Trill is Going to Sactown!

 

DeMarcus Cousins must be smiling around somewhere when the commish announced that Kentucky’s defensive honcho, Willie Trill Cauley- Stein will be suiting up a Kings uni next season.  You better be smiling big guy!

Weeks before the draft, Cousins reportedly “wants” his fellow Wildcat to play alongside him on the Kings’ frontcourt to unload the pressure he has down low. The seven- foot Cauley- Stein averaged 14.1 ppg, 10 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 1.8 spg per 40 minutes though you can’t really see that frequently in his junior year due to Kentucky’s depth.  Analysts are impressed of Cauley- Stein’s speed and agility considering his size as a big man (his 7’ 2” wingspan is a big factor on his scary defensive presence). He plays center but is also very able to stretch and protect the perimeter which makes Boogie a very happy man…at least during the draft.

Pairing him with the team’s franchise player may clog the paint and that’s an alarming situation until you realize that Cousins can stretch the defense a little bit with his mid- range jumpers, 15- 19 feet away from the basket (hey at least he CAN stretch the defense which is very valuable in the league right now). Most of us understand why Boogie wanted the team to draft Trill (oh it’s his nickname by the way) from the beginning because outside Boogie, the Kings have no legit frontcourt defender so when Adam Silver mic’d to the world that Sacramento picks the Kentucky standout Cousins was surely happy what the front office decided. And oh, Cousins also leads the Kings in scoring posting 24 per game so it’s just rewarding for the big guy if you play him with another of his kind to do rim protection and bolster the defense.

Today’s draft night gave Kings fans and personnel something to breathe deeply amidst the Karl- Cousins stuff that is going really crazy the past two weeks. We all hope that George Karl will stop on insisting or even thinking about trading the team’s franchise player for Sacramento’s sake. But as of now, this is one great news to be looking forward to. Let’s just give Karl and Cousins a break.

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Sacramento Should Never Trade DMC

 

After another losing season (that’s even an understatement), the Kings future is at stake.

Reports started buzzing around that Sacramento Kings’ All- Star center DeMarcus Cousins is favorably eyed by the Boston Celtics for a bunch of draft picks.

The moment I read the rumors I was like, “Hell no!” A talented, franchise player like him is wooed by another team with draft picks? Seriously, Danny Ainge? Were you even thinking that notion like even ten times? Vivek Randive loves to keep Cousins around, besides he is still in his contract until 2017.

Also, there is a reliable coach in George Karl and a state-of-the-art new arena downtown. Most importantly, Boston Celtics, he is the team’s no. 1 guy and we are aiming to be at the playoffs next season so bug off suckers.

I know coach Karl gave a statement to the media that he hasn’t coached anyone who is “untradeable”, yet there is no lie that both Cousins and Karl have still an offseason to work with and patch up all the holes that might hinder their relationship worse, the team’s postseason goals.

Mr. Ainge, keep your picks, we don’t need a bunch of young guys to develop again. If we do so need your help, then maybe a couple or more established players. Like you, we’ve got hopes as well so stop trotting around, selling your picks like a ten- year old with cookies. 

Sacramento has the barely the pieces to complement the big guy (personally I think Collison, Casspi, Gay, and McLemore are must- keeps), but the team, since God knows when, has finally a cap space. Its not that much but we can improve that by unloading guys like Ryan Hollins and Carl Landry (man, I loved Carl’s plays before) or any players via trade.

A stretch 4 and a defensive minded 3 will do. Wilson Chandler is a must. He’s worked with coach Karl before in Denver and he definitely knows the system he wants to bring. Couple that with perhaps, Gerald Green who is also familiar with the fast- tempo play George Karl implements.

Right now, the future starts with DeMarcus because he has been a beast this season. Averaging double- doubles in points and rebounds. Plus, the big man has also a guard- like instinct by seeing his teammates whenever they’re open. On defense, he’s improved a lot. Blocking and deflecting shots.

Hopefully the front office can do the best job and address all the needs before next season and start fresh with coach Karl in training camp.

Mayweather is One Boring Stuff of a Boxer

 

On May 3 (Philippine time) Filipinos were once again locked inside their houses for yet another fight to be witnessed. One for the ages, fight endorsers claimed. Fight of the century, so everyone got excited and  went with the mass hysteria of the Pacquiao- Mayweather battle.

Or was it really the “fight of the century”? Manny’s fights against Juan Manuel Marquez were way more exciting than what happened on the 3rd of May.  I couldn’t blame Pacquiao for that, he was busy chasing after the cocky TBE guy.

I mean, hey, round 1 was kind of a back and forth action. Floyd threw jabs to keep Pacquiao and his speedy combinations at a distance, then came Pacquiao coming in and out of Floyd’s range as well. It was promising.

The later rounds? It was strategy versus instinct I believe. Floyd did two things which made the fight boring – run and grab Manny by the body (specially when he’s unloading his punches).  Manny was his natural self that night, haunting opponents with speedy punches.

It went on until the last round and worse, people all over the world seemed to blame Pacquiao for the underwhelming fight!  He was on attack- mode people, that coward on the other end of the ring made it less entertaining by not engaging with Pacquiao into a slugfest.

