It wouldn’t be a NBA season until the Sacramento Kings were caught up in some type of drama, followed up with losing on the court. They have been the Western Conference version of the Knicks for the past 15 years. Much like the Knicks, the Kings got off to a surprisingly hot start and had people speaking highly of the young core.
And then there was Marvin Bagley III’s father who had another perspective on the Kings season thus far.
During a Kings game, Marvin Bagley III’s father tweeted at the Sacramento Kings official twitter account, begging for the team to trade his son.
Marvin Bagley's dad has requested a trade out of Sacramento for his son. Yikes city. https://t.co/S8jVnHuqKt
— Tony Xypteras (@TonyXypteras) January 3, 2021
For most NBA franchises the situation would have ended there, but the Kings are not most franchises. They’re a little more dramatic in a bad way.
Their franchise point guard De’Aaron Fox’s father weighed in on the situation, tweeting that the Kings should trade Bagley. Talk about an award situation for the Kings locker room to handle the next day.
Bagley refused to address the issue Sunday.
Fox, however, is outspoken like his father Aaron, and had no problem squashing the notion that players’ parents could lead to beef in the locker room or disrupt play on the court.
“I don’t think anybody’s out there playing basketball worried about two tweets,” Fox said. “And if you are, this ain’t what you should be doing because muthafuckas gonna tweet you every day of your life while you’re playing in this league. If that’s what you’re worried about, then I don’t know what to tell you.”
That sounds good in theory, but does it hold true in reality?
Monday was the first time this season the Kings looked disjointed from the start. The Warriors took an 8-0 lead while the Kings looked off on both ends of the floor.
The Kings would tell you there is no correlation between the tweets and their worst loss of the season.
“No, I don’t think so,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. “I don’t think that was part of our play tonight. We just played bad basketball tonight.”
Everyone can agree the Kings played bad basketball.
It turns out the final two quarters in Houston were a prelude to the team collectively getting run off the court by the Warriors.
Fox, who is about as engaging as any Kings player on social media, said there’s nothing hanging over the team because of the tweets.
“One, it hasn’t been brought up,” Fox said. “Me, Marvin, Luke talked for five seconds because it wasn’t a big deal. But like I said, when you’re playing basketball if you’re thinking about what somebody said on Twitter, then this ain’t for you. I’m 100 percent completely honest with you when I tell you nobody’s thinking about that while we’re on the court.”
Teams have splintered over many things. Ego, gambling debts or even teammates seeking the attention of the same woman have led teams to rifts.
It would be far-fetched to think the Kings’ season could be completely derailed by parental tweets, especially when league sources said Fox and Bagley are perfectly fine with each other.
But then again it is the Kings, a team lacking veteran leadership, and a head coach in Luke Walton who does not have the best track record dealing with locker room issues.
Oh did I mention these are the Sacramento Kings who botch every situation thrown their way?
Let’s remember a few instances.
In 2014, while DeMarcus Cousins is giving out toys for Christmas to the community, he is notified the team is firing his head coach Mike Malone.
In 2016 George Karl, the head coach at the time, was having lunch with assistant coaches just waiting to be told he was being fired only to be called and told he was being kept, which was a shock to Karl and the players who wanted him gone.
The Kings are also the team that couldn’t track down guard Ty Lawson after a preseason game in Las Vegas in 2016 and had to go their next game without him.
And let’s not forget the Kings traded Cousins, their only All-Star over the past decade, during the 2017 All-Star Game
Former general manager Vlade Divac even went as far in 2018 when drafting Bagley, a power forward/center, to say he could also play small forward, the spot everyone assumed Luka Doncic would have played had the Kings drafted him.
How about just this offseason when they agreed to sign and trade Bogdanovic to the Milwaukee Bucks, without getting him to sign off on the deal, causing the deal to fall through.
These are just some things that happen in Sacramento that fans and media covering the team shake their heads at.
So sorry if I don’t think this franchise will be able to throw a cold towel on the slow burning fire within the locker room.
But the Kings have the chance to defuse the situation, the ball is in their court.
It would help if the Kings got back to playing how they did when they got off to a 3-1 start. It would also help if Bagley played better to stop speculation his travails as a player are the struggles of a young player, not one who wants out of Sacramento.
Bagley had five points on 2-of-9 shooting to go with nine rebounds and three turnovers on Monday. If he keeps producing those abysmal numbers, the rumors and speculation will only grow.