Tone Down the Toxicity

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Last night’s loss to the Dallas Maverick has taken the frustration of Kings fans to a new level. Not only did they have to sit and watch the missed opportunity of a slam-dunk draft pick, Luka Doncic, pile on 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 17 assists, they also saw Sacramento drop to the 14th spot in the Western Conference.

It has been a disappointing season and things do not appear to be getting any better. After a promising campaign last season that previewed the team’s immense talent and potential, it seemed that the Kings would lift off and take the next step this year. As we all know, that has been far from the case.

The team has been plagued with injuries since day one. Though, even with their young core of Fox, Hield, and Bagley back on the court, the team is still having trouble finding a way to win.

It’s bewildering and frustrating. Kings fans are losing hope. Boos can be heard around the arena, and the cries for the firing of front office executives can be heard around California’s capitol.

With all the pent-up anger from 13 consecutive losing seasons and missed playoff runs, it is understandable for fans to give up hope yet again. 

But let’s take a step back, and make a point to observe the situation before we turn on this team, and on this franchise.

The Kings still have hope. Maybe not so much for the remainder of this year, but for the future. 

They have solid pieces in Buddy, Fox, Bagley, and Bogdanovic if they are able to hold onto him. That is undeniable. 

On top of that, Barnes is a solid starter at small forward and with that there is Richaun Holmes. Seeing a healthy Holmes should spark some more wins and thus restore a little of our faith in this team’s potential. 

A rebuild should certainly not take 13 years, but here we are. The future of the team includes pieces that are still relatively young, and who can continue to work and grow together.

As valuable as Vlade was in his career as a player in Sacramento, he is no longer warranted to be the general manager. He has made bad moves throughout his tenure, and it is honestly time for him to go.

Walton on the other hand should not be fired. It is frustrating to watch the team take a huge step back from where they were last season, but the constant firing of coaches in Sacramento wipes away any foundation and slashes consistency.

Walton has talent as a coach, and he has had to juggle lineups with seemingly a new player injured every night.

It is not time to turn on the franchise, it is a time to double down and support them.

I understand the frustration. I was at one of the last playoff wins in 2006 and the following 13 years have been miserable.

But we have to stay somewhat positive. The toxicity of this fan base is growing at an alarming rate.

Buddy made an observation last night about how fans applaud him for one shot and boo him for another. He’s right. That’s just the way Sacramento Kings fans are— taking the frustration of the past 13 years and tying it to this team. 

It’s not easy to be cheerful in this state, but we need to dial back the gloom and cheer on this team as if they were headed to Seattle.

I believe this team will play well once the spark, Holmes, returns, and that they can make an even greater playoff push next season.

For now, I think it’s time to tone it back, let the coaches coach and players play, and enjoy every flaw of Kings basketball. It’s no use getting frustrated staring at the product on the floor when we neglect to see the big picture. 

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