A kiss at the altar. The birth of a child. An unexpected death of a close friend. These are some of the many defining moments in a person’s life: crystal clear, life altering. And just as those singular occasions are the culmination of many millions of decisions, both voluntary and involuntary, so do the successes and failures of NBA franchises often rise and fall on an individual moment: the zenith of a thousand influences.
A tipped ball: a scramble for the rebound, a made three-pointer, championship hopes extinguished.
A tweet: the Kings are saved. Here We Stayed.
A trade: DeMarcus Cousins is gone. Another rebuild has begun.
These are just a few.
Last night was the apex of a a full year of defining instances, some realized in the moment, some completely unknown as they were unfolding.
May 16, 2017: The Kings jump in the lottery for the first time in 28 years. They move to 3rd place, but slide back to 5th due to a previous trade with Philadelphia.
June 22, 2017: Vlade Divac selects De’Aaron Fox with the fifth overall pick.
November 9, 2017: Our rookie point guard hits the game-winning shot to defeat the Sixers 109-108.
January 25, 2018: De’Aaron Fox dunks all over the Miami Heat for his second clutch bucket of the year.
February 22, 2018: The Bulls blow a lead to the Sixers with just a few seconds remaining. Bobby Portis misses a game-winning two-footer. Chicago loses.
March 1, 2018, prime tanking season: De’Aaron Fox once again is the man in the clutch. He sinks an overtime-forcing floater as time expires. The Kings win the game 116-111.
April 11, 2018: Houston rests their starters against Sacramento. The Kings are victorious over the Rockets and the Bulls lose to the Pistons by 32 points. Chicago and Sacramento end the season in a tie for 6th place.
April 13, 2018: A coin is flipped. The Bulls win. Sacramento moves to the 7th slot in the lottery.
These individual drops in the water, as well as many others, have created ripple after ripple after ripple for two ill-equipped organizations. The stage is set. The ping-pong balls rattle in their…