James Ham November 17, 2012 Regular Season
After another embarrassing loss in front of their home crowd, the Sacramento Kings are beginning to show major cracks. Just nine games into the 2012-13 season, veterans Chuck Hayes and Francisco Garcia called a players’ only meeting last night while media members waited anxiously outside their locker room door.
“Very frustrated,” Hayes told Cowbell Kingdom following the loss to Atlanta. “We came in with a good mindset, but things are going bad right now and we’re starting to break and we can’t have that.”
The Kings have had a rough 10 days. Suspensions to rookie Thomas Robinson and third-year big man DeMarcus Cousins left the team short-handed and the losses have begun to pile up.
“Obviously we want people to know that we’re not satisfied with what’s going on,” forward Jason Thompson told a group of hungry reporters. “So we thought it was only right to make each other accountable and say what was on our minds because at the end of the day, when we put our hands together, we say ‘family’ and we mean it.”
Family or not, the level of tension in the room was palpable.
“We’re tired of losing,” said Tyreke Evans. “(Atlanta) came in here and did whatever they wanted, got easy baskets. We worked hard on defense in Colorado and then we come out here at home and in front of our home crowd, we (lose) by 15 or 20 every night.”
For the last few seasons, the Kings have hidden their failures behind their youth and inexperience. Friday night, Hayes had a very clear message to his team.
“You know, you can only say the word young for so long,” said a fiery Hayes. “You know, you’re young if you only have 40 games in your career. You’re young if you only have 80. Soon as you crack into your second, third, fourth year, fifth year, you know, you’re not young anymore.
“You’ve done seen every play call,” he continued. “You’ve been to every arena. You’ve done guarded most of the players in the league at your position. The word young shouldn’t be thrown around no more. We’ve got to start taking accountability.”