Report: Kings Owner Pitched A 4-On-5 Defense With One Cherrypicker

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

If you're a basketball fan, you've probably already read Zach Lowe's tiered NBA rankings. If you're not, toward the bottom there's an aside about a wonderfully wackadoo bit of proposed strategy that might turn you into a fan.

Owner Vivek Ranadivé has pitched the idea to the team's brain trust of playing 4-on-5 defense and leaving one player to cherry-pick, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The Kings aren't actually going to do that, but their D-League might, and it shows Ranadivé is committed to pushing boundaries in his search for an offbeat brand of "position-less" ball.

I don't care that any halfway competent team would carve up a four-man zone, and probably beat these Kings by 80. (This defense would probably be effective against the Kings, who don't have more than a couple players worth guarding anyway.) I don't care that you'd probably have DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay get into a fistfight over who got to hang out under the opponent's basket.


All I care about is that Vivek Ranadivé is apparently crazy, yet still determined to give advice to his basketball people. That bodes well for the Kings' entertainment value in the coming years.

This is the brilliant idea of a stoner or of an eight-year-old child who realized there's no offsides rule in basketball, and decided there's probably a way to exploit that. Vivek, here's one for free: what if four teammates held hands in a circle around the guy dribbling the ball up the court, so no defenders could get to him? Boosh—I just revolutionized basketball.