Saying that the Kings were a mess last season is no state secret. If a team’s star player and head coach (DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl, respectively) want each other kicked to the curb — including the coach pushing off-season trade ideas — things start on a foundation of sand.
How bad was it in California’s capital? Rajon Rondo — no stranger to challenging locker rooms — said it was the worst he had ever seen, while on The Jump with Rachel Nichols on ESPN (which is worth your time if you haven’t checked it out, she loves the game and it shows). Here were Rondo’s comments:
“There were too many distractions on and off the court. The organization as a whole, I don’t think was together completely. I think as a team you have to want the best for the next man beside you, and that wasn’t the case with the Sacramento Kings,” he said.
As you would expect, it starts with the coach/star player relationship.
“Too much tension. I’ve never witnessed or experienced a thing like that in my 10-year career,” he said.
New Kings’ hire Dave Joerger is a quality coach, he can get the Kings to play defense and buy into an offensive system. He showed that in Memphis.
That’s not the job. Joerger’s job is to win over Cousins. Everything else is secondary.
As for Rondo returning to Sacramento, he was Cousins’ best (only?) friend in the locker room, but he’s not someone the organization is looking to bring back. They’d like an upgrade. The question is if they can find one.