Friday, October 12, 2012

No Regard Presidential Previews: Sacramento Kings (Franklin Pierce)

Oh the season. Oh the season! Election or NBA, both are upon us. We're getting into the spirit by bringing you our season previews (with a little help from the presidents). One per day for the next 30 days—which will bring us to the Day of Reckoning. So please join us on the campaign trail as we shake hands, kiss babies and sink jumpers.

“Frequently the more trifling the topic, the more animated and protracted the discussion.” - Franklin Pierce

To say Franklin Pierce was a memorable, celebrated president would be to tell a complete lie. Despite winning the 1852 election in a landslide, Pierce went on to become one of history's least popular and most ineffective presidents and was not nominated by his own party for a second term. By badly mishandling the Kansas-Nebraska Act and admitting Kansas to the United States as a slave state, Pierce lost support of his own party and became the first president to hire a full-time bodyguard. Pierce, a New Hampshire native, had been one of the country's most successful lawyers before taking office, but tarnished his name and legacy beyond repair.

The Sacramento Kings had their moments in the sun. The days of the 6th Man rocking Arco Arena feel so long ago now, but in the early 2000s, the Kings were a force to be reckoned with, led by Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divac and No Regard's own Mike Bibby. Then Peja got traded for Ron Artest, Webber was dealt for 30 cents on the dollar and the Maloof brothers started hemorrhaging cash. The Kings have been a lottery team with one foot out the door ever since.

Currently, the three highest paid players on the Kings, in order, are John Salmons, Marcus Thornton and Francisco Garcia. Tyreke Evans, their former Rookie of the Year (because Blake Griffin was injured), appears to be one of the worst teammates in basketball, and his scoring and rebounding numbers have declined every year since he became a pro. The next year's pick, DeMarcus Cousins, is insanely talented, but may also be an insane person. Cousins has the potential to be one of the best big men in the game, but has already gotten one coach fired by refusing to travel with the team until Paul Westphal was relieved of his duties. Westphal was likely just plain relieved. Second year point guard Isaiah Thomas gives the Kings a modicum of hope, despite being hilariously booed at Madison Square Garden because of the curse of being named Isaiah Thomas. Other players on this team include Chuck Hayes, Aaron Brooks and former Basketball-Tebow and current forgotten bench guy Jimmer Fredette. That isn't good.

The Kings are going nowhere fast. Geographically, yes, but they are certain to remain in the lottery. The 6th Man is gone forever and their arena is named after a bracelet designed to make you balance better or something. For a long stretch this summer, the merchandise link on the team website led to an error page. You can't make this stuff up.

At the end of the Pierce presidency, the landslide election that brought him into office must have felt so long ago, just as the shadows of Peja and Webber hang over the Purple and Black in their remaining days in California's capital city. It was a good run, for a little while.

Rushed Pull-Up Jumpers

Pokemon who the team should adopt as its new mascot: Farfetch'd

Headline we'll be most sick of reading: "Maloofs Back Out of Another Stadium Deal"

Headline we're most looking forward to: "Kings Offer 'Buy One Seat, Get Entire Section Free' Ticket Deal, Tens of Fans Flock to Arena"

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you enter the pearly gates?: "You guys had some good times, right? Right?"