The Sacramento Kings made a substantial trade on draft day 2011. Early reports had the Kings moving down in the draft three spots and dealing Beno Udrih to the Milwaukee Bucks, but no word of what was coming back to Sacramento in the transaction. You could hear the tension build on the streets of the River City and then…oh…no…they…didn’t.
That’s right Kings fans, John Salmons.
Bedlam erupted on twitter and fan sites like Sactown Royalty. I scurried off to the arena for the official announcement, even texting then-media relations member and newly appointed Director of Public Relations, Chris Clark, something about about bringing a fire extinguisher in case a riot broke out and my car was lit on fire.
More after the jump…
As the day wore on, I felt like I became the voice of reason for a lot of fans, trying my best to explain that John Salmons is really a pretty solid acquisition. People weren’t buying what I was selling. Fortunately, I was able to avoid the lynch mob at my front door by using the Tyreke Evans paper face on a stick handed out as a stadium giveaway to disguise my identity.
I believe that the masses have calmed down. The ‘In Petrie We Trust’ group pushed back the mob with riot gear and tear gas. Coach Paul Westphal did a yeoman’s job of explaining why Salmons makes sense for this current team in our interview with him.
He (Salmons) answers a lot of what we have been looking for at that three spot. He’s a top notch defender at the position that is hardest to defend. The best athletes in the world play the two and three in the NBA and he can defend them as well as anybody. That’s a major plus. He is a good ball handler. He is a good post up player and he is a very good three point shooter. All of those things help compliment the rest of the players we have on the roster in a way that I think will really help our offense run more smoothly. One of the biggest problems that we have had to deal with is once it’s been established that point guards are helpless guarding Tyreke (Evans) in the post, 90% of the point guards in the league never guard him – if Beno (Udrih) was playing, they’d guard Beno, sometimes they’d guard Spencer (Hawes) before they’d guard Tyreke. (laughing)
It’s been a problem for us because we would like to have the point guards, guard Tyreke. If we have Tyreke, John and Marcus Thornton out there, it’s in our favor because it’s a really tough match-up. Marcus Thornton is a dynamic post player, especially if he has a size mismatch and so is Salmons. I think that helps our overall picture in a big way because of John’s versatility and his ability to play inside and outside and also have an in-between game. The experience that he’s had in the league to understand the various times to use what he’s got.
So for today’s cup o’ Kings, let’s take a look back at some of the good times that John Salmons brought to Kings fans…and yes, there were some good times.