Trade Deadline: The Two Daves
Mar 25, 2021, 4:40 PM | Updated: 4:52 pm
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
There are a lot of things one shouldn’t do when they’re angry.
Driving is bad. Rash decisions are bad. Talking to your spouse can be disastrous (even though they may be the source of the discontent).
One also shouldn’t write when they’re angry.
The problem is, I don’t think I’m angry.
I mean, when I think about specifics, there’s nothing I’m really angry about. My team has won 4 of 5. They’ll be favored in the next two games they play. The trade deadline has come and gone, and we (that’s right, we) still have our Backcourt Of The Future to build upon.
So why do I feel……sort of angry?
Maybe I’m a drama queen. Maybe I’m just venting. Honestly, this is less of a blog and more of a diary at this point. I don’t know how long this is going to go for, I don’t have a set ending to what I’m saying.
I think I’m just going to write for a while.
I think maybe the feeling I have right now is tension. Yes, tension is the correct term. You can be tense and not be angry, but the emotion feels similar. Like a familiarity of sorts.
But what is the source of my tension? I don’t mean specifically, of course it’s the Kings. But I think the tension I’m feeling is similar to the tension a rope feels in a tug-o-war. Like two sides pulling apart, yet no break or rip in sight.
I have two voices in my head right now, and they’re giving me a total headache. I really really want to be angry and lash out like a fan and/or sports talk radio host should, but I’m being restrained by my better angels (?) on the other shoulder.
So maybe let’s do a quick exercise.
You, the reader, are simply along for the ride. In fact, if you stopped reading right now, I wouldn’t blame you one bit. If you already stopped reading, it would be understandable, yet you of course wouldn’t be reading this paragraph anyway.
And why do I feel like I’m writing in the tone of a children’s author?
My self-produced therapy here will go as such:
The two voices I’m currently dealing with will have the opportunity to vent as well. Maybe by just getting it out, all parties will feel better in the short term.
Although you are now reading this as the next paragraph, please understand I just took 5 minutes and walked around the house between writing to try and think up two clever names for each voice inside me right now.
I thought of Gollum and Smeagol, but that’s too nerdy. Accurate, but nerdy and not a reference everyone will get.
I’ll just call them 1 and 2 and keep them simple. 1 and 2 represent the two sides of me going at it right now–why complicate things further?
Let’s let them talk, and revisit after the fact.
Dave 1 and Dave 2
1. (lying down on the couch, in full therapy position): “Here we go again. Yay. Another trade deadline over. I have no flipping clue what we are doing. This is Groundhog’s Day all over again, but without the zany Bill Murray humor. We are a failure, we’ve always been a failure, and we will always be a failure. Why did I get stuck rooting for this team? THIS TEAM?? So many other teams in the NBA, 29 to be exact, and Sacramento has the Kings. Whoop dee frickin doodle.”
2. “You gotta chill dude. Why are you so mad? What did you expect, Lebron for Buddy and a 2nd rounder? We have our backcourt. We shored up the bench a little bit. Delon Wright is an upgrade. Everyone wanted CoJo gone, even though he’s a great guy. This wasn’t fireworks, but its not the end of the world. You want Monte to make a move just to make a move? That’s how mistakes happen. He knows what he’s doing. Trust the guy, he has a big mess to clean up. Let the man work and save your judgments for later than the 20 minutes he’s been on the job.”
1. “YOU chill. I’ve been chilling for 14 years, about to be 15. I’ve been patient. More than patient. I don’t even know what the hell we are doing. If we ARE going for the play-in tournament, which is incredibly stupid, then GO FOR IT. Sorry but Delon Wright isn’t getting you over that hump. Upgrade for sure, but lets be real. And we still have Buddy.”
2. “So what? Maybe the fans want to see some actual playoff basketball, wouldn’t that be fun?”
1. “The play-in isn’t the playoffs dude. It’s not. That’s like hanging Pacific Division banners. It’s what bottom feeders get excited about. Are we going to hang a ‘Play-In Tournament Participant’ banner if we make it? Will we retire more numbers? It’s sooooo stupid. They’re not called the playINS, they’re called the playOFFS you ween.”