Let’s get back to the 4th round when Floyd was pinned on the ropes wishing for his teddy bear to cover him, all hell went loose and the crowd was enjoying that. That’s action people! You enjoyed that scene and it  was all because of Manny Pacquiao. What Floyd did the rest of the fight was to run and hug, too childish and a cowardly act. He won, though.

If they were in ancient Rome, the self- proclaimed The Best Ever would have found himself in the stomach of a lion (oh and his eyes and left hand in another lion’s stomach).

That was not good for the sport of boxing, Muhammad Ali did not do that. Sugar Robinson did neither as well. Hell, Mike Tyson would never consider doing Floyd’s “defensive tactics”. He may win by using his size advantage and constant running, but truth is, it is not entertaining and most of all, it is not manly.

Floyd Mayweather will never be the best ever. Nope, sorry kid, you never were and never will be. You are fighting in the shadows of those legends mentioned above.

So stop bragging about your cars and mansions, you lucky moron!

Long Way Home

It was  2006 when  Sacramento went to the playoffs to face the forever great Spurs from San Antonio..for the last time.

1I grew up as a zealous fan of the Sacramento Kings back in the “Greatest Show on Court” years and man, they were great and exciting as any team in the NBA right now. Anytime they had games live on TV I was watching them, with a basketball in my hands trying to memorize those slick Jason Williams’ dimes and sweet- shooting  strokes from Peja Stojakovic. If I have to tell a person or two about this now, it’s kind of weird yeah? Well, the story was like this:

I was in first grade when I went to my grandparents’ house , just right across my elementary school, one afternoon for a little snack when I knew that nobody was home. I decided to go upstairs hoping they were there (nope, still no signs of any human being). Checked it again, none.

As I was dashing my way back, a newspaper was lying lonely on their bed. I read the little fellow  and after all those gibberish topics about politicians, I came across this cool photo of the Kings’ no. 16 in a calm yet deadly shooting form. At that time, I was not a fan of the sport but something about the photo deeply persuaded me to become one and start playing already.

From that day forward, I got myself a basketball and started playing the game I’ll forever love.

That story is the reason why I’m not giving up on the team which inspired me to work hard and hustle even more in times of despair.

Sacramento Kings just gave me this eternal- like connection right away. Maybe because this little town in California isn’t as rich and glamorous as LA or San Diego or maybe because after spending time doing research about the team, I’ve learned that they have valuable pieces in them who came from depressed countries (Divac, Stojakovic, and Turkoglu).  I’m a small town man in the Philippines so maybe that’s what’s driving me to root for them.

Yet, from 2007 fast forward to 2015, they are no longer in the post- season after the band went apart due to stupid front office decisions and ignorance. Chris Webber and Co. were either traded with a bunch of role players or left behind without any support so the decision of packing their gym bags to other teams.

Frustrations grew bigger and even more bad decisions were passed around. Fans were cursing and felt that they were left hanging on the edge. The franchise was almost bought by a group from Seattle and thank God it was saved and it’s still balling in Sacramento. And oh, thank you Mr. Ranadive and Mr. Johnson as well, you sure deserve the credits!

This season though, it is still the same lousy, talented- but- young- and- misguided team that has been since Boogie Cousins and Rudy Gay put their Kings unis. I mean, three head coaches in a single season? Obviously, the guys in suits aren’t on the same page and worse, the players are confused as to which philosophy or system are they going to play on the hardwood every night.

I love how they started to beat the crap out of several over .500 teams in the league and to be honest, Mike Malone did a hell of a job in changing Boogie. That’s right, he disciplined the big man (well, maybe that WC stint had a part of his change). From an uncontrollable monster to a professional basketball player. A particular game at Phoenix was truly remarkable- Malone lost his temper and was berserk towards the refs from a charge Cousins got yet, Cousins immediately dragged his coach away from them like “It’s okay coach, Imma get this one back, just chill. Hakuna matata” . Hell of a job, Malone must have had the nuts to discipline Boogie.

However, Cousins got ill and missed more than ten games, the team didn’t have the same type of energy on both ends of the court, and they fired the guy who inspired the talented big man. It was pretty clear that the young center hated the action towards his mentor but this is the NBA, like any sports league around the world, it’s still about winning and yeah, business. So, Malone made his exit and was replaced by interim coach Ty Corbin who made a joke out of himself and the team.

While Corbin was still leading the team, the front office was busy publicly offering ol’ man George Karl a coaching job. That was great, unprofessional though. Should have done it in the offseason, besides the team couldn’t make it to the playoffs anyway. So Corbin got his job taken and walked away without a consolation. Karl was then in charge of a problem- filled team and had to figure out of any possible way to compensate their needs through each player’s performance every game.

This offseason, thousands of fans not only in Sacramento are hoping that they can address the problems and find ways to solve them…right away. Got a hint that Cousins is tired of going through the same process again, for six seasons straight.

The team must be committed to work as a team, a single unit just like the Spurs do. Build a mix of veteran and young players to play with him effectively each 48- minute war and 82 games long. Last time was 2006, that was a very long time and the fans are fed up with the “rebuilding” process speeches. The time is now, let’s do this Sacramento!