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Don't forget about James Harden was picked #3 in the Tyreke Evans draft. People were saying how great Tyreke Evans was because he was putting up gaudy numbers on a bad team, while Harden was having a very average rookie season on a good team.

How many people would had predicted Harden would be the one who developed into a Transcendent Super Star, while Tyreke Evans career sputtered?

You simply can not predict who will be the best player in a draft, after one rookie season. Most players take time to develop and once a player is fully developed, these "other" players can surpass the "transcendent" rookie stars in a few season.
Exactly. Although I’d add that Curry is the true best player from that draft and the only generational talent. He’s changed the way the game is played and has spearheaded 3 championships and counting.

Harden is the biggest traveling chucker of his generation that hasn’t and likely won’t ever win $&@!. He’s Carmelo Anthony 3.0. :p But he has accomplished more than Evans, for sure.
 

Kingster

Hall of Famer
I'll tell you why I like all this talk about how great Doncic is and about Bagley not being the right pick or the best pick. What do you think Bagley is thinking??? This guy is an alpha dog of major proportions. See the Suns' game for confirmation. If you want the alpha dog to grow into a monster just feed him some of this stuff on a weekly basis and he's going to be feeding on the league very shortly.
 
Exactly. Although I’d add that Curry is the true best player from that draft and the only generational talent. He’s changed the way the game is played and has spearheaded 3 championships and counting.

Harden is the biggest traveling chucker of his generation that hasn’t and likely won’t ever win $&@!. He’s Carmelo Anthony 3.0. :p But he has accomplished more than Evans, for sure.
Sorry, I hate Harden, but he will go down as a top 5, maybe top 3, shooting guard of all time (unless you consider him a point guard). He is a generational talent for sure.
 
Sorry, I hate Harden, but he will go down as a top 5, maybe top 3, shooting guard of all time (unless you consider him a point guard). He is a generational talent for sure.
IMO not if he doesn’t help lead a team to a title, he won’t. He’ll just be another elite scorer like Alex English, Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady or Vince Carter among many, many others. HOF worthy but not a ‘generational’ player.

Over 40 years I can name lots of players that were as good or better scorers than James Harden. Harden’s largely setting records because the rules have changed to make players more unguardable.

If Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, John Havlicek, Rick Barry, Pete Maravich, and George Gervin etc. didn’t have to keep their hands on top of the ball most the time during their dribble or could get away with euro steps and 3-4 step step backs and had use of a 3 point line, they’d have accomplished more amazing things too. But most those guys led teams to titles regardless.

Unless Harden does the same, he’s just another elite scorer nothing more. There’s been lots of those throughout the history of the league.
 
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IMO not if he doesn’t help lead a team to a title, he won’t. He’ll just be another elite scorer like Alex English, Carmelo Anthony, or Vince Carter among many, many others. HOF worthy but not a ‘generational’ player.

Over 40 years I can name lots of players that were as good or better scorers than James Harden. Harden’s largely setting records because the rules have changed to make players more unguardable.

If Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, John Havlicek, Rick Barry, Pete Maravich, and George Gervin etc. didn’t have to keep their hands on top of the ball most the time during their dribble or could get away with euro steps and 3-4 step step backs, they’d have accomplished more amazing things too. But most those guys led teams to titles regardless.

Unless Harden does the same, he’s just another elite scorer nothing more. There’s been lots of those.
Not a Harden fan, but the Rockets were a Chris Paul injury away from the title last year. They out played the warriors, who lucked out when Paul couldn't play game 7. That aside, I'm not sure a player should be defined by a title in a team sport.
 
Not a Harden fan, but the Rockets were a Chris Paul injury away from the title last year. They out played the warriors, who lucked out when Paul couldn't play game 7.
And the KINGS were oh so close to a title too. If Michael Jordan hadn't retired to play baseball, perhaps he and the Bulls win 8 consecutive titles. If Kobe and Shaq could have got along, they likely win at least 1 more title and possibly more. But the facts are that things played out as they did. Harden doesn't have a title. Even while he was the 3rd wheel in OKC.

That aside, I'm not sure a player should be defined by a title in a team sport.
I fully agree with you on this, but mostly for football which is the ultimate team sport. While B-Ball is also clearly a team sport, 1 player has the ability to impact the game much more than any other of the 4 major sports. True generational players are sometimes able to overcome not having the best talent on their team to win i.e. LBJ helping to will the Cavs past the 72 win Warriors or Kobe leading the Lakers past Boston's big 3 or Dirk leading Dallas past Miami's big 3.