2. “No need to call names, broseph. We all want the same thing, we just may have different ideas on how to get there. Won’t it be fun to watch some winning basketball? Even if we don’t win the tournament, and heck, even if we don’t make it, the road there should be fun. More fun than losing 9 out of every ten games. And by the way, Monte still has things he could do this summer. Its not like the trade deadline is the end of moves forever.”
1. “You sound stupid. It’s all a damn gimmick. Winning games to try and slide into the play-in tournament is like eating a sleeve of Oreos. Sure its great at the time, but not so great when you Jabba your way over to the scale the next morning and you can’t read the numbers because your fat belly is too large.
Its what we always do, half-ass it. One foot in two ponds. Had they picked up a great player today, and said WE ARE GOING FOR IT, I’d feel better. At least commit. But this whole ‘just trying to be competitive’ thing is garrrrbage. It’s a trash philosophy from a trash brain trust.”
2. “Wow. Slamming Monte like that? I thought you loved him?”
1. “Monte has given me zero reason to dislike him. To be fair, he hasn’t given me much reason to like him either, but his status as an entity I like to call NotVlade makes him ok in my book. My problem is, I don’t know if its Monte. I THINK I know, but I don’t know. Is it? I mean, IS IT MONTE? I swear to God if we find out there was some sort of edict for them to “stay competitive” I’m going to lose my damn mind.”
2. “You’re too conspiratorial. You talked to him, he’s said many times he listens to those in the room, but at the end of the day he makes the final decisions. Are you calling him a liar?”
1. “No I’m not, but we’ve seen this movie before. It starts that way, but then the voices creep in like a fungus. Do this, don’t do that, we’d prefer you did this wink wink. This whole thing just doesn’t make sense. So maybe we got a little better, maybe?
Maybe with Marvin out of the lineup we unlocked SuperFox, and things are looking up? Sure. But which is more likely? That? Or that this is the same old tired trope- Kings win 4 of 5, lose 9 in a row, win 6 of 7, lose 9 of 11. Blah blah blah.”
2. “What’s past isn’t always prologue. Many things could be happening to explain why they’re playing better. And let’s say they don’t do very well the rest of the year, and let’s say they miss the play-in tournament. Ok. So? They still have their backcourt and they still have an offseason to make moves.”
1. “BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT WE ALWAYS DO!! ARGGGGGGH!! Do you not see it? You’ve been a fan as long as I have, we share the same brain! Not good enough to make the playoffs, but also not bad enough to really really rebuild. We are a team on a treadmill. We look like we are working hard, but all we are doing is running in place. This is an incredibly deep draft, and now we are relying on ping pong ball luck to get us some help. How is our luck usually in these parts? Here we go with another late lottery pick……”
2. “Tyrese was a late lottery pick”
1. “So what? Broken clock twice a day, blah blah. You want to rely on that every year? Truth is, we’ve had some pretty good lottery luck recently. Moved up to draft Fox, stole Haliburton, and we even moved up to draft Bag-“
2. “Don’t say it, you’re just going to get angrier”
1. “Right. Point is, we never seem to have a set direction. We know we want to win games, make the playoffs, and win a title. But we never go all in. This is a “gap year”, remember? How luck that we have such a top heavy draft, in a year when they don’t have to worry about fans booing? It was all set up perfectly. Look at OKC, man. Sam Presti has like 900 first rounders to work with, and they’ve been to the playoffs and back a few times since we were last there.
THAT is how a small market team should rebuild. Utah is a small market, look at what they’re doing! San Antonio should be horrible, but there they are. Maybe not a title contender but still winning and still likely in the playoffs.”
2. “You haven’t even given this a chance! Monte has successfully added a backcourt mate for De’Aaron. That alone means we are on house money this year. He still has the entire summer to make moves, and clear space. Maybe he’ll get a better offer–“
1. “–two days ago?”
2. “ha HA ha. No, maybe he’ll get a better offer this summer. You don’t think Barnes AND Buddy will still be here do you? It doesn’t make sense. There’s still a nice canvas here to paint on, and we have assets.”
1. “Yeah, but one of those assets was our lottery pick, which seems to be depreciating as we speak.
Honestly, I think my big frustration is that I don’t know what to think. There are things that can happen between now and next October that might help this all make sense. If he clears space and re-signs Richaun, that’s a good thing. However, if Richaun doesn’t come back next season, it’s a colossal failure. There is no arguing that if you aren’t bringing him back, you could’ve gotten assets in return today.
