Posts Tagged ‘Antoine Wright’

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.

Time For An Intervention?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – That Draft night chatter about DeMarcus Cousins being the biggest steal or bust in his class is back.

And the early returns are not favorable for Cousins.

In addition to a sluggish start to his rookie season on the court (he’s not even in the top three on the T-Mobile Rookie Ladder), Cousins has not been able to navigate his way out of trouble off the court, either.

Sacramento Kings coach Paul Westphal didn’t divulge any details, but if he felt the need to toss Cousins out of practice Monday that’s indication enough that trouble is brewing for the young fella, per our main man Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:

“It was a necessary move in our continued attempt to help him develop,” said Kings coach Paul Westphal of removing Cousins from practice.

Westphal declined to explain why Cousins made it through only two-thirds of practice.

“I’m not going to get into details,” Westphal said. “He was asked to leave early.”

Cousins is struggling to find his place in the offense and to stay out of foul trouble.

(more…)