Anyone who has driven the freeways around the Sacramento region the past several weeks has probably noticed the new advertising billboards featuring the Kings. You know. Like the old days? While I was returning to the office from practice a few minutes ago, I noticed a rendering of Tyreke Evans on a billboard on X and 20th, adjacent to the Capital Cities Freeway. It includes the image of a lion, the word "Kings," and then a likeness of the talented rookie. Now, while acknowledging that this is pretty clever marketing - Lion King? Get it? - I have never been in favor of promoting an individual over a team, unless we're talking about a proven superstar such as Shaq, Kobe, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, etc. It simply sends the wrong message - to the player, who is trying to establish himself within the league, and to his teammates, who resent when someone is elevated before their time. Evans is an immense talent - co-rookie of the month - but he has just finished his first month of the regular season. What's wrong with marketing the team and highlighting its young talent/potential (Jason Thompson, Omri Casspi, Spencer Hawes, Kevin Martin, etc.), without fixating on a particular individual?
For those who might have forgotten - and around here, very few have - the Kings who transformed the franchise into an international treasure earlier this decade excelled because of their collaborative effort, not as solo acts. Accordingly, the billboards reflected that theme.