Dave Joerger Vs Kings Front Office

The Sacramento Kings are in playoff contention. I repeat; the Sacramento Kings are in playoff contention. Apart from the 2014-2015 season where the Kings played a lackluster group of veterans around a prime Demarcus Cousins, the last time the Kings seemed serious about the playoffs was way back in the early 2000s when the Kings were a playoff lock every year.

In 2014, the Kings were off to a red hot start to the season. Demarcus Cousins and head coach, Mike Malone led their team to a 9-5 record over the first 14 games of the season. How did team owner, Vivek Ranadive react to this success? He fired the head coach and entirely changed the system that the Kings were succeeding with. He said he wanted to “play more like the Warriors” with a fast-paced three-point shooting style.

What Ranadive forgot to consider, however, was that his teams’ superstar was a 6’11, 270 pound beast in the paint who was incapable of playing fast and shooting threes. Regardless, Malone was fired and replaced by Ty Corbin. The Kings would continue to underperform until the start of the 2018-2019 season under second-year head coach, David Joerger.

The Kings are now off to an 8-8 start to the season, well over performing their expected last place finish in the Western Conference. How do Vivek Ranadive and general manager, Vlade Divac react to this winning?
The answer is simple, and eerily similar to their conclusions from four years ago. The Kings are considering firing their head coach, and once again remodeling their entire system.

The front office is disappointed in the lack of minutes for second overall pick, Marvin Bagley III along with many other young assets including Harry Giles, Skal Labissiere, and Justin Jackson.

De’Aaron Fox has the opportunity to be a legitimate superstar. Alongside veterans Iman Shumpert and Nemanja Bjelica, a lot of pressure has been taken off the shoulders of Fox, allowing him to play the game the way he feels comfortable.

Assuming the front office parts ways with Joerger, the minutes previously played by efficient role players like Shump and Bjelica would now be played by Justin Jackson, Marvin Bagley, and Harry Giles who are all clearly not ready for significant minutes in close games.

Bjelica and Shumpert have each singlehandedly put the Kings in a position to win multiple games this season. While growth for our youth is important, playoff experience should be the ultimate goal every single year.

In Demarcus Cousins’ seven-year long stint in Sacramento, he made the playoffs a whopping zero times. While his play on-court was unbelievable and at times unguardable, his lack of playoff experience essentially ruined his career, giving him titles like “stubborn” and “team-cancer.”

While it is unlikely Fox falls that far down the “playoff drought hole,” early playoff experience infinitely improves a player. The front office has dealt with this exact scenario before and flopped, so it makes no sense as to why they’d use the same thought process. For the sake of De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein’s potential, Dave Joerger needs to remain the head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

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