Do-It-Yourself Scouting In Sac-town?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – It’s no secret that the Kings need a new arena in order to remain in Sacramento for the long term.

But according to former first-round draft pick Antoine Wright, who has played for four different clubs in six seasons, what the Kings could also use to regain relevance in the Western Conference are scouting reports.

As part of a longer tale in which he acknowledges his own mistakes but seems to take responsibility for none of them, Wright tells Sam Amick of SI.com that during his brief stay in Sacramento last season that the team was shockingly unprepared stepping onto the court:

“My rift, really, with the organization was that I don’t think they prepared the guys enough to win basketball games,” Wright said. “We were probably the only team in the NBA that didn’t have a scouting report. How do you expect a young team to go out and carry a game plan? Every team I’ve been on, they give you a scouting report on every guy on the team, a couple paragraphs about each guy before you go out there and play against him.

“Coming on the court before the game was chaos – no structure whatsoever, and we kind of had a laid-back coach. [Paul] Westphal was pretty laid back, and with a group of young guys, you’ve got to have somebody who comes in and disciplines them.”

Wright wasn’t even close to done yet.

“I’m not going to throw any of their players under the bus, but one of the main players who was a big part of our team, his attitude was really, really bad — I’m pretty sure you can figure out who that guy is,” he said before confirming that he was speaking of then-rookie forward-center DeMarcus Cousins. “Tyreke [Evans] had a pretty good attitude. His work ethic wasn’t great, but he’s a good young player. I believed in him completely. I just don’t think the coaches did enough to prepare us to win games.”

The 6-foot-7 guard was taken by the Nets with the No. 15 pick in the 2005 Draft and never averaged more than his 7.3 points per game with Dallas in the 2008-09 season. He signed a one-year contract with the Kings last summer, but lasted only seven games with the team following an arrest for DUI and a blow-up with assistant coach Mario Elie. Then Wright finished last season playing for the Jiangsu Nangang Dragons in the Chinese Basketball Association.

You have to wonder how Wright thinks he’s helping his chances of re-making image and getting back into the NBA. But in a league that increasingly relies on analytics and detailed preparation, if what Wright says is true, maybe you can stop wondering how the Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2006 and have just a 49-115 record over the past two seasons.

Note to future Kings: Subscribe to NBA League Pass and do your own scouting.

4 Comments

  1. Jake says:

    They really don’t have scouting reports!? I played high school basketball in Utah, and we would have a couple of pages of a scouting report before virtually every game. Also, before we played teams in our region we would run through some of the sets they liked to run too. You’d think the Kings organization could at least manage to put together a scouting report considering that basketball is their full time job and that every NBA game is on TV.

  2. Kings fan says:

    Maybe the Maloof’s wouldn’t pay for scouting? That seems the most likely answer considering their recent exploits and the way they’ve financially throttled the team. Don’t blame the coaching staff for something you don’t have any knowledge about.

  3. watcher says:

    Totally agree with zip. Saw a bunch of Kings games this year and was baffled by their obvious lack of structure and discipline at critical situations. Westphal and his team MUST go (Houston, take Mario Elie back – I’m begging you) if this young team is to go anywhere near offering hope for the future of this franchise.

  4. zip says:

    I believe it. As a former resident I followed the Kings closely and, overall, I was continually confused at the team’s performances. They’ve have good, young talent that never really seemed to develop in the organization. They’ve been stuck in that “young team phase” for a while now (remember Kevin Martin, Ronnie Price, Gerald Wallace?). I wondered if it was a lack of conditioning that impaired their decision making expecially down the stretch, but a lack of scouting makes much more sense though. Who would have guessed that a team didn’t give its players scouting reports? What’s going on with the Kings? It’s like that movie Major League and owners are trying to tank the team.

    A guy like Evans or even Cousins came into the league with a certain level of natural or previously developed talent, but this is the NBA, not rec league, and those guys are going to need help getting their basketball IQs NBA ready. The organization doesn’t have the fundamentals down, how should the team be expected to? Winning begins at the top, look at the Lakers, Heat, Mavricks, Thunder, and the commitment their organizations have made to winning. The Kings organization has to start putting the best team it can on the floor and they have consistently not done that. I think the fans and the players deserve an overhaul that starts and finishes at the top.