Speak Up Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace ….
By tophatal ……
Well the NBA has had its first managerial coaching casualty of the season with the firing of Sacramento Kings’ (2-5) head coach Paul Westphal by GM Geoff Petrie . With the worst record in the league after a mere eight games into their season it shows how unpredictable and cut-throat the NBA can be when success is found wanting . The front office of the Kings , specifically the ownership of the team by The Maloof family headed by siblings Joe and Gavin Maloof have somehow become negligent in their overseeing this organization . Limited success in recent years has left them struggling to remain credible .
Slide show for your perusal .
Paul Westphal may well have struggled in his communicative skills concerning this team and the very fact that it is a very young roster at its core proves that professional basketball has become one where it is a young man’s game in more ways than one . Certainly there had been some dissent concerning the alleged relationship between Westphal and DeMarcus Cousins with rumors alleging that the sophomore had requested a trade . The player’s college career with the Kentucky (Wildcats ) had been one that indicated his lack of maturity , conflicts amongst teammates and with his coaches . If that wasn’t an indication of things to come considering that the player declared for the draft after just a year into his collegiate career should have been a harbinger of things to come . Cousins’ drafting by the Kings was one out of desperation rather than need but the biggest question may well have been how Petrie was seeking to build this organization .
Struggling offensively the Sacramento Kings have proven to be something of a nightmare to watch over the course of this season and it certainly hasn’t helped that the team’s best player Tyreke Evans has been given very little assistance from his teammates . And given the dire situation now facing the Sacramento Kings not just merely from a competitive standpoint but also an economic standpoint makes their prospects grim . Attendance for the team’s home games at their arena has been terrible to say the very least and repeatedly so in recent years . Certainly with the organization seeking to relocate the Kings , albeit that the city of Sacramento led by its mayor former NBA star …. Kevin Johnson has been working in conjunction with private enterprise to enable the municipality to retain the NBA franchise within its domain. Something that might well prove to be a losing endeavor in the long run should David Stern , the league hierarchy intervene and simply threaten Johnson and his city’s commission . It’s certainly not out of the commissioner’s own wish , given his actions when Clay Bennett and he simply forced the issue concerning the Seattle Supersonics’ wish to leave the city of Seattle nd relocate to Oklahoma City to rename themselves the Oklahoma City Thunder .
Paul Westphal has been succeeded by his assistant Keith Smart as the interim coach of the Sacramento Kings . Now should Smart actually get this team playing with the resolve and tenacity sought then the interim tag could very well be removed as a label . Something that I do believe that the new incumbent would like to see happen as he further gains more experience as a coach within the NBA . Given Paul Westphal’s career record 51-120 and the very fact that he has been given very little assistance by Petrie by way of the team’s personnel decisions it should not be considered that much of a real surprise that he met such a demise . Certainly in terms of the team’s payroll they remain near the bottom of the ladder in comparison to their associates within the NBA . Furthermore given the Kings’ plight and the lack of real candor coming from Joe Maloof concerning his team’s plight it has to be said that were contraction considered by the league hierarchy then perhaps the Sacramento Kings would be considered a likely candidate to be amongst the teams considered for that rather dubious distinction .
David Stern and the team owners have repeatedly pled poverty as they rallied support from the fans in their endeavor to force the NBPA (union) to initiate a rather generous collective bargaining agreement that would favor the league in terms of the BRI (basketball related income) . Instead the compromise reached , was one that simply did nothing by way truly creating an equitable balance for the parties concerned . Union Executive Director Billy Hunter and its president Derek Fisher along with the executive committee came away from the negotiating table with its image tarnished along with that of the NBA’s . And this asinine notion of .teams being able to absolve itself of a financial liability with one time act of buying out a contract when they (teams) simply no longer heed the league’s soft salary cap simply indicates that the general managers , owners and the league hierarchy itself are clearly out of touch with the harsh realities that the game now finds itself in .
