It looks like the Sacramento Kings finally have a coach they can rely on to take them out of the desert of the last ten years and into more fertile ground. His name is David Joeger. His first three games coaching demonstrate a solid approach to the professional basketball. He was rock-solid in Memphis and he will be the same rock in River City.
There is still, of course, the problem of his extremely talented child/center, DeMarcus Cousins, who threw a fit in the closing minutes of last night's game against the Timberwolves. His antic disposition, rushing into the stands and throwing his mouthpiece after he was called for a sixth foul could very well have cost the Kings the game, one they deserved to win, displaying the kind of grit past Kings' teams rarely displayed. I was surprised (very surprised) the refs refrained from T-ing the big guy for his tantrum. As Cousins ranted, I was reminded of some of my least mature students having melt-downs. I always sent them to the principal's office to cool off. In the old days, that could have called for a spanking. Commissioner Silver, get out your ruler, I'm sending you a trouble maker.
The Kings' team, I'm happy to report, especially for the sake of my wife's grandsons who have suffered through nothing but losing season during their short lives, are a much improved team under Dave Jeoger and his staff. They are a bit of a hodge-podge of vets, which makes for some concern as to what direction the Kings are taking. My bet is that the front office has decided to forgo a youth plan. This said, I have no complaints about the vets, all of them competent, if not superior players. I've always liked Ty Lawson (before he started having problems). I remember getting on the phone with Al Attles of the Warriors when Ty graduated from North Carolina and telling him to draft the Tarheel's guard. So, I'm pulling for Ty to resurrect his career with the Kings. Afflalo is a streak shooter, but a good defender. Matt Barnes is a flake, but a much better pro than people give him credit for. He too could become a kind of defensive presence and influence the Kings need. Once Darren Collison returns, it only helps the Kings backcourt. Temple is competent point guard and also a solid defender. Koufas is Koufas, a worthy back up center. Cauley Stein is a work in progress,but as the season moves on, he'll improve. How about mastering a few post moves, huh? Maclemore remains a mystery, but seems to be hitting the long ball more consistently, not enough for my taste, but that's me. Toliver will provide good back-up minutes. Omri Casspi doesn't seem happy to me looking at lost minutes. He's at his best when he can shoot the three ball, but none of the Kings appear to be looking for him. He's a tough kid, but a frustrated one. Rudy Gay is Rudy, a Carmelo Antheny clone, but not as strong or as proficient a shooter. STILL, Rudy can create of the bounce from the wing, and every team needs a player like that. Gay will suffice until a better option comes along through a trade. As for the rooks, it doesn't appear that the coaching staff is willing to risk using them much this year. Good decision, bad? Who knows. I like Richarson and Labisiere. The Giant Greek needs lots and lots and lots of work. Footwork would be a good start.
My prediction for this year: Baring injuries the Kings make the Western Conference Playoffs. Joeger in the mix for Coach of the Year.
Oh, my God, am I out on the limb, or what? Cousin's hysterics could be the saw that cuts of the limb behind me.
Not just the Kings' Dance team, but around the entire league, totally unimaginative routines. NBA teams are desperately in need of talented choreographers. Here's a poem about NBA dance teams.
NBA Dance Teams by Tom Meschery
There's a timeout.
The dance team rushes onto the court
and begins dancing the dance of flinging hair.
The music is thumping.
They're humping air.
My wife, sitting next to me, says'
"Sesame Street for the big boys."
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.