Among the many disgusting things involving how the Maloofs have handled the Kings during their efforts to sneak the team out of the city, the way they set the organization up to fail has been especially egregious. From retaining a failed GM to re-signing Keith Smart as coach, to then retaining Smart throughout the season, it appears the Maloofs are trying to kill interest in the team to lower fan interest and stop those pesky kids from trying to spoil their plot, like it's a Scooby-Doo episode.
But let's be clear on this: Keith Smart has been a disaster this season.
I didn't mind the signing of Smart. He was the first NBA coach to actually connect with DeMarcus Cousins. That lasted less than a year, as the two have clashed throughout this season. But that's one thing. DMC is his own universe of problems. But the rest of the team has issues. Consider this from a fantastic Cowbell Kingdom post on Smart's issues:
Smart’s decision-making has been called into question, and we aren’t just talking about his choice to play DeMarcus Cousins nine minutes on Friday night. It has worn heavily on both fans and players for some time and now the clock is ticking.
“It’s just tough as a player,” starting point guard Isaiah Thomas said following Friday night’s loss to the Mavericks. “I always say that when you have inconsistent minutes, you’re going to have inconsistent production.
“It’s nothing we can control,” Thomas continued. “It’s how coach Smart likes to coach and you just got to go with it and always be ready at all times, because you never really know when you’re going to go in the game or come out.”
While he doesn’t have a roster of NBA All-Stars, Smart consistently coaches to his opponent and rarely takes advantage of potential mismatches. He is a reactionary strategist and chronic dabbler. There is no set nine, 10 or even 11-man rotation 76 games into an 82-game schedule.
So yeah, things aren't great there. And what makes this worse is that a resonsible organization likely would have let Smart go. Regardless of what happens with the sale situation, you can expect a total house cleaning by the new ownership, because they will, oh, what's the word? Oh, that's right, care.
Smart wasn't a bad idea at the time, but he became one pretty quickly. And the Kings are wasting, outright wasting, good years of their roster's development years in pursuit of this Major League-like effort.
Additionally, it needs to be noted that Smart's been a great assistant at every stop he's made. Head coaching just hasn't worked out for him so far. Maybe somewhere else he'd be better. It just hasn't worked in Sacramento.