Sacramento, Calif. — Hoover Dam wasn’t built overnight. The Sacramento Kings will need time as well.
Michael Malone, in his first season as Kings head coach, is trying to shape a new identity for the club. He recognizes a change in fortune starts by creating a formidable defense and an offense with a motive.
Alas, old habits die hard, and the Kings have made seven lottery appearances in a row. To change the mindset, Sacramento must hit reset and start construction brick-by-brick.
“It’s a work in progress,” noted Malone at Monday’s practice. “One thing I keep on saying and continue to say is that we’re (going to) take it one day at a time and try to get better every day. We have a ways to go.”
The Kings’ 5-2 preseason record might seem like early returns, but not to the boss. Malone recalled how the team won the same total in the 2012 preseason, while the squad went 28-54 when the contests mattered.
“(If) those guys that thought being 5-2 and doing some good things meant a lot, they couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Malone also emphasized how the Kings need to bring energy and commitment regularly, and not at desperate moments. This was an issue last season when Sacramento strung three wins together once the entire campaign.
“We have done some good things at times. We have definitely progressed since the troop came together. For the most part they have bought in and embraced the change that we’re trying to create here, but they must understand that that must be embraced on a daily basis, and during practice it must be embraced throughout the practice. Not a hit and miss, pick-your-spots.”
Should the Kings embrace Malone’s philosophy, the club and its raw talent will morph into a contender. While the finished product may be hard to envision, sticking to the plan and laying a foundation now will only make future efforts easier.
Photo Credit: Ed Szczepanski / USA TODAY Sports