It was the Giants’ fourth straight loss, dropping them to 4-5 on the season, currently occupying 11th spot on the ladder.
It is a far cry from the side that has made back-to back preliminary finals and were considered one of the favourites to win this year’s premiership.
King refuses to blame injuries for their patchy form, identifying the side’s lack of hunger and ability to grind out games as the overlying reason for their poor results.
“They (GWS) don’t embrace the grind that winning sometimes has to be, they want to win in a clinic in bursts,” King told SEN’s Whateley.
“They want to put on a show and that’s great, but sometimes you have got to win ugly.
“And against Essendon they weren’t prepared to win ugly – there’s no other way of looking at it.
“They’re gone – 2018’s a nonsense.
“They’re going to talk about their injury list but I’ve got no doubt that this is a campaign not lost on injury.
“This is a campaign lost on desire, they haven’t really wanted to engage.
“They’re happy to partake and happy to put on some nice quarters here and there. But when it comes to winning, and often it’s a grind, they’re not in it for the fight.”
King says the Giants’ midfield needs to lift and does not see them beating Adelaide this weekend.
“I just think what’s happened at GWS is on the shoulders of their midfield stars,” he said.
“Dylan Shiel is a shadow of his former self at the moment; not hard enough at the moment. 17 disposals on the weekend and pushed out of the way a dozen times.
“They got assaulted on the weekend by a midfield (Essendon’s) that’s only been up and about for four previous quarters.
“They embarrassed them at centre bounce clearances on sheer will.
“Shut the gate on their year – they’re not beating Adelaide in Adelaide this week.
“They (Adelaide) had a horrible performance on the weekend but they’ll respond – we’ve seen it through the course of the season.
“On what I’ve seen and on the back on the Adelaide Crows’ leadership as opposed to GWS’ leadership, I think there’s your gap.”