Until Harden can accomplish that, he hasn't done anything to separate himself from the likes of Alex English, Dominique Wilkins, Karl Malone, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson or Vince Carter. All tremendous HOF players, but none of them considered generational like Magic, Jordan, Bird, Kobe, Shaq, Duncan and LBJ.

**EDIT** let me also add that if Harden manages to lead the Rockets past GSW and/or whomever comes out of the East this year, he will join that exclusive club whether I like it or not.
 
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Demarcus never scored 32 in his rookie season. Just saying lol
No he didnt, he did drop 30 and had numerous games in the high 20s though.

When you consider the fact that he emerged as more or less the focal point of a very poor Paul Westphal offence where the next best in talent was basically Tyreke , Beno and later on Marcus Thornton. I think its difficult to compare the two. Bagley is legit, but we are legit in terms of talent and depth around him which enables him to make the most impact with his minutes.
 
No he didnt, he did drop 30 and had numerous games in the high 20s though.

When you consider the fact that he emerged as more or less the focal point of a very poor Paul Westphal offence where the next best in talent was basically Tyreke , Beno and later on Marcus Thornton. I think its difficult to compare the two. Bagley is legit, but we are legit in terms of talent and depth around him which enables him to make the most impact with his minutes.
I am not really sure what Cousins was brought into this argument. I guess some people just can't help themselves ;)
 
Vlade turned down the Knicks offer of Porzingis for Bagley or Fox!

https://basketball.realgm.com/wiret...ued-Marvin-Bagley-In-Kristaps-Porzingis-Trade

Kinda surprised nobody is talking about this! I can't be the only one who lurks in that den of inequity known as realgm!

Personally, I think Vlade made the right choice. Porzingis is am amazing player, but he's very injury prone (super red flag considering he's 7'3) and there was no guarantee he'd stay (in fact, he probably wouldn't). But it's nice to see that our core guys are starting to be coveted around the league!

.... as long as neither of them ever signs with Rich Paul.
 
Vlade turned down the Knicks offer of Porzingis for Bagley or Fox!

https://basketball.realgm.com/wiret...ued-Marvin-Bagley-In-Kristaps-Porzingis-Trade

Kinda surprised nobody is talking about this! I can't be the only one who lurks in that den of inequity known as realgm!

Personally, I think Vlade made the right choice. Porzingis is am amazing player, but he's very injury prone (super red flag considering he's 7'3) and there was no guarantee he'd stay (in fact, he probably wouldn't). But it's nice to see that our core guys are starting to be coveted around the league!

.... as long as neither of them ever signs with Rich Paul.
Either move would have set our team back 5 years, destroyed chemistry, destroyed moral, deterred our players from resigning, and prevented the building of a beautiful team culture that would draw free agents. You can trade away a few non-core guys and the chemistry can be ok, but if you trade away your franchise guys at this stage of a team's life cycle, you are signing your own death warrant.
 
Vlade turned down the Knicks offer of Porzingis for Bagley or Fox!

https://basketball.realgm.com/wiret...ued-Marvin-Bagley-In-Kristaps-Porzingis-Trade

Kinda surprised nobody is talking about this! I can't be the only one who lurks in that den of inequity known as realgm!

Personally, I think Vlade made the right choice. Porzingis is am amazing player, but he's very injury prone (super red flag considering he's 7'3) and there was no guarantee he'd stay (in fact, he probably wouldn't). But it's nice to see that our core guys are starting to be coveted around the league!

.... as long as neither of them ever signs with Rich Paul.
Completely the right move. I can understand the Mavs giving up on Dennis Smith Jr., but Fox and Bagley are both a step way above him as far as potential. You don't give up young assets on team controlled rookie deals, especially for a guy that was it seems threatening to sign the qualifying offer and then go into free agency (not to mention a guy with bad knees).
 
We did talk about it at the time, at least the Fox offer was known. As much as I would not disrupt the Kings core for KP's injury and contract risks, I think Dallas made a good gamble for them. They had a one player core, nobody on that roster really mattered besides Luka. If Porzingis is healthy and resigns there, Dallas has two of the most sought after and difficult obtain roles filled - an elite wing creator/shot maker and a big who protects the rim and stretches the opposing defense. It then becomes easy to fill around those two from there.
 
You don’t trade away a piece like Bagley for a player with injury concerns who might not re-sign there.

KP was an automatic no, the question would’ve been AD
 
I am not really sure what Cousins was brought into this argument. I guess some people just can't help themselves ;)
They were both bought into completely different environments so any comparison should be moot.

At the end of the day, as a franchise we would do well (and are certainly well on the way) to building a contender around our shiny new toy, learning from the past and our inability to do so.
 
