This past summer, the Sacramento Kings had the best chance of landing the first pick of the NBA draft. The deputy commissioner hosted an event, pulling the team logos from concealed envelops with the selection numbers marked on them.
Envelope four is opened,the card is revealed—the Kings get the fourth pick.
My first reaction was bewilderment, then shortly after, contempt. I am now almost certain the system is rigged. David Stern hates the Sacramento Kings.
Former Kings player Chris Webber was Sacramento's representative at the lottery drawing. Webber shook his head in disgust when he saw his former team did not get a top three pick.
The Kings landed the fourth pick. They literally had no chance to select Blake Griffin, who was the consensus top pick. At the time, it seemed as if they had no chance at landing coveted Spaniard Ricky Rubio.
On draft night, the moment had arrived. It's the fourth pick and Ricky Rubio was miraculously still available. Finally, David Stern approached the podium:
"With the fourth pick, in the 2009 NBA draft, the Sacramento Kings select Tyreke Evans from the University of Memphis."
Everyone was a little bit shocked and a little unsure of the selection. These people had no idea how good the kid is.
A little over a month into the season, it would be pretty hard for anyone to say that Geoff Petire made a mistake.
The Kings got Tyreke Evans. The Timberwolves selected Ricky Rubio one pick after Sacramento.
Rubio is currently playing in Spain.
Evans is making a case to considered a Rookie of the Year candidate. He has come close to a triple-double on a more than one occasion. But what is so remarkable about the young Kings talent is his prowess at such a young age.
Evans is a 20 year old rookie playing like a seasoned veteran.
He has no fear in making things happen. Evans has carried the team on his back on many nights. Especially after leading scorer Kevin Martin suffered a fractured wrist.
Not to mention he has taken and made big shots on several occasions. Earlier this season, Evans made a three pointer against New Orleans early that helped secure a win for Sacramento.
Evans drives to the hoop with such strength and determination. And yet, he is incredibly graceful and agile. He is quite a force when attacking the basket.
His jump shot is improving game by game too. Once he becomes a threat from downtown and from mid-range, he will be nearly unguardable. Matter of fact, he already is pretty close to unguardable.
With his size, smaller opponents can't contain him physically. Evans quickness and incredible deception with the ball make him a tough cover for bigger players. Simply said, he is an anomaly.
His enormous confidence and play-making ability makes Evans a tough cover for any player. Regardless of the opponents size and physical ability.
The man they call 'Ryeke is quickly establishing himself as a player to be taken seriously. Kings fans already know it, and soon enough the rest of the league will know it if they have not figured it out yet.
Off The Record
Sacramento plays the New York Knicks tomorrow night. The Kings are on a four game skid and will hope to put an end to it against the struggling Knicks.
New York played a hard fought game against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, fighting the Celtics through overtime.
It will not be an easy game for Sacramento, as they need to make sure they are getting back on defense. The Knicks like to get up quick shots and can score a lot in a hurry, especially in transition.
Limiting New York's three point attempts will be key. Al Harrington will be a handful as well, as he is averaging 20.2 points per game off the Knicks' bench.
Tip-off is at seven PM Pacific Standard Time.
I will be attending the game, so maybe you will see me there. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!