The Kings have been the NBA’s most fun team this season.
They’ve drastically exceeded expectations. They play fast, energetic and joyous basketball. They’re young and improving in front of our eyes.
They’ll also miss the playoffs.
Because Sacramento has failed so long, this latest shortcoming fits into a larger framework. With their loss to the Rockets on Saturday clinching it, the Kings will miss the playoffs for the 13th straight year.
That trails only the 15-year drought by the Buffalo Braves/San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers (1977-91) as the longest streak of missing the postseason in NBA history. The Timberwolves (2005-17) also missed the playoffs 13 straight years.
Here are the longest playoff droughts of all-time:
These Kings just weren’t ready, not in the Western Conference. In the East, they’d still be in the thick of the race.
Sacramento’s season should be seen as nothing other than a success. De'Aaron Fox has improved at a historically quick rate. Buddy Hield broke out. Other young players like Marvin Bagley III, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Willie Cauley-Stein provide even more hope for the future. A team with an over/under of 25.5 wins has won 37 games.
But this is what happens with years of dysfunction. Strong gains aren’t enough to escape historic skids.
These young and promising Kings must keep going.
I think they will.
The Brooklyn Nets will be without Kevin Durant for the majority if not all of next season. In his place they will have to make do with the young squad they have nurtured into a potential playoff threat… and Kyrie Irving.
Irving is one of the latest players to join the Nets, coming over from the Boston Celtics in a move that Brooklyn fans hope will be the start of a potential championship run in New York.
To that end, the Nets appear as though they will be giving away a pretty significant gift early in the season in Brooklyn. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily nNews, the Nets will give away 10,000 Irving jerseys on October 25th as Brooklyn it takes on their crosstown rivals in the New York Knicks.
Giving away an entire jersey is a pretty big outlay.
The Nets certainly want Irving to know that he is important to them, and for fans understand that he is going to be just as revered as Durant in the coming years.
Some countries, like the United States, don’t really care about the World Cup. The 2019 FIBA World Cup in China was perhaps evidence of that, with Team USA not even bothering to medal.
For countries like France and players like Rudy Gobert, the World Cup is a chance to show that their nation is one that is coming forth as a place to be reckoned with when it comes to basketball development.
France recently took home third place in the 2019 Cup, and for that the Utah Jazz center was grateful. Speaking to reporters after their win over Australia, Gobert said that grabbing the bronze “means everything” to him and to France.
That’s some pretty moving stuff from a guy in Gobert who we know is someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve.
Everyone has an opinion about who is the greatest player of all time between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Most folks still seem to pick Jordan, although it’s been hard to argue with the type of player that James is in a vacuum outside of measurements like championship rings.
In any case, we now have one more person who has tossed their opinion into the ring of public consciousness. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has now said that he believes that LeBron is the GOAT thanks to his public service.
“I think LeBron has been willing to do what a lot of athletes are not and get involved in the political process, put money into education, and I respect that.”
James has certainly done a lot politically, socially, and as an activist. He’s supported things like entire schools, and he’s been on the bleeding edge of NBA activism against things like police brutality.
Jordan has also done his part, including a recent pledge for $1 million in funds to aid Bahamanian hurricane relief. Folks like to bag on MJ for his purported “Republicans buy sneakers, too” comment, but it’s unclear whether he actually ever said or felt that.
In either case, it appears that we know who Sanders thinks is the GOAT. Next someone should ask Elizabeth Warren if she would have taken Kobe or Shaq in 2004.
As any good golfer can tell you, the key to getting a pure ball flight is figuring out the idea of compression. Instead of scooping the ball off the ground, the idea is to hit the ball first and use the ground to compress the dimpled object between the earth and the clubface.
And while New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson probably isn’t concentrating on his golf game heading into his first NBA season, it looks like the idea of compression isn’t lost on him.
As the Pelicans held a golf event this week, Williamson was filmed snapping the head off of an iron while taking a shot off the tee box.
It’s hard to tell from this angle, but it looks like Williamson has a pretty solid swing. I’m extremely jealous of the amount of lag he has at the return parallel position on the downswing.
Someone get this guy a stiffer shaft or something. I can only imagine the kind of havoc Williamson is going to inflict on NBA rims this year if this is how the man golfs.