No he didnt, he did drop 30 and had numerous games in the high 20s though.

When you consider the fact that he emerged as more or less the focal point of a very poor Paul Westphal offence where the next best in talent was basically Tyreke , Beno and later on Marcus Thornton. I think its difficult to compare the two. Bagley is legit, but we are legit in terms of talent and depth around him which enables him to make the most impact with his minutes.

I thought Demarcus was a once in a generation talent that suffered here due to poor coaching and lack of organizational leadership and team structure/culture, which he particularly needed (the way he excelled under Malone and Coach Cal). That said, I think Bagley is going to be a greater offensive talent. The touch he displays around the basket is something I've never seen in a player that young. He's absolutely remarkable.

Our announcers are gushhhing over him the way they did DMC, but it's for different reasons. DMC was our Big Hope, and we were overly dependent on him for basically saving our franchise. We thought that if DMC could help us win, and turn out the fans, that he would help us save the team in Sac. We were in survival mode. It was way too much pressure to put on the young man, without nearly enough support, guidance, and mentorship. Everybody gushing over DMC at that time was basically a subconscious way to participate in the fight to keep the team here.

Everything is being done in a much better way with Bagley. This means fewer "over the moon" type statements, and no rush to bring him along too quickly. But I hope everybody understands that the way Jerry talked about him is the the way people really feel about him within the org. We're kind of keeping under wraps right now, but when he's averaging 22 and 11 next year you're going to see the big talk really take off. When he's at 25 and 13 the year after that, it will be well understood that he is likely going to be the best player is Sacramento Kings history. When he's scoring 27 a game and shooting 37% from three the year after that people will be talking MVP.
 
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I switched on TNT last night to see if I could catch the end of the Utah - Golden State game. Unfortunately the game was already over, and instead I got treated to Baron Davis talking about the Lakers being a good matchup as an 8 seed vs the Warriors. They're not even the best team in LA at the moment, and, of course, the Washington Generals Sacramento Kings are currently in 8th. Since you can draw a direct connection between idiocy like that and the Kings getting screwed in 2002, it's infuriating.

Congratulations Baron, you've earned a place on my See the Face / Change the Channel list !
 
I switched on TNT last night to see if I could catch the end of the Utah - Golden State game. Unfortunately the game was already over, and instead I got treated to Baron Davis talking about the Lakers being a good matchup as an 8 seed vs the Warriors. They're not even the best team in LA at the moment, and, of course, the Washington Generals Sacramento Kings are currently in 8th. Since you can draw a direct connection between idiocy like that and the Kings getting screwed in 2002, it's infuriating.

Congratulations Baron, you've earned a place on my See the Face / Change the Channel list !
Lebron's migration to the Western Conference remains fresh enough that every pundit and ex-player is going to offer their two cents on Lebron's chances in a potential first-round matchup between the Lakers and the Warriors (especially since Baron Davis used to be a Warrior). That said, if the Kings do manage to lock up the 8th seed, there will be no shortage of interesting storylines for the media to dissect in a potential first-round matchup between the Kings and the Warriors:

It's a NorCal rivalry. Both teams play a dynamic, up-tempo style with elite three-point shooting. They've never faced each other in the playoffs before. In fact, they've never even made the playoffs in the same year. It would be the Kings first playoff series in thirteen years, breaking the longest-standing drought in the NBA. Boogie Cousins would be competing in his very first playoff series, and against the team that drafted him. It's a David vs. Goliath scenario. The West's up-and-comers vs. the West's greatest dynasty. Youth vs. experience. Buddy vs. Steph in a battle of long-range dominance. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Now, the Warriors probably win that series in five, but if the Kings manage to get there, I imagine it will be one of the most talked-about series of the first round, and one of the most exciting to watch.
 
I don't think Bill Simmons has a hunch. It's an opinion and numbers on a sheet aren't really necessary for an informed decision based on observation.

There is a lot to be said for stylistic preferences as well as just outright preference in players. Some liked Magic and some liked Bird. Different positions and approaches to the game. Shaq or Kobe. There are tons of people who don't like Hardens game and couldn't care less about his stats.