As one of the residents within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference the Sacramento Kings find themselves competing alongside the Golden State Warriors , Los Angeles Clippers , Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns . The division itself has to be considered one of the most competitive within the NBA overall . And it has now certainly added a great deal more excitement with the fact that Chris Paul has now joined the Clippers to play alongside Blake Griffin . Almost overnight that particular franchise has gone from being viewed as an “also ran” to now being looked upon as a legitimate contender for the NBA title .
Looking at the grave situation now facing the Sacramento Kings I certainly would like to think that we are not on the way to seeing the possible demise of the franchise but given the somewhat taciturn leadership of David Stern as it concerns the plight of the Kings and also the ongoing uncertainty as to the ongoing turmoil with regard to the New Orleans Hornets . Stern sought to bring in Jac Silver to oversee the day to day running of the franchise with GM Dell Demps still retaining his position in the aftermath of the team’s sale to the league by former owner George Shinn . There has been no word from the commissioner or from any senior official within the league hierarchy as to whether or not they are actively pursuing the sale of the New Orleans Hornets to a prospective buyer . And the fans of the game are now seriously being asked to look upon David Stern as someone who has the game’s best interests at heart ? If anything the commissioner has always come across as a pompous oaf whose interest and his own image are above that of the game. The commissioner may well have brought in billions of dollars in revenues riding on the back of the Michael Jordan era ______ the player’s rise to prominence within the NBA and around the globe . But since the player’s departure from the league Stern’s popularity has waned , albeit that he has seen the brand’s ascendancy within the Far East , specifically in China. That rise was weaved around the ascent of Yao Ming and the success of Team USA at the Beijing Summer Olympics in China . With the former Houston Rockets’ center retirement and the beckoning for his enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame prior to meeting the eligibility requirements .
It will be interesting how Keith Smart goes about raising the morale of this team in light of Westphal’s abrupt forced departure . In this current environment of the NBA you’re simply judged not what you achieved yesterday but what you’re said to be doing now . And for Westphal although it is my belief that Petrie and the Maloofs have done little to assist the coach by way of acquiring free agents and more specifically talent through the NBA Draft !
Like any other small market sports’ professional franchise it is far more about economic success in conjunction with the on field success . Some owners and executives have proven to be successful in that endeavor by being astute but in large part what we have seen by so many of these franchises has been the sheer ineptitude of the franchisees and executives . David Stern would have you believe that the cause of the NBA’s problems rests squarely on the shoulders of the union . But in reality the commissioner the league hierarchy have been slow to mandate the teams to rein in their extravagant spending . Granted , the NPBA’s executive committee have done little to show that they are being financially responsible but then again it should not come as a surprise to the most ardent of fans within the game because what we are now seeing are players who are too self absorbed with their image and financial worth rather than that of the image of game and its influence upon its fans , specifically amongst the young .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
With the firing of Paul Westphal do you believe that Keith Smart will prove to be a success in turning around the fortunes of the team ? Also what are you own expectations for the NBA over the course of this season ? By all means do leave a comment as you deem fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins , is restrained by head coach Keith Smart after he was called for a foul during the third quarter against the Orlando Magic in a NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. The Magic won 104-97 . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ….
(2) Sacramento Kings guard Marcus Thornton, right, drives against Orlando Magic guard J. J. Redick during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. The Magic won 104-97. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ……
(3) Kings guard Tyreke Evans, center, drives to the basket between Orlando Magic Jason Richardson, left, and Glen Davis during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. The Magic won 104-97. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ….
(4) Sacramento Kings’ GM Geoff Petrie is seen here alongside Paul Westphal , Joe and Gavin Maloof . Westphal this past week became the first coaching casualty of the NBA season . The Sacramento Kings got off to a franchise worst season start of 2-5 in their first seven games of the season . But it appears to the the coach’s seemingly tenuous relationship and communication problems with the players that may well have led to his downfall along with the Kings’ poor showing within their division and conference. Courtesy of AFP/ Getty Images ………
. NBA player stats scoring 2011-2012 season
Keith Smart head coach
Sacramento Kings team splits
Hot chic pic of the day . Stephanie Olivia