Rollin' In The Rye

Is Coach Rondo The Answer For The Sacramento Kings?


Last week, the Sacramento Kings produced a level of chaos that had NBA fans scratching their heads in disbelief.

It started with DeMarcus Cousins cursing out his 64-year old coach, causing George Karl to ask for his suspension. When that didn’t happen, general manager Vlade Divac went around gossiping to players,  which ultimately ended with Boogie telling the Kings that he didn’t want Karl fired.

In the mean time, the Kings who started off the week 1-6, played good enough basketball to go 3-1, earning Cousins the Western Conference Player of the Week award. 

So everything should be OK in sunny California, right?

Well of course not, you can’t forget about Kobe’s Lakers.

As well as the fact that the Kings organization doesn’t ever really settle down. With nine different head coaches since the start of the second millennium, the most in the NBA, the next coach for Divac and the Kings is already on the roster.

With Rondo resembling his elite point guard self, it’s looking like the Kings have found the man mentally and physically tough enough to be the leader of the “Suicide Squad”. More importantly they found a man that works well with Boogie, the franchise’s prized possession.

In the seven games that Boogie was healthy enough to participate in, he’s accumulated the highest usage percentage in the NBA at 36.7 per cent. With the focus on Boogie, it’s important that he remains efficient for the Kings to win games.

In his 224 total minutes this season, only 20 of them have been played without Rondo. In that time, Cousins’ FG% dropped by 26.2 per cent, and he attempted only one three-pointer.

When Rondo is on the court, Boogie shot 28 threes, which he’s been converting with a 46.4 3P%, a higher percentage than Stephen Curry. Cousins’ offensive rating also goes from 95.6 to 106.8, and his defensive rating changes from 124.4 to 100.6 when Rondo is running the floor with him.

Throughout Sacramento’s past week, which ended Sunday on a high-note with a third consecutive win, Rondo also led the league in minutes with an average of just over 45 minutes played a game. That Sunday night, Rondo also had 14 assists to beat the Toronto Raptors, notching his fifth straight double-digit assist game.

Talk about a floor general.

Rondo’s absurd minutes and even better stats, can speak to a lot of things. Firstly, the other two point guards in Darren Collison and Seth Curry have been sidelined due to injury. Secondly, Rondo is a man that believes in his way, and his way only.

Signed this past free-agency as one of the league’s biggest gambles, Rondo looks like the Rondo of old. Which means a demanding personality, but a whole lot of skill.

It’s what ultimately caused his clash with Tubby Smith in Kentucky, Doc Rivers in Boston, and Rick Carlisle in Dallas.

Now in Sacramento, Rondo is playing for the the sixth winningest coach in NBA history. But with Divac holding Karl under the gun to embrace Cousin’s personality, he’s really left with no choice than to do what’s best for an impatient Sacramento franchise – which is letting Rondo run the show.

Rondo’s relationship with Karl is still a mystery. Mostly because of Rondo saying that it “has not been going too well” when asked about it. But he later added that he was simply joking.

Whether it was a joke or not, Rondo running the floor seems to be the only thing stopping Karl from getting fired, as the Kings hope to continue their win streak tonight against the Atlanta Hawks.


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You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97

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