Bill likes Bagley, but he prefers Luka. Sometimes even someone jumping off the screen to you is subjective and not a right or wrong situation.
I'll buy that. I watched the Suns game and was surprised when Grant said Bagley got his career high and even more surprised to find out he'd scored 32. He did have that one very impressive drive on Ayton where he got by him with a spin move and finished with his right hand and he did knock down an open three but a lot of his other shots were forces that ended in free throws. Stylistically speaking, Bagley is a drive straight at the basket and flip it in type of player. He's big and athletic so it works out for him, especially against a team like Phoenix which just continues to looks like they all hate playing together for some reason. Don't get me wrong, 32 points on 10 for 15 shooting is damn impressive any way you get it, especially for a 19 year old. And the results are what matter, not how hard you're working to get there. But I don't see the talent oozing off him so much as I see a super athlete who's still learning to play the game. I'm not going out of my way to dismiss him -- if he develops into the best player in the draft that's enormously good fortune for this franchise -- it's just that subjective evaluation thing.

..

The other thing that I think gets missed in the "what about Tyreke" example so many people bring up is that we all knew Tyreke couldn't shoot. It was a very obvious flaw in his game right from the beginning. And anyone projecting stardom from his 20-5-5 rookie season (and we all were!) understood that he had to develop a reasonable three-point threat for that to happen. It never even crossed my mind that it would take him 7 seasons to get there. The cautionary tale with Tyreke is regarding a player who fails to develop their skillset. It's not like there was any mystery why he slowly became less effective. Once teams knew he wasn't a threat from the perimeter they started playing him to drive and that took away his one weapon. Everything else that went on (pushing him to SF, loading up on other ball dominant guards, drafting a high usage big man who ate into his touches) was ancillary to the big problem which is that you can't consistently fool defenses who know you're driving to the basket on every possession. What impresses with Doncic is his skillset and remarkable ability to make good decisions under pressure. This is a totally different situation. I'm sure he'll have his own difficulties to work through, but it's difficult to spot any obvious flaws right now.

..

I don't think it's that simple. I've been watching basketball (and other sports) as much and as long as Simmons. I often think I know, and sometimes I do, but I often don't really know. Difference is, I can admit that. Furthermore, while we can see something in a player, you can't know for sure that player A is better than player B less than a year into the process. That's more my point.

I ended up being right about Steph Curry over Tyreke Evans. But it didn't look that way after year 1 or probably even year 2. And while I felt Curry was going to be good, I had no clue he'd be the transcendent player he's become. But I've been on the other end of it too. I was convinced 18 yo Kobe Bryant was going to be humbled when he entered the league back in 1996. While it did take him several years to get going, how ridiculous does that opinion look now?

I have no doubt that Luka is going to continue to improve and remain one of the best players from this past draft. And while he might be, it's far from a sure thing that he's still going to be better than MB3 or Jaren Jackson or Trae Young (or whatever other name someone would like to add to the list) next season or 3 years from now. Just like Tyreke v. Steph or Fox v. Mitchell, Tatum, Ball and Kuzma. The tide may change.

Tyreke Evans was only a few months older than Luka is now when he averaged 20/5/5 and won ROY in 2009/10. Fans forget how upbeat everyone was after that first season. Same even goes for Jason Williams and all his creativity and flashy play in 1998/99. But neither player achieved the level many thought they knew was in store for them while other players from the respective drafts surpassed them.

So circling back to my point, as much basketball as BS has seen over 40+ years, he should know better than to rush to judgement. Not about Luka being a good or even great player, but about the KINGS making a mistake. He doesn't know that yet. None of us do.
Part of Bill's schtick is sounding confident in his opinions. I feel like a fair amount of his obliviousness is an act. Or if it isn't, than it's more that our culture rewards the flashy take rather than the nuanced (ie TLDR) approach. I don't even think the argument here is Doncic vs. Bagley so much as it is Doncic vs. everyone else. Nobody comes into the league and is instantly their team's leading scorer, leading playmaker, and go-to option in crunch time unless the team is horrible and they're just force-feeding them the ball because they have no other options. Dallas had Dennis Smith Jr, Harrison Barnes, and DeAndre Jordan and fancied themselves a playoff squad with Luka as a complimentary piece. He's totally reconfigured their entire outlook in half a season. The whole "Sacramento made a mistake" reaction shouldn't be seen as any kind of knock on Bagley as a prospect. It's really just another way of saying that what Luka has done this season is almost without precedent. He's going one-on-one against the best individual defenders in the league nightly and embarrassing them. You can also tell he's getting worn down as his shooting splits have declined for 4 months in a row. He is probably going to hit some kind of a wall at some point but first impressions count for something and his has been spectacular.

