Ok, ok, I know this sounds ridiculous. But again, hear me out.
The Kings are reportedly interested, to varying degrees, in Vinny Del Negro, Mark Jackson, Mike Woodson, Kevin McHale and Sam Mitchell as candidates to become their next head coach. In Kings parlance, that means they’re interested in firing Vinny Del Negro, Mark Jackson, Mike Woodson, Kevin McHale or Sam Mitchell next April. Or sooner. Probably sooner.
That’ll just leave the Kings with another check to pay and another search to undergo. The obvious solution to this would be to just hire a good coach. But look at that list! They’re not even trying! They know that no competent basketball coach would come within 10 miles of that job. So my question is why bother hiring a bad one?
There’s no downside. So what if the Kings miss the playoffs again next year? Their last playoff game was against the Ottoman Empire. And it’s not like there’s any sort of minimum-imposed time period for this coach-less enterprise. If the team starts out 0-30, or 0-10, or even just 0-1 and they want to pull the plug, they can go for it without any repercussions.
But the Kings are opening a new arena next year. What better way to sell tickets than an experiment like this? It’s not even the craziest thing they’ve wanted to try. Vivek Ranadive still thinks playing 4-on-5 is a good idea. There’s no way this is dumber than that. At the very least people are going to pay attention to this.
You know who’s going to be paying attention in particular? DeMarcus Cousins! The only worthwhile player on the team! I bet he’s sick of cycling through faux authority figures and new systems. But that’s what he has to do since you can’t find someone decent to coach him. He has to rebel because you keep giving him so much to rebel against.
Want him to grow up? Make him the authority figure. After all, without a coach someone has to step up and lead the team. He’s the guy on this team that gets media attention. He’s the one who’s going to get blamed if this fails. So maybe use this as an opportunity to show him his stake in the organization. Show him it’s not so easy to run a basketball team. And then maybe when he’s a Laker in two years he’ll respect whatever Gatorade jockey they stick in front of him.
And hey, let’s say you do go 0-82 without a coach next year. Cool. You’ve just pulled off the most brilliant stealth tanking maneuver since Mark Madsen turned water into armadillo piss for the Timberwolves a decade ago. You didn’t even have to sit your starters with bogus injuries like sprained souls or reader’s knees. Next year’s draft is awesome. The worst case scenario here is that you boost your ratings and national media exposure for a year, and then get a high draft pick to actually start doing things the normal way. When that happens, you’ll get a big Sports Illustrated spread about how much the organization has improved and what they’ve learned and all that nonsense.
And if this whole thing succeeds? You’re geniuses! You get that SI spread early, start an incredible new trend and maybe knock Doc Rivers down a peg, which is always nice. There is no outcome here that puts you in a worse situation than you’re already in. You’re already a joke. Your team already sucks. There’s nowhere to go but up!