Our Quotable Lombardi page isn’t just there so you can see Dean’s smiling face. It is filled with month after month of quotes from our general manager since he was hired in 2006. A quote, the first quote coincidentally, caught my eye today.

“I chose the Kings for a number of reasons.  First off, I’m a builder. And I see the foundation put in place by Dave Taylor. People sometimes come in and make things look as bad as possible to paint themselves as heroes. But, that’s not the case here…I want to know what happened this season. How can a team fall off the map like this? It’s easy to pin it on the coaches, but the players have to face responsibility, too. They brought in a different coach and that didn’t work.” (April 2006 after being hired by the Kings as President and General Manager)

For Dean’s entire tenure, we have heard the word “character”. He advocates the importance of bringing players into the organization that would go “through a wall” for the team, wear the “Kings’ tattoo” and not just be good players but “leaders” and a “good person.”

So, here we are. Amidst adversity. The team has shown a lack of effort, the coach a complete stubborn myopia about adjustments, there is zero accountability (as random players who are playing well get benched or are demoted), we are playing worse than last season, we are hearing and reading about friction within the locker room, we have had several losing streaks and more than half way through the 2010-2011 season, we are on the outside of the top 8, looking in. Worse yet, we are going on a lengthy road trip that, absent success, may seal our fate.

So, I ask Dean Lombardi. I want to know what happened this season. How can a team fall off the map like this? Do you pin it on the coach? The players? If your focus was bringing in character players with the right skill set to lead and avoid this, did you succeed? Have you failed to address the team’s needs of a second line center and first line left wing for years? What is the plan? I thought there wasn’t “one jerk in the room”?

Where is this character of which you so often speak?