“It is what it is” might be the most played-out sports cliché, but there might not be a better way to describe how the 2017-18 Kings season is unfolding.
And it’s something you’ll likely hear from players, especially the veterans, as the season progresses.
The Kings (3-10) entered Tuesday with the fourth-worst record in the NBA. Sacramento’s minus-11.1 point differential is worst in the league.
Normally, it would be time to panic, but this team wasn’t expected to be good.
Everyone knows the deal. It’s about patience and the future and every other cliché about trusting the process. But knowing this was coming doesn’t mean it’s easy to manage.
“It’s tough, but it is what it is though,” Kings guard Garrett Temple said. “You just worry about when you’re on the court, try to produce, try to do what you can do, however long that is. And when you’re not, try to continue to try to teach and point out things they don’t know and be patient. Patience is a virtue, especially this season.”
Patience is required of the front office, too.
The Kings’ lack of a first-round draft pick in 2019 (the last cost of the 2015 trade with Philadelphia) makes it understandable they would take their losses this season while developing youth and hoping to get lucky in the draft lottery next spring.
“We know that we’re a young team, an undeveloped and inexperienced team,” guard George Hill said. “But the best way to (develop) is you go through those tough, adversity times and try to learn from it.”
If the first 13 games are any indication, more humbling defeats and opportunities to build character await. That will be contrasted by glimpses of an exciting future, such as when rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox flashes his talent.
Kings coach Dave Joerger hasn’t taken to declaring “it is what it is.” Rather, his go-to talking point is how this is “good experience” for his young players.
“Young guys are getting better,” Joerger said after the Kings’ 110-92 loss Monday in Washington. “They’re working hard, and this is a good experience for them.”
Those good experiences, however, can be stressful. Hill joked that he hopes this season doesn’t take a toll on his appearance.
“It’s tough,” Hill said of Sacramento’s start to the season. “Hopefully I can have some hair by the end of this, but it is what it is.”