This would mark the second time they’ve lost an asset (and Richaun is a bigger one than Bogi) and not have gotten anything in return. And that’s malpractice.”
2. “What if Monte didn’t get any good offers? What if they were all lowballed for Richaun, and he figured he’d keep him around for a playoff push? Is that still malpractice?”
1. “That’s 100% malpractice. If Richaun Holmes doesn’t return next year, it confirms one of two things: Either Monte screwed up, or there is a team edict to stay competitive, and he was limited on what deal(s) he could make. If he was offered ANTHING of reasonable value, and you have to believe there was SOMETHING out there, you TAKE IT rather than lose him for nothing.
“This year doesn’t matter. Play-in games don’t matter. OOOOOOH WE MADE THE PLAY-IN GAMES YAY now at best we win it and get smoked by the Lakers or Clippers or Jazz. YAY.”
2. “Ok calm down, you’re getting upset again. You understand not everyone feels that way, right? You’re jaded, I get it, but there are kids that just want to see the team win, and to them its not meaningless. What about the girls in Mexico that do Victory Puppy songs with you all the time? Its not meaningless to them! And what about building a winning culture, making sure the players take that culture and momentum into next season and REALLY try to make a push?”
1. “First off, ‘winning culture’ is a dumb term made up by people trying to sell you things. Dumb. You know what changes culture? Winning. Meaning, the Kings could lose every game the rest of the season, but if they start out next year with an improved roster and start 7-3, none of the players are going to be like ‘hey these wins are great but remember all that losing last year? I think I’m gonna be sad’.
And as far as the girls doing Victory Puppy, I love them to death. I love them so much I want them to do Championship Puppy someday. I don’t want them doing Play-In Puppy. And at this rate, by the time we get to Playoff Puppy its going to be PLAYOFF OLD ASS DOG.”
2. “I’m starting to get the feeling I’m not going to cheer you up. Do you enjoy always being pissed and dramatic?”
1. “Yea, I love this feeling. I love my blood pressure spiking because of a bunch of millionaires bouncing basketballs. No dude, I HATE this feeling. Losing sucks, but losing combined with ineptitude is horrible. I’m so tired of always being a year away from being a year away. I’m sooo done with actually feeling sort of happy when players
I like get traded to other teams, in my mind I’m thinking ‘FLY PRETTY BIRD, FLY’, and that’s a bad thing to think. Can’t WE for once be the place other players want to play? Wouldn’t it be great if players had their contracts bought out so they could come play in Sacramento? Seriously, how foreign is that idea?”
2. “Someday my friend, someday. Monte knows what he’s doing. He has a big mess to clean up. I know you’ve been patient, but you gotta be a little more patient. The last 14 years aren’t his fault, and he didn’t even start with a clean slate. He started with a dirty slate, and he’s emptying out a bottle of Clorox on that thing.”
1. “Dude he like barely sprayed it once, and wiped it like my kid fake-wipes down the counter. He barely took a swing!”
2. “It took a long time to get us this low, its going to take a little time to crawl out of this hole. The light is at the end of the tunnel. Trust me. The long wait is over, and we are about to step into the light like Andy Dufresne crawling through that pipe o’ turds and falling in the water.
We are about to escape our own Sports Shawshank, you just gotta have faith.”
1. “Faith. Lulz. I’m all faithed out. I’ve given this team all my faith since I was 8 years old, and now I’m old enough to have weird long hairs growing from parts of my ear I didn’t know grew hair. My teenage daughter wasn’t even a thought the last time this team gave me any reason to have faith. So I’m taking the Missouri approach from now on”
2. “The Missouri Approach?”
1. “Yeah. Missouri is the Show Me State. And that’s where I’m at. This team sucks and is a total failure and is not allowed to ask me to be patient or have faith until they finally GIVE ME A REASON to have faith. Its pretty simple. Show me something, and until then I’ll just be here in the corner sticking pins in my Slamson doll expecting the worst.”
2. “Fine. You’re starting to depress me now. I’m going to go pop some popcorn.”
1. “You gonna go watch the game?”
1. “Me too. Be in shortly.”