My Dearest Marcus,

Long have I craved for our roundball rendezvous. Ever since those optimistic days of training camp, ripe with hopes of ascension into 30 win range and of beastly monsters by the name of DeMarcus guarding our paint, my love for your skills as a shooter and creator has remained unwavering. Restricted free agency be damned, I wanted you immediately. How marvelous, how grand it is to finally see my fandom entwined with your buckets in a purple jersey, for the price of a free agent to be!

Sadly, since I first alluded to the shipment of Buckets’ buckets to the Kings, the cruel basketball heavens have taken both you and I on a raggedy road of hardships, robbing our reunion of its triumphant glee.

As your new Cowbell comrades saw their season buried in a heap of plantar fasciitis, chemistry issues, immaturity, and terrible defense, fate hasn’t been kind to you as well. Despite last winters expulsion of Byron the Scott (how fulfilling it is to see the rookie-discriminating fiend lean on the likes of Manfred Harris and Christian Eyenga in the cold, cold winters near Lake Erie!), you once again found yourself staring in the eyes of an apathetic coach.

As a ward in the hands of an abusive guardian, you fizzled on the cold, hard bench deep in Louisiana. What god is there, what justice, in a world where you are being held hostage in the menacing grasp of one despicable Montgomery Williams? As your birthright of constantly ecstatic hardwood presence is being sucked away by the Velocious William Green, or Marco Belson Nelson, Marksman of Rome? As the pitiful excuse of “defense” saw you toil away in agony with these lesser souls taking your spot, so went the twinkle in my eye.

I shall not entertain you with an attempt to appear brave, Marcus. Difficulties were abound. As even the most desperate pleas of your fellow Hornets fell silent upon the ears of your captors, the Kings have consistently struggled, specifically in your expertise, ranking 26th in offensive efficiency. All this while struggling to fill in a backcourt missing Francisco Garcia, or trying to play an injured Tyreke Evans, or giving your potential minutes to the likes of Luther Head. The fit was painfully obvious, and yet painfully distant. The nights, especially, saw me at a state of constant depression. This mostly due to the fact that I live in Israel, and the time difference means that all NBA games take place during nights, but, you know, trying to be poetic here.

And suddenly – huzzah! A beacon of truth and light descends upon us, in the form of a departed Carl Landry and a willing Dell Demps! Make no mistake, dear Marcus, I harbor nothing but love to the outgoing, rugged power forward, but in comparison to you? An excess of mid-range jab steps compared to your joyous, bouncy, off-the-dribble splendor? With Carl competing for minutes with the benevolent Jason Thompson while your main competition figures to be Jermaine Taylor? Oh, happy days, happy days indeed.

I know what they say, Marcus. “He’s the only return for Kevin Martin”, they say, as if you’re to blame for that. “He can’t get through a screen set by a mosquito”, they say, as if getting through screens on defense is some kind of a necessity for a Sacramento basketball player (Beno Udrih knows what I’m talking about).

No, Marcus. Spite and hate may fall from the skies like Kevin Durant jumpers on a warm TNT eve, and I shall not relent. They shall laugh and point at my gullible ways, but their jokes shall be filtered by the pure joy of you taking the court with Pooh Jeter and Omri Casspi, losing by 50, and capturing my heart.

XOXO,
Noam