Regarding Steph Curry, he very nearly won ROY that year too. Tyreke got off to an early lead and the buzz around 20-5-5 became insurmountable but Curry matched him from about February to the end of the year and probably even outplayed him the last few weeks. He ended up signing a below market value extension because he had so many problems with his ankles that kept him out of games but his ability was already apparent in his rookie season. What most of us failed to realize is that Steph wasn't going to have to adjust to the league, the league was going to adjust to catch up to him. We hadn't seen a player attempt 11 threes a game before and make 45% of them. Most of us probably would have said that wasn't possible. In both cases, you could already see the outline of who each player was going to be. Steph kept improving while Tyreke more or less stayed the same. And that's the big thing with most of these players. The great ones never stop getting better.

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Internet culture has really warped both the media’s and the fans’ appreciation for the long view. Everybody MUST offer their take NOW, and that take is the DEFINITIVE take. There’s power rankings and rookie ladders and week-to-week examinations of goings-on all across the league. Even the least noteworthy teams receive coverage that would have been unheard of twenty years ago. Columnists have to feed the content machine, after all. And the fans are ravenous to consume as much of it as possible regardless of utility or quality or perspective. Declarative statements are a dime a dozen online, and most of them simply do not hold up to scrutiny as time passes.

Add this to the fact that the NBA has expanded to include 30 teams, and the talent has correspondingly spread out (yes, even when accounting for the league’s “superteams”). This has caused a whole lot of rookies to enter the spotlight a helluvalot sooner than they might have in a different era. Expectations are much greater as a result, and the hyperbole rises accordingly. It mutates a great freshman season from Doncic into a “generational” one, and a slow burning season from Marvin Bagley into a referendum on the Kings’ front office, despite the fact that neither player’s ultimate trajectory is set in stone, and with almost no consideration for the surrounding context.
The biggest change in the internet age has been that the demand for content now is enormous. You don't wait for Sportscenter now, the highlights are all instantly available almost as soon as they happen. If you want people returning to your site (which is how these media companies generate revenue) you need to be constantly pushing out something. It's not all going to be fantastic content -- that level of quality control is not possible on a 24/7/360 timeline. So yeah, that does push people to give an opinion on everything before they've seen the big picture. I don't think hyperbole is a necessary result though.

Consider this... Russell Westbrook is well on his way to averaging a triple-double for the third season in a row and nobody really cares at this point. Initially there was skepticism around Harden's scoring output being legitimate considering the changes to the rules which have all benefited offensive players with the ball in their hands. Players don't have control over the standards of the era they play in. Is Harden rising to greatness in a run-and-gun era any less legitimate than what Kobe did in his era or MJ and Magic before that? Is anyone really arguing against Steph as the greatest shooter of all time anymore? I feel like we measure greatness primarily by comparing players to their peers. It doesn't matter if Shaq was better than Kareem or not, he was unstoppable in his time. If you trust nothing else, you can at least trust that great players rise to the top regardless of circumstances. This is the very quality that makes them great, it's teleological.

So when a player comes into the league and plays with the swagger of an All-Star instantly that is noteworthy. That doesn't happen every year. In the last 25 years, the only rookies to come into the league with comparative immediate success were Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Lebron James, and Blake Griffin. Obviously we don't know what's going to happen yet in the future. Time has shown that some auspicious beginnings are better than others. The fully-developed college star (ie Emeka Okafor) typically plateaus faster and lower while the 19 year old prodigy (ie Dwight Howard) is still developing their game and their body. Tyreke was so otherworldly good at getting to the basket that he defied the scouting reports and thrived as a one-option scorer for an entire season. But if you think Luka is just having a great rookie season and the "generational" hype is merely hyperbole, I really think you need to take a second look. People flipped out over Jayson Tatum last year when he averaged 14 and 5. Ben Simmons stuffs a stat sheet but has yet to make a three point shot in a season and a half. The need to have a rookie of the year race does create a fair amount of manufactured hype. I don't think that's the case here, however.
 
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Was just about to post this! Fox is an awesome interview. Crazy confident, charismatic and self aware for a somebody who just turned 21!

Also, I dunno who that idiot is that said "I can't wait until you're a Laker!" at the end of the interview, but I loved Fox's response of immediately laughing in his face and smugly saying "yeah I don't know about that".

Sorry bro, Lakers had their chance at Fox. Enjoy Lonzo "2 for 12" Ball until LeBron ships him out!
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Was just about to post this! Fox is an awesome interview. Crazy confident, charismatic and self aware for a somebody who just turned 21!

Also, I dunno who that idiot is that said "I can't wait until you're a Laker!" at the end of the interview, but I loved Fox's response of immediately laughing in his face and smugly saying "yeah I don't know about that".

Sorry bro, Lakers had their chance at Fox. Enjoy Lonzo "2 for 12" Ball until LeBron ships him out!