysfunction falls sadly on George Karl of the Sacramento Kings.
At the time the Nets played the Sacramento Kings on their first west coast trip, I really thought that Brooklyn would win the game. They had just upset the Houston Rockets at their place and I documented that the Kings were the only team that was more dysfunctional than the Nets. DeMarcus Cousins had just reignited his feud (What am I saying? It never was diffused!) with George Karl and the Kings were talking about a coaching change… again.
Well “Boogie” Cousins, after having an awful first half, totally destroyed the Nets in the second half to the tune of 40 points and 13 rebounds and made Brook Lopez look like a 98-pound weakling in the process. The Kings came back and won 111-109.
Fast forward to last week, and Friday night.
The Brooklyn Nets ran up a season-high in points, snapping a five-game losing streak and beating the Kings, 128-119, at the Barclays Center. Now understand the Nets don’t even average 100 points a game at 96.2. The Kings gave up 18 three-pointers in 28 attempts to the Nets, which amounted to the third-highest total in team history… in Brooklyn AND New Jersey!
That’s not the story.
It was what DeMarcus Cousins said AFTER the game that set things off, among other things, but we’ll get to that later.
“I’m not going to keep blaming these guys in the locker room,” Cousins told reporters in Brooklyn. “Energy and effort is a huge part of the game, but I’m not going to keep blaming it on that. We’ve got a bigger issue, and we need to figure it out as a team.”
“I’d rather keep [problems] in house, but we definitely have a bigger issue than just energy and effort. That can’t be the excuse every night. …We’re going to work this out as a team, and hopefully we can fix this.”
Understand that George Karl was hired about ONE YEAR AGO from ESPN with a freshly minted four-year, $15 million contract to guide this train wreck - I mean franchise - after Mike Malone was screwed out of the job after an 11-13 start and Tyrone Corbin watched the Titanic - I mean the Kings - go 7-21.
What is it about that Brooklyn Nets franchise that brings out the worst in NBA teams?
After the loss, it was widely reported from numerous sources - ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, CBSSports.com, basically any credible sports source on the internet - predicting Karl will be done by the end of the week.
Is it his fault?
George Karl had just about as much chance to turn the Kings around as Lionel Hollins did with the Nets. They are basically getting the same treatment and blamed for the real culprits…
George Karl made a $15-million mistake (if only all of us were that lucky) in working for an owner that does not know how to run a franchise with people in the front office making bad decisions.
The owner here is Vivek Ranadive, who is the majority owner of the Sacramento Kings. When he bought the team from the Maloof family in 2013, fans were singing “Happy days are here again!”
Now the fans might be singing to the Maloofs “Baby Come Back!”
Since 2013, the Sacramento Kings have gone through four coaches after Karl gets the ax (Keith Smart, Mike Malone, and Ty Corbin).
Mike Malone’s firing was widely criticized around the league because Malone probably was the only coach maybe ever that Cousins would take coaching from without thinking about cussing him out. Malone was bringing stability to a franchise that was considered a mess. Ranadive wanted to look pretty on the court and play faster on the court. Malone disagreed and was shown the door.
Why was Ranadive so widely liked in the beginning?
The new arena.
To sell proper PR for the arena, the Kings needed a big name to lead the team. Hello future Hall-of-Fame coach George Karl!
Sound familiar? Think Deron Williams and the move to Brooklyn.
Then the franchise hires a rookie GM to be Karl’s boss. Boy that reeks of dysfunction doesn’t it?
First Divac clears cap space in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers that made no sense. Here it is…
Jason Thompson and Carl Landry were traded in a salary dump for cap space to try and make a run at Wes Matthews. Problem is, Matthews took less money to go to Dallas. So assets were given away for basically nothing in return for the future.
Then Divac basically threw Karl out in the Pacific Ocean with no boat when he discussed Karl’s future with some of the players, which included Cousins.
At least Billy KIng wasn’t that bold.
How bad are things? Things are so bad according to The Vertical, the minority owners are trying to seize control from Ranadive. Based on the revolving door of coaches, a bad GM and a bad culture altogether, the Kings will be set back years.
The word around the campfire is the Kings will replace Karl, who will care as much as Hollins while collecting a check every month at home, with Corliss “Big Nasty” Williamson.
Williamson always had one of the best nicknames in NBA history. He’ll need it…
Because the Sacramento Kings are a big nasty mess.