The Kings, who began the season amid good vibes, an improved roster and reasonable expectations, are immersed in a massive funk. They didn’t need any champagne Saturday night to wake up this morning with a splitting headache. Barring an emotional turnaround before tonight’s 6 p.m. game against New Orleans, the Hornets will catch the Kings still hung over, still searching for answers and still openly questioning the club’s direction.

Respected veteran Chuck Hayes sat with his head in his hands, visibly disturbed by a lack of cohesiveness. DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, two critical elements of this ongoing rebuilding process, leaned back in their seats, quietly commiserating before sharing their thoughts.

“What offense?” Cousins replied when asked about the Kings’ most obvious weakness. “I really don’t want to say anything.”

He shrugged. He shook his head. He exhaled. He ducked under a towel. His body said plenty.

– By Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee