Can Sacramento’s Railyard Arena Become A Baseball Stadium?

Sacramento was all set to build a NBA basketball arena in their empty railyard for the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings owners, the Maloof family AKA the MaGoofs, said yes with a bit TV event and all the smiles possible.  Just months later they said “No” leaving Sacramento upset, fans unhappy and a very pissed off NBA Commissioner , David Stern!

Now, with a push from the Sacramento Mayor former NBA Point Guard Kevin Johnson, the question is can Sacramento build a Major League Baseball stadium and attract a team?

A lot of people believe the answer to that question is yes.

Aside from the owner of the Sacramento Bee, who also owns the Pittsburg Pirates and the MLB team just down the road looking for a place to play other than the Oakland area and unable to go South of San Francisco because the Giants say “no”….

Sacramento must seize control of its own future,” Johnson said. “We cannot rely on others, or wait for something to come along….”

One sports business consultant, when contacted by The Bee, suggested Johnson would be making a mistake if he dropped his focus now on keeping the Kings. …    “Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” said Andy Dolich, a former Oakland A’s executive. “The Kings are Sacramento’s. The River Cats are Sacramento’s, and a shining light nationally as to how a well-run franchise can be extremely successful.     “Wouldn’t you counsel him to keep his eye on the prize of the team that he has?

It is definitely complicated, but Sacramento could keep the Kings and attract a baseball team down the road.  I believe that having a stadium here could make the Maloofs change their mind about leaving town…if that is what they want to do.

Read more here
The negatives:  a stadium costs more to build than an arena.  Significantly more like close to twice as much as an arena and when you are talking about an arena that would have cost $400 Million to construct….that is a lot of money.
The positives:  From the city’s Point of View the season is longer meaning the stadium is in use more meaning more money.  The seating would be larger, stadiums seat more people.  It could be significantly larger, even in an “intimate” stadium.  The railyard is the perfect place for a stadium, maybe even more perfect than an arena.  You can do more things with a stadium.  Concerts, events…you can attract groups & people that might bypass an arena.
As I said on this Blog back in March:
Does Sacramento still dream of being the future home of the MLB Oakland A’s?

 
It was true when I was in my 20s and is true now.
 
I still have my T-shirts.
 
The Sacramento Raiders and The Sacramento A’s.
 
Back in that old-time capsule I really believed it would happen.  I’m not a big baseball fan.  Haven’t been since the old Dodger days of the late 1950s thru late 1960s.  Brooklyn and Los Angeles.  Especially Sandy Koufax.
 
When the A’s farm team the Sacramento River Cats, opened the stadium in West Sacramento and has continued to win big almost every single year that they have been here that dream rekindled.”
Sometimes a whole city has the same dreams.
You can bet there is a lot more to come on this story.
July 9th:
The Oakland A’s go public and advise everyone that they have already told Mayor Johnson they “have no interest” in moving to Sacramento.  They do have a big interest in moving to San Jose.  But San Francisco has already told the entire world they “will not” allow that to happen.  So the A’s want to move South but will not be able to.  They don’t want to say in their current Oakland stadium which frankly has been falling apart for twenty years.
I don’t know what will happen.  I just know I want my city to have a professional Major League baseball team.  I also want my city to have a National Football League team and I know the Raiders need a place to play other than the crumbling stadium in Oakland.  And they have told everyone that they have no interest in staying in Oakland.  They want to return to Los Angeles.
And I have always believed in that phrase “If you build it they will come!”

2012 NBA Draft Results, Grades, Free Agency and Rookie Camp

This post is mostly just a steal from late June entries into my Kings Off-season post here.

Sacramento Kings logo

Sacramento Kings logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

June 25th:
Decent choices at the 5th pick?  That’s what Kings officials are saying as we get close to the June 28th Draft Day.  Read what they are saying HERE.
June 27th:
Tomorrow is the NBA Draft and today’s Bee article says that “the Kings have options at #5″ but really the options that are laid out are “trade the pick” or “keep the pick”.  What other options are there at this point?  Either you have decided to trade and move up in the draft (the Kings don’t have the horses for that) or trade down in the draft (the Kings made a bad decision to do this last year.  Do they want to risk a tenuous connection to Sacramento fans and dump the pick again?) or keep the pick (knowing there just isn’t much there unless someone falls into their lap).
My suggestion?  Keep it and hope for that perfect storm that would allow the best player (well 2nd ) to fall their way like Cousins did two years ago.  That means Harrison Barnes or even Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would slip and for that to happen the Bee is right that the Bobcats need to take Robinson.  If that one thing happens Thursday then we better hope the Kings kept #5—-or made an amazing trade.
The trades talked about in the Bee don’t seem amazing.  The trades seem like Jimmer Fredette “pull your hair out” trades.  I just don’t see trading #5 so someone else can trade for Dwight Howard.
Where will you be on Draft Day June 28th?  How about one of the Neighborhood Draft Day Parties??  There will be Draft parties at five locations hosted by the Kings from 4pm to 7:30pm.
Where are the parties?
All five parties are free to the public, with doors opening at 4 p.m. at the following locations:

Find out more about these parties HERE  from the press release.  You will be able to mingle with Kings players Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson and Hassan Whiteside, Kings Dance Team members, Breakers and Slamson

Read the Bee article HERE
The Bleed Black and Purple blog had a very good post just a few days ago about that #5 spot the Kings find themselves holding, saying that it is
“…not hard to question the happenings in Sacramento over the last six-seven years. As owners, the Maloofs have repeatedly said they are going to spend to get better.”
Ain’t that the truth, so even in easier drafts anything from the mouths of Kings would be hard to decipher.  As today’s Bee article explained well, Draft Day in the NBA people say a lot of things.  And none of it is true.  So sometimes if you really want to confuse people….you tell the truth.
“…back to the basketball side of things. Petrie has been on the hot seat for some time now. And let face it, Mikki Moore signings will do that to a fellow. But let’s not kid ourselves; most of Petrie’s mishaps are a direct result of the Maloofs not opening the checkbook”  That fellas is the honest to gosh truth.
We are entering a new era in the NBA. The Lakers, Spurs, Suns, Celtics and Mavs all look like they are headed for rebuild mode. The Grizzlies, Clippers and Timberwolves are on the rise. Will the Kings even be in the discussion? Does the same group that put together the Webber/Divac team have it in them to do it again? Do Kings fans even believe they can do it again.”
Read the Bleed Black and Purple blog HERE
Trade rumors?  The big one in the Bee (can any rumor be true if it is published in the Bee?) is Kyle Lowry of the Rockets for the Kings #5 plus Houston would add their #14 & #16 picks.  There must be something else in the mix (John Salmons anyone?) for it to make any sense.  But does it make sense at all?  Apparently that “other” is Tyreke Evans.  ‘Reke hasn’t lived up to his ROY expectations but he is still the 2nd best player on this team and has abilities that could make him an All-Star.
Not someone I would want to trade for 14 and 16 in a weak draft.  “The rumors will continue, but this deal seems highly unlikely unless the Rockets sweeten the offer. More to come in the days ahead
3:58 pm it does not seem the Kings will be making that trade to the Rockets for their #14 & 16 plus Kyle Lowry as sources have confirmed(via Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated)  that the Rockets moved their #14 pick to Milwaukee along with Samuel Dalembert who will join his 3rd team in 2 years and 4th team in the last 3 seasons after his big year just 3 seasons ago.
Donte’ Green will not be resigned by the Kings according to Carmichael Dave who spoke to Green today.
Speaking of SI, here’s a Mock Draft at SI today “with movement in the top five, trade chatter and misdirections galore. ”  I won’t ruin it for you but they show Robinson going #2 to Charlotte which means the Kings would really get some decent choice with #5.  Except of course it is the Kings 2012 version which means drama up the ying-yang.  Check it out at the link above.
Now the Kings drama swirls around “we want a Center” when it has all been “we want a SF” and “we want a PF”.
I guess it is easy to understand all of the dysfunction.  This is the Kings after all.  And, truth be told they need a Center to back up Cousins.  And a Small Forward.  And really a Power Forward.  Really.  So what do you do?  You don’t have a good enough team to select a back-up Center with #5.  Maybe they entertain trade offers and drop down to take a back-up IF they gget a quality PF in return.  Quality not crap.  And not a SF, you have a good one in Evans.  Treat him right, give him a spot and let him grow.  SF or SG but plus him the fuck in and leave him alone.  Smart seems to be able to coach the kid.
Maybe Drummond could learn to play PF/C, but as far as I can see he is a project.  And I don’t see a good player coming to the Kings to make this trade worthwhile.
The Lakers are so interested in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist that they are dangling Pau Gasol for a Top 5 pick and a player.  Gasol is not a bad player to have and is certainly an improvement over MKG at this point.  But what about in 3 years?  Do you make that trade now?  I would say yes depending on the “player to be  named”.  This from Lakers Beat Writer @Mike_Bresnahan of the LA Times.  A rumor from someone in the know.
And will the Lakers trade their 60th pick in the 2012 Draft?
And Chad Ford from ESPN Sports Nation during his internet chat today:
Let’s put it this way. If the (Charlotte) Hornets wanted to trade the draft rights to Davis today … I think there is only three players they COULDN’T trade him for: LeBron, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. Normally I’d add Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose to the mix. But with Dwight Howard threatening to bolt Orlando, of course the Magic would do the deal. And given the seriousness of Rose’s injury, I think the Bulls would seriously consider pulling the trigger too. Remember, Davis is from Chicago as well.
Apparently Metta World Peace could be part of a Gasol package deal.  Does that entice the Kings??
So with 24 hours to go, what do I want to see happen as a Kings fan?  Who do I want assuming Davis is already signed and has his first All-Star birth lined up after his Rookie-Of-The-Year award ceremonies…
Hell I want Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.   Davis won’t be there.  Robinson goes second.  Of all the other guys on the board MKG is the guy.
Doesn’t play the position the Kings need to fill.  So start working on trades.  Decent trades cause you won’t get great ones.
MKG is tough as nails and everywhere he goes his teams just win.  And win.  Every level, every team.
Don’t get me wrong he has holes in his game.  Someone says he is like Scottie Pippen.  But today if you have or you can get a good shooter and then get the modern-day Scottie Pippen for the next 10 years do you take that player??  Hell yes.
So pray Charlotte takes the next big man with Thomas Robinson, and leaves MKG on the board.
And pray the Kings have just been misdirecting folks because Ford is 100% right:
“FORD: And don’t get me started on the Kings. They have five guys on their roster that care nothing for defense or chemistry and want to jack up 20 shots a night. They finally get a chance at a guy who can make a huge impact on the floor without the ball in his hands and their response is to trade the pick.”
Ok, just for the giggles…

SIMMONS: ”’…Moving on to Sacramento’s no. 5 pick, we might make some history here, Chad. Even though it would be foolish to overpay in a trade for someone like Andre Drummond (who has all the textbook Thabeet/Kwame/Darko red flags), but you know someone might … only Geoff Petrie is the one trading the pick, which means we might be headed for a double rainbow of dumbness. After all, Petrie was the guy who dumped a mildly annoying contract (Beno Udrih) for a mildly disastrous contract (John Salmons) so he could move back three spots and make the worst lottery pick of the 2011 draft (Jimmer Fredette). He’s capable of anything. That makes me wonder if we could see a trade like this: Detroit deals Tayshaun Prince (expires 2015) and the no. 9 pick to Sacramento for the no. 5 pick and Salmons’s contract (expires 2015). Sacramento stays in the top nine and adds an unselfish veteran swingman who won’t really help them because it’s not like they can compete for a title; Detroit sneaks into the top five and rolls the dice with a Drummond/Monroe tandem that will eventually fail. Everyone loses!

FORD: Agree that Petrie is doing the GM equivalent of impaired driving with this pick. Kings fans are watching, horrified, as he weaves back and forth across the road. The question isn’t whether he collides into the telephone poleit’s when. And no, Joe Dumars already drafted Darko. He’s not going to move up to do it again. At no. 9? Maybe, but Drummond is much safer at 9 than at 5.

SIMMONS: You’re right, this is crazy … let’s just do something sane. With the fifth pick for Sacramento, I’m taking Thomas Robinson … a.k.a. the rich man’s Carl Landry. Stick him with DeMarcus Cousins and, at the very least, you’ll be pounding the boards and making opponents miserable every game. But if the Kings can get an offer like “Parsons and the 14th/18th picks” or “Rudy Gay straight up” or even “Andre Iguodala straight up” for this spot, they should grab it. You know, unless MKG is sitting there.

(Thinking.)

Oh, god. They’re going to screw this up, aren’t they?

ok I’m thru laughing.  Because I read the last sentence.

I’m taking my head out of the NBA Draft Day rumormill.  It is getting viscious

And Simmons & Ford agree in their dual mock drafts.  Robinson goes to Sacramento.  Great choice but I don’t think Robinson drops past the #2 hole.  He has been sitting there in nearly every draft I have seen or heard about.

Of course, maybe it’s all misinformation and MKG goes to Charlotte meaning that Robinson survives for the #5 pick.  Could be why Sacramento has turned down all of these crazy fantasy trades and lives to take their pick (???)

Donte’ Greene says good bye to Sacramento, the fans and all of his friends.  For the comedy alone, plus some games that were strangely very very good, I will miss Donte’ and some city will be glad to have him and probably at a good price.

This is such a strange sports league.

Nighttime rumors the night before the Draft.  What?  Like 18 hours to go?  And HoopsRumors are still boiling!!!

Plus the 5 Hottest rumors out there ZZZZZzzzzzzz…..

June 28th:

Kings could fill the need at SF    But if they do fill that need what do they do with Tyreke Evans??  Plus him in at SG where he should have been since Day 1 after he was drafted?  Or trade him?  Cause they do keep trying don’t they?

Aare they predicting MKG cuz otherwise I am tired of this crap.

and another last minute Mock-Draft, this one from Sacramento.  Who do you think the Kings get??  Anthony Davis?  oh WTF???

PF Thomas Robinson!  I cannot argue with this pick at all.  Not like last years’ debacle.  Yes there are question marks

..  But this kid should have gone second in this draft and could surprise everyone and turrn out to be ROY, you just never know.  Simmons and Ford above were right on in their mock dual-draft.

17+ points and 11+ rebounds, leading the Kansas Jayhawks to the NCAA Championship game.  And the Kings get him filling a big big hold next to Cousins.  This could make the frontline of the team the best your frontcourt in the league.

Who will want to rebound against Cousins and the new kid Robinson??  I would have been happy with MKG but Charlotte took him instead of Robinson and look who the hell Sacramento got??  Excellent!!

It seems like a steal to me.  And hear that sound?  Kings fans are finally celebrating.

The Kings traded their 2nd Round pick to the Indianapolis Pacers in order to fi,l a much needed hole.

The Kings traded their pick for…..Cash!  Cash?  These great business men of the Maloof family turned down an Arena the city was going to build for them ….. need cash?  I think they got $3

SB Nation’s Tom Ziller has sorted through all the facts, and has ultimately decided that Robinson was a great pick up for Sacramento, but giving their second-round pick away was far from being smart. Overall, he gave them a B as part of his NBA Draft grades. Here is some of his commentary:

Second-round picks don’t require guaranteed contracts and don’t carry cap holds. It’s ridiculous for a bad, cheap team to sell the No. 36 pick when plenty of promising prospects were available. The Kings should know better, having picked up Isaiah Thomas (an All-Rookie team honoree) at No. 60 last year. For a team that needs everything to go right to compete, you can’t start cutting off your own limbs for firewood.

SB Nation is right on

But getting Robinson really is a bit like Christmas in June.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Geoff Petrie this happy. When he approached the gathering of media types in the practice facility late Thursday night, he was almost giddy. As coach Keith Smartnoted, Robinson was the “clear cut” choice within the organization if he was available. And, of course, no one thought he would be available

This is all started because Charlotte Bobcats owner/boss Michael Jordan decided to take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist instead of grabbing Robinson or moving the pick. MJ, of course, has never lacked guts. He drafted Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison- tough even for the game’s greatest player to live down – but that didn’t stop him from following his instincts again on Thursday.” 

But doesn’t it just make sense for the old Jordan to draft the new Pippen?  Thank you MJ.

It’s like the one article in the Bee started today…”Thomas Robinson at #5?  You gotta be kidding me!”

Read more here.
The fans are hapopy with the Robinson pick judging by the fan poll over on the SacTown Royalty blog.  Vote yourself or just check out those results.
Ball Don’t Lie grades the NBA Draft over on Yahoo
Sacramento KingsAdditions: Thomas RobinsonGrade: A+Perfect pick, perfect timing. Robinson may never be an All-Star, but that’s what DeMarcus Cousins is for, and Robinson will be his brutal helper as the Kings try to bang their way back toward respectability.(That didn’t sound right.)Best — every year a power forward gets taken high in the lottery and is expected to show all sorts of touch and handle on the fly. Robinson won’t work with those expectations, though he has that talent, in his first year. Again, that’s what Cousins is for, and we really hope there’s no on-court chemistry hiccup that we’re missing as we regard their respective games.’Bleacher Reports predicts Robinsons’ 2012/13 Season, and make predictons for every NBA rookie drafted June 28th:Thomas Robinson Predicted Stats: 12 points and nine rebounds per gameThomas Robinson will fill a big need for the Kings in the toughness department. His bullying ways around the rim will be needed, and he’ll continue to rebound well as a rookie. His scoring will go down as he’ll have many more players to share the ball with, but he’ll still get a decent 12 points a game.Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated says of the Kings pick:ASacramento Kings No complaints here — from me or the Kings.  Upon review, it appears that Sacramento was prepared to draft Dion Waiters at  No. 5 rather than opt for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or perhaps even Harrison  Barnes, if all three were available. But they never had to make the tough choice  when Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson fell to them. He will  be a force in the frontcourt with center DeMarcus Cousins, who is quickly  becoming one of the best big men in the game. The Kings haven’t addressed their  need for more defensive presence down low, but Robinson was too good to pass on  here. The only downside? The pressure on the Kings intensifies yet again,  because this is the second time in three years that a big-time big man fell  their way (Cousins was the fifth pick) and it’s time for them to start turning  this talent into wins.
Read more from Amick and SI here  but oh my god if they had picked Waiters in the Top 5 when MKG was on the board which is what Amicj is suggesting the Kings would have done.Waiters in the 2nd five is a good pick, but in the Top 5??  No. No, no, no, no, no, no……nbadraft dot net give their grade and analysis:

Sacramento
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis
B
Picks: No. 5 Thomas Robinson The Kings were at the bottom of the NBA in so many categories last season. They were a bad defensive team who did not share or shoot the ball well offensively. Robinson is not going to be able to help alleviate all their problems, but he should help them improve upon the 29th ranked defensive rebounding percentage (70.5%) and gives them a boost at the power forward position going forward. One also has to hope that his focused, aggressive style of play rubs off on some of his teammates.

So everyone seems to think the Kings did well and grades all seem to be B or A.

June 30th:

Meet Thomas Robinson the Kings first round Draft pick and a 2011/2012 First Team All-American

Where:            Arden Fair plaza area in front of Nordstoms

When:             Today, June 30th at 3pm

Free Agency

The Draft is over and the team and fans are about as happy as they could be given the spot the Kings drafted in.  Now the Free Agency period begins at Midnight Eastern time (9pm Sacramento time) tonight and players can be signed July 11th

The Kings first focus will be Jason Thompson, a restricted Free Agent whom the Kings want to resign.

Beyone that the team chose not to nake an offer to Donte’ Green freeing up his salary of $2 million  and will decide if they want to conpete for their own unrestricted Free Agents:

Terrance Williams

Williams played well in the 18 games he spent in Sacramento after he was signed last season.

Expiring Contracts

Francisco Garcia

I have not been impressed by Garcia for 3 or 4 years at least and would have traded him if given any chance at all.  Somehow he has become the veteran with the longest time in Sacramento and it’s time to end that relationship.  He is a good cheerleader on the bench but his jump shot is suspect and his paycheck is too large to retain him unless he wants to take a very significant pay cut.

The team is $15 million under the Salary Cap, but in piblic don’t seem willing to spend money on players like Guard Andre’ Miller.  They arre interested in Nicolas Batum from Portland but Batum is a restricted Free Agent and Portland has said they will do everything to keep him.  Batum could fill the hole at SF immediately.  I miss Gerald Wallace, but don’t see the team paying his salary of $9 million.

Everyone knows what the Kings need:  Defense, a quality SF, help at PG (although views on what kind of help are wide and varied), a player with a quality jump shot, a leader, and a shotblocker unless Hassan Whiteside is healthy and ready.

Robinson fills a need at PF and was the “best available” player, but he does not “fix” the Kings.

So let Free Agency begin and hope that the Kings can pick up someone decent and makes good decisions about their own guys, JT and Cisco.  Then with a decent trade the Kings will be improved over last season.  I hope.

So who are the 2012 NBA Free Agents?

From Hoops World here is the list of every free agent in the league.  They list restricted and unrestricted players, explain the requirements for both types of free agents and all of the options.  It ain’t easy folks.  Check out the list HERE.

Logts of Free Agent rumors HERE  Including Dwight Howard wants Orlando to trade him to the (now Brooklyn) Nets.  (??) Gerald Wallace may be going to the Nets too.  Deron Williams may be heading that way too and suddenly the Nets would open their Brooklyn life with a competitive team.

And the Clippers offered big extensions to Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

Hoops Hype is always a great spot for NBA rumors, draft, trade or free agency.

July 2nd:

We have Petrie’s update on Free Agency for 2012.

Petrie’s first action as the Free Agency period opened on June 30th was to reach out to Jason Thompson’s agent.

Our first phone call was to Leon about Jason,” Petrie said. “We talked …and put a proposal in front of him and we’ve made a number of calls on different players. And today we had lunch with Ryan Anderson.  We’re continuing to monitor things. Restricted free agency on both sides is a little bit different.”

Anderson and Thompson are both Restricted Free Agents.  Anderson grew up in the Sacramento area and led Oak Ridge High School to the CIF State title as a Junior.

Maybe the Kings actually have their eyes on another Orlando player given the fact that Anderson is a restricted FA …..so, maybe Dwight Howard?  Since he is asking hard and often to be traded.  Plus the fat that Orlando has said they are willing to trade him.

And it seems that Howard’s latest trading spot (Brooklyn Nets) has all but closed up after a very big trade where they gave away five of their players.  I’m not sure they have anyone to trade anymore.  Maybe a multi-team trade with Sacramento in the mix for someone if not Howard?  I would love to have Howard but we really have no place for him to play without trading a handful of players and gutting the team given that the Kings do not have many players Orlando may want.

OK, enouggh on that……

So far the Kings are playing a waiting game with Terrance Williams, a full Free Agent G/F who provided spark in 18 games last season.

One King who should lobby for Williams’ return is Jimmer Fredette. No one was better at setting up Fredette than Williams.”

Things seem very quiet on the Free Agent front in Sacramento given that there are more than 170 Free Agents in the NBA.
July 5th:
The Kings seem to be focused on bringing in F-Ryan Anderson if they can.  Check today’s article from the Bee  And then vote in the blogs Poll here  You saw what my thoughts are a few days ago.  He wouldn’t be bad with his 3 point shooting and connections in the area.
Fredette stars on the Kings Summer League team.  But Thomas Robinson will be the star
What are the keys to ensuring that the Kings get a playoff berth in 2013?  Well, the Bleacher Report says:
The Sacramento Kings are one of the league’s best up-and-coming teams, and if they improve quickly, they have the chance to make the playoffs next season.

They have an explosive young backcourt, consisting of Mr. Irrelevant Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton. 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans is a good scorer for them from the perimeter, and young post-players Thomas Robinson and DeMarcus Cousins round out the starting lineup.

The team has a lot of potential, and each player is 25 years old or younger. With age, though, comes inexperience, and Thornton is the only starting King not on his rookie contract; all five have no more than four years of NBA experience.

Here are four things that the Kings need to do if they want to make the playoffs next season.

  1. bring Tyreke Evans in off the bench
  2. integrate Thomas Robinson quickly
  3. establish a go-to scorer in the clutch
  4. improve defensively
July 7th
Certainly loos like Sacramento will not get a decent player during the Free Agent period, although F Ryan Anderson is still out there.
July 8th:
So much for Anderson.  Reports tonight are that Ryan Anderson will go to New Orleans in a sign & trade.
Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson is reportedly heading to the New OrleansHornets in a sign-and-trade deal for center Gustavo Ayon.The Orlando Sentinel reported on Sunday that the 24-year-old forward was on the verge of signing a four-year deal with the Hornets worth about $36 million.Rather then match the offer sheet for Anderson, Orlando opted to discuss a sign-and-trade deal with New Orleans.”

It is disappointing because it seems the Kings certainly could have made an equal offer.  Now all of those 3 pointers will fly in New Orleans.
Read more here
Kings and Thompson agree to a contract.  Jason Thompson, a restricted Free Agent belonging to the Kings, agreed to the contract the team offered to him the first day of Free Agency.  It does not seem that he had discussions with any other teams, but  the Kings drafted someone (Robinson) who plays Thompson’s position (Power Forward) and brought Ryan Anderson in for some semi-serious discussions, who also plays PF probably had him wondering WTF?
In the end the Kings did not sign Ryan and so finally get to sign Thompson.
The Kings will have three players who can play Power Forward, including Chuck Hayes, and Hayes & Thompson can both  back-up at Center.
The Kings and Thompson can sign that contract in a few days and then this post will (finally) come to an end!
Photo Gallery of the 2012  Sacramento Kings Summer Mini-Camp features Fredette and Robinson.
Robinson, the Kings 1st Round pick for 2012, signs his contract and participates in Rookie camp.
Per the NBA’s rookie pay scale, rookies can sign for 80 to 120 percent of a set first-year salary.       For the No. 5 pick (Robinson), that amount for the 2012-13 season is $2,812,200, with $2,938,700 the following season. Teams hold options for the third and fourth seasons.”

Read more here
Fredette gets an opportunity during mini-camp & summer league.  Coach Smart worked out with him.  Guard Isaiiah Thomas is finishing his college degree this summer which gives Jimmer Fredette full “Point Guard” duties during this camp.
And I think that’s what we’re focusing around him,” said Bobby Jackson,the Kings’ summer league coach. “He’s going to have the ball in his hand at the end of the game, in game situations. He’s got to learn how to make calls, know who’s hot and who’s not hot, and that’s part of being a point guard.“He’s going to have a lot of freedom to do a lot of things, play at point and just run the team. We just want him to flow into the offense, if he sees some mismatches, take advantage of it, and just show us he can be that point guard that he was in college.”

Read more here.
Mini-controversy brings out another side of DeMarcus  Cousins.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo characterized him as “immature” and “with a long way to go” during a teleconference with reporters Saturday.  Instead of behaving as if he is immature, Cousins waited 36 hours before saying anything and then when he did, Cousins went directly to Colangelo and had a conversation, asking the former Coach “Why?” & “:How was I being immature?”  Cousins says Colagelo never really gave an answer, but he impressed many with the manner in which he handled the mini-controversy which “began when Cousins stepped onto the practice court Friday and became too physical for his own good. Or, according to some of the USA Basketball types who watched the part of the session closed to the media, too physical and too aggressive for the good of the team.”
The Sacramento Bee is definitely right when they say “This is not a low-IQ player, which is another reason coach Keith Smart is Cousins’ most enthusiastic cheerleader, and he spent most of the offeason training in Sacramento for this very Select Team appearance.The Kings types in general – even those who once concurred with ex-coach Paul Westphal’sunflattering opinion – have come to understand this about their big man: They need not be afraid. You can actually talk to him. You can actually coach him. As his mother, Monique, said of her son, he is equal parts teddy bear and excessively ferocious competitor.”Folks who are not part of the Kings team need to recognize this and begin to treat Cousins as an adult.  They may be surprised about the man they meet.

Read more about DeMarcus Cousins, the USA Team and Chairman Colangelo  here:
July 11th:
As one of the rookie guards at the Kings’ summer league minicamp darted across midcourt with the ball Tuesday, Thomas Robinsonslid in front of him and drew contact.Both hit the floor, staying down momentarily before being helped up by teammates. Robinson, the Kings’ first-round draft choice, walked away. The scrimmage, one drill near the end of one practice, resumed. Throughout the gym, bodies exhaled.“Yeah, you get a little worried when you see him hit the floor,” said Alex EnglishI remember when LeBron James came in the league, how he used to drive to the hole, and he was so big and strong that people would get out of his way,” English said. “He’s kind of like that.“I mean, he’s not that player. But when he goes to the hole, he goes hard. He goes strong. He’s got a lot of power.”

Read the remainder of the article in the Bee.
July 13th:
NBA Summer League:Kings team roster and summer league schedule are here
There are five (5) games starting tonight against Charlotte and ending July 19th against Boston.
All games can be watched online HERE  at $4.99 broadband and on iOS
The Kings, barring some amazing trade, will continue to bemoan the lack of a decent SF.  They continue to forget that they screwed themselves out of the opportunity to draft one of the best young forwards in the league when they decided to drop their draft spot in 2011 and move down a number of spots just so they could draft Jimmer Fredette.  During the season the kid who was picked last in that same draft, Isaiah Thomas, took Fredette’s position and even moved a veteran off the PG spot.
And that SF they chose NOT to draft?    Well, from the BleacherReport dudes:

Age: 21

Experience: 1 Year

Kawhi Leonard broke out as one of the most promising young players in the NBA, pairing fearless and efficient perimeter defense with rapidly improving shooting skills. In 2013, Leonard will continue to build on that success, establishing himself as a future face of the Spurs’ franchise.

Leonard will crash the boards, defend an opponent’s best player and shoot in the clutch. He will also put up efficient numbers on his way to becoming one of the game’s fastest-rising players.

Projected Season Averages

10.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.5 SPG, 43.1% 3PT

Anybody want a re-do??

The same guys offer these words about Thomas Robinson:

Position: Power Forward

Age: 21

Experience: Rookie

Thomas Robinson is going to have a stellar rookie season. He’ll contribute in every facet of the game, effectively forming one of the best young frontcourts in the NBA. He’ll offer tough interior defense and a great motor to a Kings team in dire need of such additions, as well as a respected offensive attack.

Thomas Robinson will be in the discussion for Rookie of the Year. Until then, he’s a member of this honorable list.

Projected Season Averages

11.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.0 BPG, 0.8 SPG

It didn’t happen tonight though as Robinson said “I wanted to do so good and I did just the opposite.”  In a game that featured Robinson and the player many expected to be the Kings pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  MKG wowed the crowd with his Scottie Pippen imitation and it wasn’t like the Kings made a mistake and failed to draft him, Charlotte surprised everyone picking NMKG with the 2nd selection leaving Robinson for the Kings.

“(Robinson) brings energy and toughness,” said Bobby Jackson, who is coaching the Kings squad, “and he plays hard all the time. Allthe time. But his passing has probably impressed me more than anything. He can take the ball off the rim and dribble the length of the court like a point guard.”

Read more here
Meanwhile Jimmer Fredette really struggled in the first summer game of his 2nd year in the NBA.  The team gave Jimmer the reins in the summer league, while Thomas returned to school to finish his degree.
The first night of Jimmer Fredette’seducation as an NBA point guard via the NBA summer league looked like a repeat of a bad game from his rookie season.Fredette shot 2 of 11 amid constant pressure from the Bobcats. Fredette finished with seven points, two assists and three rebounds in a 121-87 loss Friday night at Cox Pavilion……”At some point, (Fredette)  has to figure it out,” said Kings summer league co-head coach Bobby Jackson. “I want him to be a bit more aggressive on the pick-and-rolls. He’s got to understand that’s what guys are going to do because he can shoot the ball. He didn’t shoot the ball well (Friday), but he’s got to be the guy that’s aggressive and gets us in our stuff. … He’ll figure it out….…”(Fredette’s) got to be aggressive at all times,” said Thomas, who watched the game from the bench. “He’s got to be aggressive to score. He’s such a good shooter, it’s something he’s great at. I think he’s just a little timid out there, kind of like during the season, a little too unselfish. He’s going to have a good week once he gets the jitters out.”

Read more here
July 14th:
Conversation with Gavin Maloof at the halftime of todays game with the Lakers.
Lakers led by 1 point at halftime, but the Kings won the game by 12.
July 17th:
Kings picked up Free Agent Guard AAron Brooks who has been playing with their Summer League team and playing well.  Brooks played in China last season.  He was locked out and then the rules when the lock out ended kept him (and others) overseas, but it may have done him well because he certainly got more court time there than he would have here.
He may take minutes that otherwise would have gone to immer.
The Kings then solidified a trade with the Toronto Raptors for Small Forward James Johnson.
The $2.8 million that Johnson was owed for the upcoming season hardly seems onerous for a player that started 40 games last season, even if it did put the Raptors near the cap (the team also signed Quincy Acy on Monday and were expected to finalize Jonas Valanciunas’ contract later in the week). A direct comparison to Fields, whose contract averages out at $6.33 million per season, reveals that Johnson held a head-to-head advantage last season in scoring (9.1 to 7.2), rebounding (4.7 to 3.0) and assists (2.0 to 1.4) and is just 16 months his senior.”
Lots of talk from yesterdays Grant Napear Show here.
What does the Brooks signing and the trade for Johnson mean to Fredette, Salmons, Evans and the other Kings?  And are more moves anticipated in SacTown??  For me?  Not much…yet.  And, yes I damn sure hope so.  But check out the article at the link from the Bleacher Reports.
July 20th:
At this point it looks like SF Tony Mitchell may be the first Summer League player to be picked up by the Kings.  A combination of the right spot (Small Forward), the right size (long is a phrase you hear describiing many players these days) a very athletic forward Mitchell was undrafted after leaving Alabama after his junior season following a suspension for violating team rules.
Read more about him here and expect Mitchell to oin the team for regular practice camp.
Robinson and Fredette finish camp strong, both playing well in the final game of Summer League.

Sacramento Kings 2012 Off-Season

For the Kings the 2012 Off-Season started early, meaning as soon as the regular season ended.  Not even a first-round and out Playoff appearance to what used to be a perennial playoff bound team.However, I was tired of adding material to the 2011/2012 Post….so here we go before a new Champion is crowned.

May 24, 2012

Remember back when Maloofs went on a streak of mistreating Sacramento just as the Arena deal was feeling like a deal?  Just remember let’s not dwell on it.

And we remember that five of the signatures on that great letter to the NBA from 25 “Sacramento Businessmen” who called for an ownership change for the team did not actually sign the letter.

Only one of those five guys seems to have been truly upset, or disagreed with having his name on the document.  Restaurateur Patrick Mulvaney it seems was in the midst of calling the Kings about working out details of a big party he was doing for them.  And the Kings cancelled that party just like they cancelled the Arena.  They refused to deal with Mulvaney just like they refused to deal with anything called an “Arena”.

The people who wrote the letter in the final few minutes before the big meeting between the Commissioner and the Maloofs, and then between the Maloofs and the other owners—well, they have apologized to Mulvaney and to the Maloofs for the misunderstanding.  What is the Maloofs response?  They hired a Private Investigator to look into who signed the letter.

Who gets named to the All-Rookie team?  The last guy selected in the 2011 NBA Draft, the hardest working man in the league Isaiah Thomas named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team by NBA head coaches.

The Kings should celebrate this selection but I haven’t heard a word.

Congratulations also to Assistant GM Abdur-Rahim for receiving his degree from UC Berkeley and teaching us his quiet lesson about the iportance of completeing a task and continuing your education.  “If I was still 21, maybe we would celebrate,” Abdur-Rahim said with a deep-throated laugh as he navigated Interstate 80shortly after the two-hour ceremony. “But I’ll probably just go into the office and get back to work.”
And congratulations to Assistant Coach Bobby Jackson for being named Coach of the summer league team.
May 29th:
It is Lotery time NBA style!
On Wednesday May 30th the Ping-Pong balls will fly and we will see where the Sacramento Kings will land.  Will the Kings get lucky and have a chance to grab the top spot?
If they do then Kentucky’s PF Antonio Davis is clearly he talented kid to grab at the #1 spot.
After that things are murky all the way tthru the fifth spot which may be where tthe Kings draft.
Since moving to Sacramento from Kansas City, the Kings have been in the lottery 16 times in 27 years. They’ve won just once, in 1989 when they selected Louisville’s Pervis Ellison, one of the worst No. 1 picks in league history.       If the Kings overcome very long odds – they have just a 7.6 percent chance of winning – they won’t make a similar mistake.Kentucky’s Anthony Davis – a 19-year-old, 6-foot-10, 220-pound power forward – is the consensus top player in this year’s draft.”
What about Centers this year??  And the rest?
Well, here is a good analysis of team needs and draft prospects from Hoops Hype.  Always one of the bes to help you sort things out as you look at the places your team might land and ry to figure out who may be drafted and when.
May 30th:
Sacramento Kings get the 5th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Well, at least they did not drop back to 8th but they Kings really needed and deserved a break.  Instead the Hornets get that top pick, the Consensus Anthony Davis unless they make a trade.
Maybe the Kings can trade one of their All-Stars for that pick??
Hoops Hype predicts SF Harrison Barnes, from North Carolina, to Sacramento for that #5 selection.  There is a lot of time and Petrie does different kinda things with his picks, plus Sacramento has a few (mediocre) SFs….so I dunno.  They predict Barnes to be similar to Glen Rice.
I’m not sure who I would want this year.  There were players (especially PGs) I thought would be great at this spot back at the start of the season….now??
Guys like Kendall Marshall, who I still like a lot.  But he doesn’t seem to be the next coming of Jason Kidd anymore.
And Damien Lillard who scores well (watch out!  He’s the kind of player & PG that Petrie likes.) but really isn’t a PG, and we had one of those the last few years that we finally moved to SF (although he would really be a better SG).
I don’t see any of the PFs dropping to the Kings.    Or Gilchrist.  I think the Top 4 are pretty much set, although after #1 no one has a lock here position-wise.  Each will go high, probably Top 5, but…..
But what the team needs out of this draft is for one of the guys predicted in the Top 4 in most of these Mocks to slip a bit..  A good, strong PF/C who can rebound and learn the plays.  Someone who can play and contribute from Day 1.  Someone who shows that they are ready after Summer League and Camp.  Someone who can help this team improve next year.
Unless there is serious improvement with Evans and Cousins, along with a good Rookie contributing well and a trade and/or Free Agent pick-up adding athleticism and muscle in a Veteran, this team will miss the playoffs again.
That is a lot to ask in one off-season.  Especially from a tteam who has a front office and ownership group in such turmoil.  And after the turmoil settles the Kings still have an ownership family and management group loaded with mediocrity.  And that is why they have gone six straight years in basically the same spot.
Or Draft Express here
Lots guys to follow but those are three that I like, for what it’s worth…
Looks like the combine tryouts and interviews will determine Spots 2 thru 5 this year.
June 1st:
SacBee says compare your Draft picks with theirs!  OK, let’s do that shall we?  Of course all they have posted is their #1 pick.  Who is that guy?  They out on a limb here or what?  Jason Jones 1-14 picks are here
Campaign to force public vote on a new Sacramento Arena is officially dead.
So, of course you figure it’s dead cause the Arena is dead.  Wrong.  It’s dead cause they could not get the required signatures.  The effort only needed 21,000 people to support it but they could not reach that number.
Still, they try o take credit for pushing the Maloof’s in stopping their involvement in the Arena.  Even though the Maloof’s were never really supporters anyway.
The entire thing is just so stupid and such a shame.  Sacramento needs the Arena and the downtown railyard is the perfect spot for it.  Kings or no Kings.  You tell me that if the Arena was built the Maloof’s would not be a tenant?  They would stay in their beat up falling apart arena that they don’t even clean anymore?
June 2nd:
SacBee reporter suggests that the Kings use the San Antonio Spurs as their blueprint.
Well, no shit?  You mean they can learn a thing or two from perhaps the most successful franchise in modern NBA history?  Really??  You mean get a coach like Popovich?  And keep him during tough times?  Give him reins over the basketball stuff?  Draft and keep quality players?  Invest in your team?  Get and keep good veterans?  Things like that would help the Kings?
The Spurs remind me a lot of us,” Doug Christie said before the San Antonio-Oklahoma City series began. “The backdoor plays, the extra passes. France, Argentina. We had players from Serbia, Turkey. You don’t say, ‘They’re loaded with superstars,’ but they’re deep and everybody can play. And it works because Pop (coach Gregg Popovich) has a system and sticks with it. They can beat you inside or outside. They can run. They all pass the ball. They defend better than we did, which is one difference. But the continuity puts the Spurs ahead of the curve, because the old guys teach the new guys.”

It’s not new for the Spurs.  What happened to those Kings Doug Christie?  Ask your Maloofs.
June 4th:
It’s summer.  The lottery ping-pong balls have bounced.  What next?
Ah!!  Summer league basketball of course…
Under the direction of area strength and conditioning coach Guss Armstead since 1990, the Sacramento Pro Developmental League tips off tonight at Capital Christian High School.Games are Monday through Thursday (7:15 p.m.) through June 28. General admission is $7, and kids are free.
Armstead said players expected to play this summer include second-year Kings Isaiah Thomas and Tyler Honeycutt, local high school stars Dakarai Allen of Sheldon and Malik Pope of Laguna Creek, and Zach Andrews, an NBA Development League All-Star from Cordova High.Local NBA players such as Orlando’s Ryan Anderson (Oak Ridge), selected as the NBA’s Most Improved Player, and the Lakers’ Matt Barnes (Del Campo) also could play this summer.Now if only next seasons rookies and some veteran FA’s were signed and playing….maybe in a few more months, huh?

Read more here
“Small market” teams OKC and San Antonio are making BIG noise this NBA season both threatening to take the crown as the playoffs progress.
Unfortunaely, they are playing against each other, and just one will move deeper in the playoffs.
These two teams are small market even when placed alongside Sacramento which is the #20 media market in the U.S. far ahead of both of these markets.  Both teams even rank below Greenville, S.C. in market share.
It is a healthy thing for the NBA to have markets like these two as well as others, `like Indianapolis and New Orleans or Sacramento and Memphis.  This year these two teams are proving that mid-market and small-market teams can not only survive, but when they have quality management and coaching they can thrive in this league.
June 7th:
Now considering the prospects begins.  Just three weeks are left until the actual 2012 NBA Draft.  3 weeks to decide your future.  Not much time to get it right but hella lotta time to screw it up.
The combines and interviews in Chicago and individual tryouts and interviews at home.  It will be a busy 3 weeks if you are a coach or a team Executive.  Or a meddlesome owner.
The primary goal in Chicago will be to interview top prospects and set up workouts in Sacramento later this month. There’s no way to tell exactly who those players will be since there’s no consensus as to who the best player is after (Anthony) Davis.”
Will the Kings draft one of the guys who pop up at #5 on all of these lists which sometimes seem so similar?
Or will Petrie pick a surprise  player who turns out to be the ROY (Rookie of the Year)?
Or will the MaGoofs make their GM and  trade the pick away so they can choose someone down the list, like they did in 2011 with Jimmer?   (still not the move I would have made with Kawhi Leonard on the board)
“… trading down remains a realistic option. The Kings met with Jimmer Fredette at last year’s combine and liked him enough to know he was the player they wanted.”

Read more from SacBee here:
CBS’ Mock Draft and Player Rankings.

Mock Draft
# Team Updated: May 31, 2012
1 New Orleans Hornets Anthony Davis, PF/C Kentucky
2 Charlotte Bobcats Bradley Beal, SG Florida
3 Washington Wizards Andre Drummond, C Connecticut
4 Cleveland Cavaliers Harrison Barnes, SF North Carolina
5 Sacramento Kings Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF Kentucky
Mock Draft Home
Prospect Rankings
# Player Updated: May 31, 2012
1 Anthony Davis Anthony Davis, PF/C Kentucky
2 Bradley Beal Bradley Beal, SG Florida
3 Harrison Barnes Harrison Barnes, SF North Carolina
4 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF Kentucky
5 Andre Drummond Andre Drummond, C Connecticut
Prospect Rankings

CBS says Cleveland won’t let Harrison Barnes slip out of their grasp.  Good player, but at #3 to get solid this early??  Of course you never know who is saying what or why.

Bradley Beal said Kings questoins included things about his basketball IQ and how he thinks the game. — Jason  Jones (@mr_jasonjones)
Now that the Mayoral election is over two of Mayor Kevin Johnson’s top aides are leaving his office to head up the Arena Task Force.
Chief of Staff Kunal Merchant … and Special Assistant R.E. Graswich are leaving to focus on the mayor’s “Plan B” for an arena. That plan is exploring whether the city could build a downtown arena without the involvement of the Sacramento Kings.”
June 9th;
Andre Drummond, Center from Connecticut
Drummond is a very big, strong and very young player who will probably be available when the Kings select at #5.  He is also unpolished and immature.  Sounds a little like Cousins when he was drafted.  At #5.
He may be “the best available player” when the Kings pick unless someone drops in their lap or someone really shows something special during the combines and/or individual tryouts  interviews.

Drummond left the University of Connecticut after his freshman season. He averaged 10 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots.

During that time, the 6-foot-11, 278-pound Drummond developed a reputation for being inconsistent yet foul-prone. His effort was also questioned.

Blake said Drummond is “a true center without true experience,” which is why he’d need time to develop. His size, strength and wingspan (7-61/4 and longest at the combine) has scouts believing he can be a dominant defender, shot blocker and rebounder.”  A big, strong, youngg shot blocker and rebounder will be very tempting for the Kings.

Draft Combine Notes: Likely No.1 pick Anthony Davis rides celebrity whirlwind.

Davis also has been doing some of his own interviewing. He may be the top prospect in this year’s NBA draft, but he still hasn’t hired an agent.

Davis expects to decide on an agent in the next couple of days. Meantime, he is getting to know the staff of the New Orleans Hornets,who own the first pick in the draft.”

June 10th:

The Kings “Las Vegas Casino”—The Palms is shutting down their Playboy Club, opened by the Maloof brothers in 2006.  Incidentally the same year the Maloof boys started their 6 straight years of losing in the NBA.

The Maloofs though turned their 98% ownership of the Palms into a 2% ownership.

They went from a hundreds of millions deal, potentially finally turning them into billionaires (??) and trashed it, losing it all.

If we make the math easy (the numbers were much larger) and say their 98% was $100 million, then they lost and now have just $2 million.  George Maloof was in charge of the Palms, the same guy who recently trashed the entire idea of a brand new Arena for the Maloof boys NBA team, the Kings.

Enough about the Maloof boys.  The story was the Playboy Club was closed by the new oners of the Palms who don’t want to be associated ith the name or the reference apparently.

Next up for NBA Draft prospects are workouts:  either individual or group workouts depending on how “special” they are.  Read the SacBee article about workouts at the link.  We will hear a lot about draft prospects and their workouts the next week or so.

June 11th:

Sacramento needs help to land Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (MKG) in the 2012 NBA Draft.  Probably the 2nd most polished player available in the draft, the Kings ould probably rather land a skilled & polished big man at the PF spot.  MKG is a top tier SF and the Kings could certainly use help there.  The team has a handful of players but no potential All-Star right?  But is MKG?

Kidd-Gilchrist knows two Kings, DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, and would join them as the third player in four years coached by John Caliparidrafted by the team

MKG is the SF the Kings let get away a few years ago, Gerald Wallace.  High flying athlete with a never say stop motor.  He also has serious kinks in his jump shot.

Jared Sullinger brushes aside his many criticisms “Everybody is overanalyzing my game,” he said. “I’m always the bad guy in every gym. Everybody says I can’t do this or that, everybody points out all the negative things I do. There’s a lot of positives I think I do, but that’s not for me to discuss.”

He is projected to go somewhere from 7th to the middle of the First Round.  Sullinger was Freshman of the Year and this season followed that prestigious award up being named as a first team All-America selection.  He has soft hands and a good shot.
Sullinger is 6’9″ with a 7’1″ wingspan.
June 12th:
Hensons role at NC and his primary skilset was on the defensive side.  A high energy kid, rebounder and shotblockin Forward.  He understands what he can provide to the team who eventually drafts him later this month.
Henson is 6’10″ 216 and will need to be “best friends” with the strength coach as he put it.  Henson believes he can add 15 pounds by time for the 2012/13 season..
He will definitely need to add body mass to survive the rigors of the NBA PF or even SF role.  He would certainly get banged a bit as a backup Center.
Henson is doubtful at the #5 pick.    Today Center Tyler Zeller, Henson’s NC teammate will be in Sacramento to try out.
June 16th:
Kentucky prospect Terrance Jones stresses versatility.  Stressing his ability to play both the SF & the PF positions.
Listed in college at 6-foot-9 and 252 pounds, Jones looks ready to go shoulder-to-shoulder with NBA players, and he’s also considered to have impressive athleticism for his build.Jones said he’s been compared to Marvin Williams and Lamar Odom,players who have played both forward positions in the NBA.”Jones averaged 12.3 points and over 7 rebounds as an important part of the Kentucky Wildcats Championship team.  He was often overshadowed by Anthony Davis  andJones also stresses that he learned how to fit his skills into game situations  game by game, suggesting he had to learn to fit his production into the needs the team had in an individual game and what his coach wanted from him.

Read more here
June 25th:
Decent choices at the 5th pick?  That’s what Kings officials are saying as we get close to the June 28th Draft Day.  Read what they are saying HERE.
June 27th:
Tomorrow is the NBA Draft and today’s Bee article says that “the Kings have options at #5″ but really the options that are laid out are “trade the pick” or “keep the pick”.  What other options are there at this point?  Either you have decided to trade and move up in the draft (the Kings don’t have the horses for that) or trade down in the draft (the Kings made a bad decision to do this last year.  Do they want to risk a tenuous connection to Sacramento fans and dump the pick again?) or keep the pick (knowing there just isn’t much there unless someone falls into their lap).
My suggestion?  Keep it and hope for that perfect storm that would allow the best player (well 2nd ) to fall their way like Cousins did two years ago.  That means Harrison Barnes or even Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would slip and for that to happen the Bee is right that the Bobcats need to take Robinson.  If that one thing happens Thursday then we better hope the Kings kept #5—-or made an amazing trade.
The trades talked about in the Bee don’t seem amazing.  The trades seem like Jimmer Fredette “pull your hair out” trades.  I just don’t see trading #5 so someone else can trade for Dwight Howard.
Where will you be on Draft Day June 28th?  How about one of the Neighborhood Draft Day Parties??  There will be Draft parties at five locations hosted by the Kings from 4pm to 7:30pm.
Where are the parties?
All five parties are free to the public, with doors opening at 4 p.m. at the following locations:

Find out more about these parties HERE  from the press release.  You will be able to mingle with Kings players Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson and Hassan Whiteside, Kings Dance Team members, Breakers and Slamson

Read the Bee article HERE
The Bleed Black and Purple blog had a very good post just a few days ago about that #5 spot the Kings find themselves holding, saying that it is
“…not hard to question the happenings in Sacramento over the last six-seven years. As owners, the Maloofs have repeatedly said they are going to spend to get better.”
Ain’t that the truth, so even in easier drafts anything from the mouths of Kings would be hard to decipher.  As today’s Bee article explained well, Draft Day in the NBA people say a lot of things.  And none of it is true.  So sometimes if you really want to confuse people….you tell the truth.
“…back to the basketball side of things. Petrie has been on the hot seat for some time now. And let face it, Mikki Moore signings will do that to a fellow. But let’s not kid ourselves; most of Petrie’s mishaps are a direct result of the Maloofs not opening the checkbook”  That fellas is the honest to gosh truth.
We are entering a new era in the NBA. The Lakers, Spurs, Suns, Celtics and Mavs all look like they are headed for rebuild mode. The Grizzlies, Clippers and Timberwolves are on the rise. Will the Kings even be in the discussion? Does the same group that put together the Webber/Divac team have it in them to do it again? Do Kings fans even believe they can do it again.”
Read the Bleed Black and Purple blog HERE
Trade rumors?  The big one in the Bee (can any rumor be true if it is published in the Bee?) is Kyle Lowry of the Rockets for the Kings #5 plus Houston would add their #14 & #16 picks.  There must be something else in the mix (John Salmons anyone?) for it to make any sense.  But does it make sense at all?  Apparently that “other” is Tyreke Evans.  ‘Reke hasn’t lived up to his ROY expectations but he is still the 2nd best player on this team and has abilities that could make him an All-Star.
Not someone I would want to trade for 14 and 16 in a weak draft.  “The rumors will continue, but this deal seems highly unlikely unless the Rockets sweeten the offer. More to come in the days ahead
3:58 pm it does not appear the Kings will be making that trade to the Rockets for their #14 & 16 plus Kyle Lowry as sources have confirmed(via Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated)  that the Rockets moved their #14 pick to Milwaukee along with Samuel Dalembert who will join his 3rd team in 2 years and 4th team in the last 3 seasons after his big year just 3 seasons ago.
Donte’ Green will not be resigned by the Kings according to Carmichael Dave who spoke to Green today.
Speaking of SI, here’s a Mock Draft at SI today “with movement in the top five, trade chatter and misdirections galore. ”  I won’t ruin it for you but they show Robinson going #2 to Charlotte which means the Kings would really get some decent choice with #5.  Except of course it is the Kings 2012 version which means drama up the ying-yang.  Check it out at the link above.
Now the Kings drama swirls around “we want a Center” when it has all been “we want a SF” and “we want a PF”.
I guess it is easy to understand all of the dysfunction.  This is the Kings after all.  And, truth be told they need a Center to back up Cousins.  And a Small Forward.  And really a Power Forward.  Really.  So what do you do?  You don’t have a good enough team to select a back-up Center with #5.  Maybe they entertain trade offers and drop down to take a back-up IF they gget a quality PF in return.  Quality not crap.  And not a SF, you have a good one in Evans.  Treat him right, give him a spot and let him grow.  SF or SG but plus him the fuck in and leave him alone.  Smart seems to be able to coach the kid.
Maybe Drummond could learn to play PF/C, but as far as I can see he is a project.  And I don’t see a good player coming to the Kings to make this trade worthwhile.
The Lakers are so interested in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist that they are dangling Pau Gasol for a Top 5 pick and a player.  Gasol is not a bad player to have and is certainly an impovement over MKG at this point.  But what about in 3 years?  Do you make that trade now?  I would say yes depending on the “player to be  named”.  This from Lakers Beat Writer @Mike_Bresnahan of the LA Times.  A rumor from someone in the know.
And will the Lakers trade their 60th pick in the 2012 Draft?
And Chad Ford from ESPN Sports Nation during his internet chat today:
Let’s put it this way. If the (Charlotte) Hornets wanted to trade the draft rights to Davis today … I think there is only three players they COULDN’T trade him for: LeBron, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. Normally I’d add Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose to the mix. But with Dwight Howard threatening to bolt Orlando, of course the Magic would do the deal. And given the seriousness of Rose’s injury, I think the Bulls would seriously consider pulling the trigger too. Remember, Davis is from Chicago as well.
Apparently Metta World Peace could be part of a Gasol package deal.  Does that entice the Kings??
So with 24 hours to go, what do I want to see happen as a Kings fan?  Who do I want assuming Davis is already signed and has his first All-Star birth lined up after his Rookie-Of-The-Year award ceremonies…
Hell I want Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.   Davis won’t be there.  Robinson goes second.  Of all the other guys on the board MKG is the guy.
Doesn’t play the position the Kings need to fill.  So start working on trades.  Decent trades cause you won’t get great ones.
MKG is tough as nails and everywhere he goes his teams just win.  And win.  Every level, every team.
Don’t get me wrong he has holes in his game.  Someone says he is like Scottie Pippen.  But today if you have or you can get a good shooter and then get the modern-day Scottie Pippen for the next 10 years do you take that player??  Hell yes.
So pray Charlotte takes the next big man with Thomas Robinson, and leaves MKG on the board.
And pray the Kings have just been misdirecting folks because Ford is 100% right:
“FORD: And don’t get me started on the Kings. They have five guys on their roster that care nothing for defense or chemistry and want to jack up 20 shots a night. They finally get a chance at a guy who can make a huge impact on the floor without the ball in his hands and their response is to trade the pick.”
Ok, just for the giggles…

SIMMONS: ”’…Moving on to Sacramento’s no. 5 pick, we might make some history here, Chad. Even though it would be foolish to overpay in a trade for someone like Andre Drummond (who has all the textbook Thabeet/Kwame/Darko red flags), but you know someone might … only Geoff Petrie is the one trading the pick, which means we might be headed for a double rainbow of dumbness. After all, Petrie was the guy who dumped a mildly annoying contract (Beno Udrih) for a mildly disastrous contract (John Salmons) so he could move back three spots and make the worst lottery pick of the 2011 draft (Jimmer Fredette). He’s capable of anything. That makes me wonder if we could see a trade like this: Detroit deals Tayshaun Prince (expires 2015) and the no. 9 pick to Sacramento for the no. 5 pick and Salmons’s contract (expires 2015). Sacramento stays in the top nine and adds an unselfish veteran swingman who won’t really help them because it’s not like they can compete for a title; Detroit sneaks into the top five and rolls the dice with a Drummond/Monroe tandem that will eventually fail. Everyone loses!

FORD: Agree that Petrie is doing the GM equivalent of impaired driving with this pick. Kings fans are watching, horrified, as he weaves back and forth across the road. The question isn’t whether he collides into the telephone poleit’s when. And no, Joe Dumars already drafted Darko. He’s not going to move up to do it again. At no. 9? Maybe, but Drummond is much safer at 9 than at 5.

SIMMONS: You’re right, this is crazy … let’s just do something sane. With the fifth pick for Sacramento, I’m taking Thomas Robinson … a.k.a. the rich man’s Carl Landry. Stick him with DeMarcus Cousins and, at the very least, you’ll be pounding the boards and making opponents miserable every game. But if the Kings can get an offer like “Parsons and the 14th/18th picks” or “Rudy Gay straight up” or even “Andre Iguodala straight up” for this spot, they should grab it. You know, unless MKG is sitting there.

(Thinking.)

Oh, god. They’re going to screw this up, aren’t they?

ok I’m thru laughing.  Because I read the last sentence.

I’m taking my head out of the NBA Draft Day rumormill.  It is getting viscious

And Simmons & Ford agree in their dual mock drafts.  Robinson goes to Sacramento.  Great choice but I don’t think Robinson drops past the #2 hole.  He has been sitting there in nearly every draft I have seen or heard about.

Of course, maybe it’s all misinformation and MKG goes to Charlotte meaning that Robinson survives for the #5 pick.  Could be why Sacramento has turned down all of these crazy fantasy trades and lives to take their pick (???)

Donte’ Greene says good bye to Sacramento, the fans and all of his friends.  For the comedy alone, plus some games that were strangely very very good, I will miss Donte’ and some city will be glad to have him and probably at a good price.

This is such a strange sports league.

Nighttime rumors the night before the Draft.  What?  Like 18 hours to go?  And HoopsRumors are still boiling!!!

Plus the 5 Hottest rumors out there ZZZZZzzzzzzz…..

June 28th:

Kings could fill the need at SF    But if they do fill that need what do they do with Tyreke Evans??  Plus him in at SG where he should have been since Day 1 after he was drafted?  Or trade him?  Cause they do keep trying don’t they?

Aare they predicting MKG cuz otherwise I am tired of this crap.

and another last minute Mock-Draft, this one from Sacramento.  Who do you think the Kings get??  Anthony Davis?  oh WTF???

PF Thomas Robinson!  I cannot argue with this pick at all.  Not like last years’ debacle.  Yes there are question marks

..  But this kid should have gone second in this draft and could surprise everyone and turrn out to be ROY, you just never know.

17+ points and 11+ rebounds, leading the Kansas Jayhawks to the NCAA Championship game.  And the Kings get him filling a big big hold next to Cousins.  This could make the frontline of the team the best younr frontcourt in the league.

Who will want to rebound against Cousins and the new kid Robinson??  I would have been happy with MKG but Charlotte took him instead of Robinson and look who the hell Sacramento got??  Excellent!!

It seems like a steal to me.  And hear that sound?  Kings fans are finally celebrating.

The Kings traded their 2nd Round pick to the Indianapolis Pacers in order to fi,l a much needed hole.

The Kings traded their pick for…..Cash!  Cash?  These great business men of the Maloof family turned down an Arena the city was going to build for them ….. need cash?  I think they got $3

It really is a bit like Christmas in June.

” I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Geoff Petrie this happy. When he approached the gathering of media types in the practice facility late Thursday night, he was almost giddy. As coach Keith Smartnoted, Robinson was the “clear cut” choice within the organization if he was available. And, of course, no one thought he would be available

This is all started because Charlotte Bobcats owner/boss Michael Jordan decided to take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist instead of grabbing Robinson or moving the pick. MJ, of course, has never lacked guts. He drafted Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison- tough even for the game’s greatest player to live down – but that didn’t stop him from following his instincts again on Thursday.”

It’s like the one article in the Bee started today…”Thomas Robinson at #5?  You gotta be kidding me!”

Read more here:
June 30th;
Here are the basics on the Free Agency period which begins tonight.
Free AgencyThe Draft is over and the team and fans are about as happy as they could be given the spot the Kings drafted in.  Now the Free Agency period begins at Midnight Eastern time (9pm Sacramento time) tonight and players can be signed July 11thThe Kings first focus will be Jason Thompson, a restricted Free Agent whom the Kings want to resign.

Beyone that the team chose not to nake an offer to Donte’ Green freeing up his salary of $2 million  and will decide if they want to conpete for their own unrestricted Free Agents:

Terrance Williams

Williams played well in the 18 games he spent in Sacramento after he was signed last season.

Expiring Contracts

Francisco Garcia

I have not been impressed by Garcia for 3 or 4 years at least and would have traded him if given any chance at all.  Somehow he has become the veteran with the longest time in Sacramento and it’s time to end that relationship.  He is a good cheerleader on the bench but his jump shot is suspect and his paycheck is too large to retain him unless he wants to take a very significant pay cut.

The team is $15 million under the Salary Cap, but in piblic don’t seem willing to spend money on players like Guard Andre’ Miller.  They arre interested in Nicolas Batum from Portland but Batum is a restricted Free Agent and Portland has said they will do everything to keep him.  Batum could fill the hole at SF immediately.  I miss Gerald Wallace, but don’t see the team paying his salary of $9 million.

Everyone knows what the Kings need:  Defense, a quality SF, help at PG (although views on what kind of help are wide and varied), a player with a quality jump shot, a leader, and a shotblocker unless Hassan Whiteside is healthy and ready.

Robinson fills a need at PF and was the “best available” player, but he does not “fix” the Kings.

So let Free Agency begin and hope that the Kings can pick up someone decent and makes good decisions about their own guys, JT and Cisco.  Then with a decent trade the Kings will be improved over last season.  I hope.

So who are the 2012 NBA Free Agents?

From Hoops World here is the list of every free agent in the league.  They list restricted and unrestricted players, explain the requirements for both types of free agents and all of the options.  It ain’t easy folks.  Check out the list HERE.

June 3rd:

AEG drops out of effort to build a non-Kings arena in the Railyard callingg it “non-feasible”.  Mayor believes there are still options, but AEG does not see any significant arena possibilities without the Kings nvolved.  No word from the Kings about “I told you so”.

________________________________________________________________________________________________
Read more here
Read more at the link above.
Related articles

Outdoor Dining In The Sacramento Region

THIS POST IS A DRAFT

Springtime brings many things:  warmer weather, flowers and plants as well as the gardening & cleanup that goes along with those things, kids looking forward to summer break (those who get one), the concert season, tomato season in Sacramento, NBA basketball championships (sorry Sacramento) & March Madness, allergies (achoo) vacation planning…..so many other things.

And one of my favorites each year.  outdoor dining!

When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s Sacramento actually had an ordinance prohibiting sidewalk seating.  All we had was restaurants like the Firehouse that had enclosed patios.

We had to go to San Francisco to actually enjoy sidewalk dining, and it was such a treat.  Almost a taboo!  People fought real hard to get the city to approve sidewalk dining.

Now we have so many choices, from simple fare to fine dining.  Lunchtime and dinner and late night dining as well.

Downtown, midtown, East Sacramento and all regions in the city and the county as well as surrounding area like West Sacramento, Folsom, Elk Grove, Roseville, down the Sacramento River, up the American River.  Who does not have at least one restaurant with sidewalk dining?

There are so many outdoor dining spots it i hard to pick your favorite.  If the choice is favorite place to eat outside my is…still the Firehouse.

If the choice is limited to sidewalk eatingit is a little more difficult to choose for some reason.

Well we can choose an alley-walk rather than a sidewalk and pick Old Soul 1716 L Street, rear alley.

If the choice is a real sidewalk I would pick Three Sisters on J Street with their wonderful dining area with a bit of a wall next to the sidewalk or  33rd Street Bistro on Folsom Boulevard.  I enjoy both of these places, they have different styles of food but both try hard to provide good service and quality food.

What other places outdoors?

Well, check out the recent article in the Sacramento Bee for a lot of selections, all good.  It got me thinking about the subject, made me quite hungry and led to this post.

They list some places that I enjoy like

Mulvaneys, 1215 19th Street

Restaurant Thir13en, 1300 H Street

Juno’s Kitchen & Deli, 3675 J Street

Paesano’s 1806 Capitol Avenue

Zocalo, right down the street at 1801 Capitol Avenue

and many more that I still must try out.

What other places?  Leave me comments here or Tweet me @zenDR and tell me about your favorite joints, where and why.

__2011/2012 College Basketball

English: Basketball article stub icon

Image via Wikipedia

This post will cover individual  college players who may be drafted by the NBA.  As we move closer to Draft Day in June, I will probably include draft sites and Mock Drafts.

Every player has fans, friends and family—and some folks get upset if they think something “negative” has been written.  I try not to be negative when it comes to writing about high school or college age athletes.

They are very young and at a critical point as far as physical and emotional maturity.  More important, what is written could mean money.  Cash.  So I will try not to affect their pocketbooks negatively

I will write what I see and say what I think.  Sometimes that may not go over well with some readers, but if you remember the focus of this post–I am writing what I see and hear about a college player as it projects to possibly playing in the NBA.

For some of these kids that is a few years off.

Most of these young men would be better served to finish college.  I know the pressures they must feel to go pro as soon as they can, especially if they get projected as a lottery player.  But even Round 1 non-lottery players often make the jump because they worry about injuries, a coaching change that may affect their minutes etc.  So many things.

But, they need to finish school.  Just my thought.

I may even talk about the Final Four as we get closer, because how can you not??

If you are looking for College Basketball Polls—

go here  ESPN keeps their poll up-to-date.

I will break players down in broad categories, mostly by their college position, and not trying to predict what teams may do after the draft.  It is so tough trying to figure out where a player will succeed as a pro.  College and the NBA are just so different.

Guard

ESPN tells us that over the last 4 years the draft has produced 17 starting Point Guards including some of the best in the league.  17 starters. This year there may be none.  And his list covers true PGs, not converted SGs (like Sacramento‘s Tyreke Evans) or Point Fowards.

Read the article at the link above as you prepare for the draft.  ESPN is calling it a Point Guard drought.  You need to be an ESPN “Insider” to get the full article but you get the ESPN Magazine with it.  Or the other way around.

Damien Lillard, Weber State.  Lillard is predicted to be a Point Guard, but teams must be cautious.  Lillard is an aggressive player with a “score first” mentality and while he will probably succeed as an eventual pro, Lillard is not a pure point guard by any means.

Lillard hits 90% of his Free Throws, can move right or left, is an effective ball handler and can pull up and hit the jumper nearly anywhere on the floor.  Which can cause problems for pro PGs when they fall in love with their jump shot.

Lillard’s playmaking abilities often seem to escape him as his focus is so often on his shot.  Weber State describes Lillard as their primary scoring threat.  Nice, but not want their NBA wants from PGs.

Lillard is over 25 PPG with about 3.5 assists.  He also rebounds well for a Guard.

Although Sac State‘s chances are more than slim vs Weber State, I look foward to seeing Lillard play here in a few weeks.

Weber State vs Sac State January 25, 2012:  Short story, Weber State manhandled Sac State.  Although Lillard was held to 7-17 shooting he managed to score 21 points and it seemed that every player on his team popped for double figures.  Everyone was scoring.

Sac State kept the last game between these two closer back on New Yeares Eve.  This time the Wildcats won by 15.

Lillard brought a lot of folks with him.  NBA scouts, players and even our local GM.  People wanted to catch the opportunity to see him play.  The fans were happy with Lillard,  even on an off-shooting night. The paper today points out his ability to get his players involved, and you could certainly see that.

I don’t know all of the scouts but I think each was introduced, plus Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and Geoff Petrie all from the Sacramento Kings, even Stevie Johnson ,WR with the Buffalo Bills, and a lot of local High School players hoping to catch some magic.

January 8th:  Great game gainst Portlnd State University last night, scoring 38 points and leading all plyers, including making like 8 3 pointers..

Aaron Craft, Ohio State

Craft takes the Point Guard position for a very talented team.  Craft is tough defensively and spreads over 5 APG and grabs nearly 3 steals.  Scoring is not his primary talent, Craft is an unselfish player functioning as a floor-General for his team.

Craft is a sophomore for the Buckeyes with fistfuls of national awards plus school records last season.  Plus he is apparently a smart, well-liked kid.  Important for NBA PGs.

I have only seen TV games for O-State and remember more about the team (they have Final Four chances this year, definitely) than Craft.  That only means I need to pay more attention!

Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

Napier took the Point for Connecticut after Kemba Walker left for the pros.  In his first season leading the team, Napier is averaging more than 15 PPG to go with his 6.7 APG, 4.5 RB and over 2 steals in each game.  That is a sweet combination of stats and reveals why Connecticut continues to win after Walker left.

Scott Machado, Iona

I have yet to see Machado play even on TV.  I’m sure we will see Iona at some time this season.  So far I have just seen some highlights on ESPN and a few youtube compilations.

Machado is listed at 6’1″.

Kendall Marshall, North Carolina

So, the team that may wind up #1 this year also has the PG who may be the best college PG.   That won’t make him the top NBA pick.  But as a ball distributor he is the best, and fortunately for Marshall, he is surrounded by talented players who can score and rebound.  Marshall’s job is to put the ball in their hands and he does it well, but only scores some 6 PPG early in the season.

His numbers show a passing Guard with over 10 assists per game to go with 14 PPG, 4+ REBs and almost 2 steals.

Forwards:

Cody Zeller, Indiana

For a young man who just graduated from High School, Zeller has exploded on the college basketball scene.  he has only played eight games, but Zeller scores and rebounds plus his defense results in blocks and steals.

He may fall apart at the college level, as he has a skinny frame and short arms.  But he’s also just 19 years old and has time to grow.  Zeller is a 6’11″ Center is college, but how do you predict a spot in the pros today?  Give him time to play, grow and learn.  Then we will see if he plays out as a SF, PF or C.

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina

Barnes is a sophomore and plays Small Forward for the Tar Heels.

Barnes will probably declare himself eligible for this years draft because he could well be the #1 pick and at least in the Top 3 barring any major problem.

Barnes can score, including 3 pointers and do some rebounding.  Currently he averages 17 PPG in 25 minutes, with just under 50% on his 3′s.

Some NBA team will be glad to have him next season.

Mike Scott, Virginia

Scott is a Senior SF for the Cavaliers scoring nearly 17 PPG and very efficient.  He has been ACC Player of the Week 3 times with team highs in scoring and rebounds.  Scott rebounds well for a SF and is averaging almost 9 per game.

The Draft:     An Early Look-See:

CBS has notes on each player teams are probably considering, including:

Anthony Davis, F-C   Kentucky

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, G-F   Kentucky

Harrison Barnes, SF   North Carolina

Jared Sullinger, SF       Ohio State

Thomas Robinson, Kansas C

Austin Rivers, Duke   G

Terence Jones, Kentucky   F

And many more.  A total of three pages of players.  Yes, it is early.  Nice!!!

Hoops Analyst has Ed Weiland’s early look at the 2012 Draft.

Ed Weiland is the FedEx driver/math whiz who was the only guy in the country to predict Linsanity.

Maybe we should pay attention to Ed’s analysis.  They cover 60 players with notes on 40 or so.

This Weiland article follow up on his first cut at this draft back in January.  If you read both you can see how much homework he does.

As the season approached many analysts were expecting a strong draft.  Maybe just because the last two have not been strong.  Ed sees it as a mediocre draft at best.

I think he may be right.  I hate to say that because Sacramento will be in the lottery again and it would be nice to have more than a handful of top-tier players.

PF Anthony Davis is still the clear #1 here and probably a future All-Star.

February 9th:

Wow!! Duke surprises #5 UNC at the buzzer!  Austin Rivers, son of the legendary Doc Rivers, dribbled the clock down as the crowd got louder and louder.  And then he shot over 7 foot UNC Center Tyler Zeller as the clock showed just one second left in a great game.  the ball slipped thru the net.

Duke wins 85-84.

It was Rivers 6th 3 in the game.  Rivers scored 29 points in the most exciting game of a night filled with college basketball.

I’m not sure how many games were played last night, but there were a ton.

None was more exciting. The link takes you to the scores of all of the February 8th games.

Rivers has been criticized a lot in his Freshman year, as has his coach.  But his confidence has apparently not left him and he now has a game Duke fans will talk about for years.  And,  love em or hate em.Duke has a lot of history to talk about.

April 2nd:

Great March Madness has come down to the April final tonight.  Let’s see Kentucky over Kansas.

We got to see a lot of players we had only heard about as the tournament moved on.  And we got to see some of the really good college players a number of times as their teams went deep.

Who surprised you?  Kansas has continued to surprise me without any real stars but a very solid team.  And Thomas Robinson is very tough in the middle.

NC and NC State both surprised me by not making it to the Final Four.  Thought one would be there.

Chad Ford has his take on the underclassmen who have declared themselves eligible for the 2012 Draft in his Who’s In/Who’s Out?  here.  20 players up to today!  Should be a much deeper draft than we have had for the last couple of years.  If you are one of those ESPN Insiders you can read Chad’s full article.

Hoops Analyst gives us excellent College Draft predictions with their prospect update.

“As this draft comes into better focus it is shaping up as a draft heavy on forwards and backup centers. Anthony Davis remains the top pick. He’s the only player who looks like he has a good shot at becoming an all-star. After Davis it is something of a mixed bag. Overall the quality is weak compared to drafts of the previous decade, but still an upgrade on 2011. What could hurt this draft is most of the best prospects are underclassmen and a lot of them seem destined to be headed back to college for 2013. Right now there are enough intriguing players and role players to make this draft interesting for at least the first round.”

Forwards and Backup Centers.  Who doesn’t need those??

May 17th:

Who’s NBA Draft Day stock is dropping??

“The impact of the NCAA tournament usually affects the stock of several players, though that impact is often oversold”

That’s the unfortunate truth.  Often we wind up scratching our heads half-way thru the next season or a few years down the road, wondering “How could (fill in the blank) have chosen (fill it in again)?”

And we can sometimes find the truth of that question living in the March Madness ups & downs leading up to Draft Day.

July 1st:

Big crowd at Arden Fair to see Robinson yesterday.  And he was all of 6’9″, 244 pounds, 7’1″ wingspan and hands so big…just huge hands.

Robinson was quiet, respectful and looked ready to go to work with the Kings Las Vegas Summer League team in 2 weeks.

Today the question is, beyond Jason Thompson what Free Agent(s) can the Kings hope to attract.  You have to figure someone is more willing to join a team that has the guts of a front court with Cousins and Robinson than they were a few days ago.

This year though there are not a lot of stars on the FA list.  There are a lot of players though…more than 170 Free Agents.  That is more than 10 teams worth of men.

The stars on the list are mostly ageing, the young ones are mostly Restricted.  One you are less likely to want, the other less likely to get.

Nicolas Batum is Restricted.  The rest are Unrestricted here including  Marcus Camby, Andrei Kirelinko (still and the Kings were in hot pursuit last year.  Instead they signed Travis Outlaw), Ersan Ilyasova an improved F, Terrance Williams (I would want him back but do the Kings?), some veteran PGs…..we shall see what the rumor mill produces over the next few days.

August 29th:

No mention of the Kings or any other pro sports tem t Tuesday’s Virginia Beach Cit Council meeting where one agenda topic was  new sports  ren in town.  A 18,000 seat pro-sized arena for a team that many are calling the “Beach-Ballers”. 

The Sacramento Kings, the National Basketball Association (NBA), The Lockout and…..

The Sacramento Kings, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the 2011/2012 lockout.  I have waited a few months before starting this post.

Special logo marking the Kings' 20th anniversa...

Image via Wikipedia

In the midst of the damn lockout by greedy owners (I’ll get to greedy players later) that may push the growth of professional basketball back a good decade, I am starting a running post about the Sacramento Kings.

Twitters at:

@SacramentoKings

@kingsbuzztap

@boogiecousins

@jimmerfredette

@jtthekid

@TyrekeEvansNews

and a lot more that you can find for yourself.

Given the current situation(s) the team finds itself in, that may well include components about:

  • the lockout and state of affairs
  • the movement toward a new sports arena in Sacramento
  • whether the team stays in Sacramento or leaves
  • whether the current owners keep the team or sell
  • rumors as well as truths about these.

With the lockout, I can’t even link to players and stats on the official team site.  There are none.  As if there are no basketball players.

The article at this link is excellent.  It is a 2007 rewrite of a 2004 article about “8 Common Profiles of a Bust”.  Even the name brings a smile and I read it again.  This guy is smart and funny and tags these players right on the chin.

Read it, you will enjoy it.

My guess?  The 2011.2012 season is gone.  Done.  Dead.

What does Stern want you to think?

I was a manager and an Executive for a long time.  I understand that folks on the line rarely see or understand the needs of the organization, they must focus on what they need to do today and not be cluttered with the rest of the bullshit.

So, in the NBA,  the Exec (Stern) during the lockout wants you to believe that it’s all about the money, including what teams win & lose.    Last year the Kings had money but chose not to spend it.  So during the lockout, Stern points to the Kings low spending and connects their team struggles.  As if they would be top-tier and blames it on the “soft cap.”

This year the Kings have money (cap room) but with the lockout can’t spend it and even if it ended today no one knows how or when teams can spend money.Even on their recent draftees,  They can’t even talk to players.  They are not even allowed to have their players pictures on the team website.  They face huge fines if they do.

The projections are generated by Basketball Prospectus.

October 8th:

David Stern wants us (fans) to cry “Uncle” over the lockout and force the players to cave.

“The clock wasn’t always on David Stern’s side just because of the specter of missed paychecks for players. It’s also one hell of a public relations sword to wield. He sets the deadlines. He controls the clock. He decides when the crescendo hits and the bottom falls out of the lockout song. He can twist the players’ stomachs into knots heading into Sunday if there are talks underway — which there won’t be, because Yom Kippur is celebrated on Saturday. “

October 28th:

Today an article on “The Big 4″ steering the debate in the NBA including David Stern, Billy Hunter, Adam Silver and Derek Fisher.  Read about each individual at the link.

“In their respective roles with the NBA  (Stern, Silver) and its players’ association (Hunter, Fisher), the four  will be asked to overwhelm the opposition – inside and outside their own ranks – with the brute force of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the gentility of Mother Teresa.

Read about it HERE.

Fort what it is worth, the Kings page on NBA.com is HERE

And the Kings 2011/2012 schedule (before it gets reduced or eliminated) is HERE.

But, mostly, this will be about my views on the team, the players & coaches and the future of the team on the basketball playing side.

So, let’s get on with it:

The 2010/2011 year in retrospect

What a difficult year for fans of the hometown Kings.

What about the organization?

First the owners have talks with the city of Anaheim, California about moving the team thereSerious discussions to the point of renaming the Kings  (as late as May 2011) and picking a time to move (the 2011/2012 season).

Understandable as Sacramento taxpayers have been unwilling to back any kind of plan for a new arena.  I get that.  But a 3rd team in Los Angeles??  I don’t think the NBA wants that, I’m not even sure the peeps in Anaheim wanted it.

So the NBA told the Kings “No”.

And Sacramento got busy.  And thought BIG.  Even Chris Webber tries to get involved.

Note that I say taxpayers are unwilling, not fans are unwilling.

Fans are also taxpayers of course and some unknown percentage of real game attending fans (even season ticket holding fans) are unwilling to pay for any part of a new arena.  I get that too.  Times are tough for most of us, but even in good times a lot of people would balk at public money being involved at any level.

That said, the Kings MUST have a new arena in order to consider staying.  otherwise they will move.  The business is so expensive that as owners you must have a solid expectation of what your future will be.

Besides the funding issue (and that is enough) the team has not been top-tier in the past few years and in the recent few it often seems the front office decisions are not well thought out and the owners no longer want to be a part of the community.

Sacramento had the best (most vocal) fans in the league because they saw the team as “their” team.  It was part of the fabric of the community.  Even Sacramentans who are not interested in the sport were interested in the fortunes of the Kings.  Now it often seems the organization is just “visiting”.

So how did the season go?

Up & down and mostly down as far as wins & losses.

What was good?  Another good crop of rookies, especially…..

C/PF DeMarcus Cousins.  This young  man just turned 21 in August 2011.  He is 6’11″ and 270 lbs.  A monster in the paint.  He is immature though, and it showed in his freshman season on & off the court.  He is a smart, likeable kid though and he has a huge upside to his career.  With someone on the team with stature (some street cred) to mentor him he will be among the best in the league.  Left on his own he may well explode.

Cousins averaged 18 PPG and 8+ RBs per game, and in many games he looked unbeatable at both ends of the court.  An exciting player and I am looking forward to his 2nd year.

Cousins manager talks about what is is like to manage a future star.

However, I removed him from my list of tweeters cuz his tweets sometimes read like a 12 year old.  I know he just has fun with them and I probably tweet like an old dude, but he does need to grow up and realize that what gets posted on the internet will live forever.  I know if I was tweeting and blogging at 21 I would be embarrassed to read them now, I was that stoopid.

Marcus Thornton, G.  Picked up from New Orleans and got minutes as Tyrke struggled.  He really produced and became a fan favorite.  But what will his role be with Evans healthy and two interesting guard draftees in Jimmer Fredette and Isiah Thomas?  With minutes in Sacramento, Thornton started scoring and hit an average of 21 PPG in 21 games to finish his season with the Kings.  Exciting and mature young player.

What were the problems?

An injury to G/PG Tyreke Evans.  What a great draftee the Rookie of the Year Evans was.  And how disappointing it was for the fans to watch him struggle through a full year of foot injuries.  With his injury his stats dropped in every important category and he just was not the same player.

All the best to Evans for this coming year.  I hear he is over his injury and from clips of some NBA player pick-up games he looks better than ever.

‘Reke’s half-court buzzer beater.

Jason Thompson, PF/C.  6’11″ and 250 lbs.  Also needs a maturity check (and he isn’t even young, so what’s the excuse here?) and like many players without a consistent role, minutes & expectations Thompson often fails to produce.  Another one with some childish tweeting issues but having fun.

How does the 2011/2012 season look?

The coming season looks very mixed.

First, the lockout.  Players have no idea if they will get to practice or play or when.  Will they go play in Europe?  If they do, can they come back?  Will they get injured somehow without a contract?

What about the rookies?

Drafted and now professionals.  But no contract, not even any contact with their team.

My guess?  No camp, no preseason, no first month or two….maybe the old 50 game season.  But I worry there may be no NBA this entire year.  Yes, I know.   I am a fear monger.

How strange it must be to be a rookie this year.  Strange for the fans as well because we can’t even guess at their potential impact on the team because we have no news on their contract status and we have no camp this year.  No practice news.  Nothing. At this point the league has postponed training camp and cancelled 43 preseason games.

But we have 5 reasons the Kings will be an up-and-coming NBA team:

5. Donte Greene and Tyler Honeycutt Will Fill the Small Forward Spot Admirably

4. Marcus Thornton Will Continue His Explosive Scoring Production

3. The J.J. Hickson Acquisition Will Pay Big Dividends

2. DeMarcus Cousins Will Grow as a Player

1. Tyreke Evans Will Develop into a Leader and Franchise Player

 Those are tantalizing reasons to follow the Kings during this upcoming season.  Read the details on each reason at the link above.
________________________________________________________________________________________
*****Negotiations*****

And so we find articles like these in the local news.

September 18th:  Time running out in the NBA lockout.

September 25th:  Kings can’t afford a cancelled season.

September 28th:  NBA lockout heads into key stretch.

October 1stNBA Players Union and the owners meet for a 2nd day of talks

and later that day:  After two days of talks, “with no real progress”, the NBA season opener is now in doubt according to Pro Basketball Talk via Comcast Sports.  “The NBA was going to open its new season (November 1st) in grand  style  .Now, NBA arenas will be dark.”  Read the rest of the article at the link.

October 2nd:

The NFL ended their lockout without injury to the season, and the NBA??  It is time to end this lockout now.

“Pick Door No. 1, 2 or 3  and make a deal. Both sides need to stop playing games  and start playing basketball or risk further alienating a fan base already  disturbed by the game’s lack of fluidity, mostly outrageous ticket prices and arena situations that vaporized the Seattle SuperSonics and have threatened the ruination of the  Kings.”

October 3rd:

Kobe working ‘intensely’ on Italy deal.

The NBA says that Tuesday will be a “HUGE” day in negotiations.

October 4th:

The “HUGE” day in negotiations resulted in the league cancelling the remainder of the 2011/2012 Pre-season.   Stern says the league offered a 50-50 split in revenues (they defined ‘revenues’ as “basketball related monies, which is below the 57% currently the players share) and the union turned it down “unequivocally”.  “They said, ‘We can’t do it.”‘ according to Stern.

If there is no labor agreement by Monday, the league said they will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season.

” Players had offered to reduce their BRI guarantee to 53 percent, which they said would have given owners back more than $1 billion over six years. They say they won’t cut it further, at least for now.”

Today was Media Day until the season went PPFFFTTTT!!

“What we are missing today is the opportunity to collect new content.  We are missing the bold proclamations of Marcus Thornton, the chance to see Tyreke Evans healthy for the first time in a year and Coach Westphal’s calm and positive message about new beginnings.”

More about what “should have happened” is it the link.

October 7th:

Today the NBA announced they refuse to meet with the players unless the Players Union agrees to a 50-50 split in “revenues” which is a signigicant reduction from the last agreement which had the players at 57% and a big reduction from the last offer the players made, 53%.

It certainly gives you a clue as to why the few meetings between the league and the players have had zero positive movement.

The outlook for a 2011/2012 NBA season just took a dismal turn.

For Sacramento Kings fans it means big trouble because getting any further positive footing on a new arena just became all the more challenging.

Thank you NBA and Mr Billionaire “Owner”.

October 8th:

Who is playing in Europe?  So far the “stars” that have threatened to play in Europe have not made the move.  Yet.  But there are a lot of NBA players there now.  You can find the list HERE updated to the signing of Tony Parker this week.  The list is organized by League, so if you are looking for a specific player, just muddle through.

October 9th:

 The Associated Press announces that the NBA Negotiators will meet Sunday night.  “Top negotiators for the NBA and players’ association will meet Sunday night in  perhaps the last chance to avoid canceled regular-season games, according to a  person with knowledge of the plans.”

There has been no indication that the players caved to the NBA 50-50 demand, so it is surprising (and welcome) to see the league will meet with the players.

“No talks had been expected after Friday’s developments, when the league said it  had been willing to meet on other issues but confirmed it wouldn’t go beyond a  50-50 split. Union executive director Billy Hunter had planned to fly to Los Angeles on Monday for a regional meeting with members.”

More at the link.

October 10th:

No breakthrough last night.  NBA & players will continue to meet today and try to avoid cancellation of regular season games.  Word is the players are still “no-go” on the 50-50 split so it’s difficult to see a deal here but both sides must make the effort.

The league says no deal today, two weeks of games will get cancelled.  Not sure how one day of talks equates to two weeks of games, but…..

While you are at it…..

Say goodbye to the mid-level exemption (as we know it):  “David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that we may have a deal on one piece of the NBA lockout puzzle: the mid-level exception. Without having the specifics, Aldridge reports that it will shrink in size under a new, heretofore mythical collective bargaining agreement.”

The Kings are already so far under the cap they wouldn’t be using the exemption this year, but it could affect the team in getting Samuel Dalembert signed elsewhere.  Dalembert (as this piece points out) is a poster-child for the exemption.  Changes in the rule could make him more attractive in a sign-and-trade scenarion and net the Kings a coveted draft pick (??)  Check more at the link.

Todays talks failed to produce an agreement.  NBA cancels the first two weeks of the 2011/2012 season.  More at the link.

After meeting for 7 hours today and more than 14 hours over this last weekend, “Stern said both sides are “very far apart on virtually all issues. … We just have a gulf that separates us.”

October 12th:

From today’s Sacramento Bee article about what may happen next in the contract stalemate is this gem:

“But did anyone else notice that while the parties were meeting in Manhattan  these past few days, deciding they couldn’t do a deal after all, protesters were  clogging the nearby avenues for the Occupy Wall Street rally?”

More at the link.

And it’s Federal Mediation for the NBA and Players Association:  They are using the same mediator who tried to settle the NFL lockout but failed.

George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and  Conciliation Service, announced Wednesday that he will oversee negotiations  between the NBA and the NBA Players Association. Those meetings will start next  Tuesday in New York.

October 13th:

Do YOU (the fans) care the games got cancelled??  I am kind of at the point that I don’t really care.  It’s only 2 weeks and it hasn’t even really started.  I don’t miss the games yet and I’m just tired of hearing about it I think.   You too huh???

“What’s worse than angry sports fans vowing to never watch another game after  a strike or lockout?

Apathy.

And that’s what we sense many fans are feeling about the NBA’s labor impasse. “

More at the link plus a poll and “Who will win the World Series?”  Well, I say “Who cares?”

Commisioner David Stern threatens to cancel games all the way thru Christmas if there is no deal by next Tuesday, October 18th.

Remember when Stern said prior meetings were critical and important?  (Look up a bit in this post), well now he calls Tuesday’s meeting “a really big deal”.

“How many times does it pay to keep meeting, and to have the same things thrown  back at you?” Stern said. “We’re ready to sit down and make a deal. I don’t  believe that the union is. Hopefully by Tuesday, aided by the mediator, they’ll  be ready to make a deal. Certainly, I’ll bring my owners ready to make a deal.”

That’s the way David.  But think of this:  You can see that I am a NBA fan.  I am at the point that I don’t give a fuck if you cancel the  season.

Let the players go play in Europe and Asia for this year.

Then let other rich dudes step forward and start a brand new basketball league because you and “your owners” suck.

That is why there is a Twitter account called @FuckDavidStern, but no real Stern account.

October 15th:

Today Billy Hunter threated Sacramento with the “contraction” of the NBA.  This article suggests the Maloofs are “broke”.  I doubt that but they are not as rich as they once were.  But then, who is??

Also, the players announced that they have met and agreed to stand together, united against the lockout.

And this article suggests that money is not the top issue in the lockout.  Uh huh…..

October 18th:

So, according to Stern, today is the day on which he will decide whether or not to cancel games all the way thru Christmas.  The NBA and players meet with the Federal negotiator in an attempt to work out an agreement.

Since the league insists that no deal can be made until AFTER the players agree to an even more significant cut in their share of the total money generated by the NBA (from 57% down to 50% on the players side.  They already agreed to cutting their share down to 53%, while the league has agreed to nothing), it does not seem to me that a deal can be made.

My expectation is that no deal will be made, games will be further reduced and then after one more chance” offered by the league they will then eliminate the season completely in hopes players will feel such pain that they will push the union to take the big cut.

Read this take on todays meeting and the author’s expectation that a deal will be made.

October 19th:

The NBA & players met on Tuesday with the federal arbitrator and continued to talk until 2 am.  16 hours of talking.  There is no deal but the two sides will meet again today.  Today is the 2 day owners meeting and Stern had threatened to cancel more games (thru Christmas) if no deal was reached yesterday.  We have heard it from Stern before.

The story is at the link above.

“Although the fact that talks didn’t break off is good news, one person with knowledge of the process said not to presume
there was any serious progress. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of (mediator) Cohen’s request (not to speak).”

Owners & Players start meetings again at 10 am this morning just 8 hours after breaking off for the night.  At least they are putting in hours and have not given up easily.

“No bargaining had been expected Wednesday or Thursday because the owners had board meetings scheduled. But the labor
relations committee instead returned for further discussions with the players’ association executive committee.”

October 20th:

Owners and Players put in another eight hours meeting on Wednesday.  No word on how the discussions went and no decisions announced.  Both sides are keeping their mouths shut which is a pleasant change.  The two sides will meet again on Thursday.

“Everyone is extremely focused on the core issues, the difficult issues that confront them,”  (Federal Mediator) Cohen said.

Talks broke for the night so owners could have separate meetings at another hotel. Stern left negotiations after seven hours to join the owners for a presentation on revenue sharing.”

And Commissioner Stern is being quiet during this thing which is really nice.  I am sure that the Commissioner’s stupid announcements and threats were supposed to push players toward an agreement but did nothing but piss off the fans.  More at the link above.

Well, now we know why Stern has been so quiet this week during these negotiations…at least today.

He has been too ill to attend.  “He (Stern) has the flu and was sent home by his doctor Thursday, missing afternoon  negotiations.

Deputy commissioner Adam Silver handled a news conference after the league’s  Board of Governors meeting and said it was “unclear” to him whether a full  82-game schedule was still possible because of the lockout.”

More about Stern and today’s activities can be found at the link.

After some 30 hours of meetings over the last 3 days the entire episode turns nast and the talks break off.

The outlook for the 2011/2012 season is the bleakest ever.

“We’ve always felt there was still a place where they would just not go and they would lock us out as long as it would take in order to get us beyond that place. There was never really a willingness to
negotiate beyond certain points,” union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said. “There was just a line drawn, and regardless of what’s going on, how many times we meet, ‘we’re not going past that.”‘

“Without a deal, NBA Commissioner David Stern, who missed Thursday’s session with the flu, almost certainly will decide more games must be dropped. “

“We were shocked,” he said. “We went in there trying to negotiate and they came in and they said you either accept 50-50 or we’re done and we won’t discuss anything else.”

More on this at the link.

NBA Talk of Parity is a Sham:  “The NBA lockout talks between the owners and the Player’s Association have fallen apart once again, as both sides still cannot agree on the split of BRI.  Moreover, Derek Fisher says the owners are flat out lying to us.

I agree with him.”

“…The owners don’t really care about competitive balance.  The teams with the best players or the greatest stars will always win, and most of those stars are drafted or traded for using young prospects from the draft (see how Boston got Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen).  What the owners care about is making a guaranteed profit, all on the backs of the players.  At least be upfront about it.”

More on the sham of competitive balance at the above link.

From the Associated Press, NBA owners dual “wants” have put even more games in jeopardy.  “NBA owners have their priorities, and playing games isn’t first on that  list.

Instead, the league is looking beyond this month – and maybe beyond this  season, if that’s what it takes – to implement an extreme financial makeover  after years of sizeable losses. The goal, in the words of Spurs owner Peter Holt, “an opportunity to make a few bucks.”

After NBA labor talks broke down Thursday night, Holt was asked if  owners might be willing to sit out a year to get the changes they crave.

“The competitive issues and the economic issues, certainly we don’t want to  lose the season, I don’t think the NHL did either. It ended up happening,” said  Holt, chairman of the owners’ labor relations committee. “There are certain  things that we feel we must have.”

My guess?  The season was lost the day the owners first voted to implement the lockout.  They have certainly stuck together in this (suprising) but the damage it may do to their fan base and the smaller markets is disturbing.

October 28th:

Owmers & Players are talking for the 3rd straight day.  The players keep offering lower amounts for their share of the revenue.  They started at the 57% from last year and their last offer was 52.5%..  And the generous owners?  They started at 50% and now they came all the way up to 50%.  Wow.

That makes for some easy hecka ass negotiating there.

No surprises here.  Today 3 days of negotiations “fell apart”.  Gee, no “ugly end”??

And then Stern canceled games thru the end of November.  Why not just chop chop the whole season?  This one toe at a stuff time is brutal for the fans.  If they are watching but I think you already lost them Mr Stern.  I think they just don’t care anymore.

Read it at the link if it matters at all.

November4th:

Well, it is November and I’m really not missin the NBA games.  Dunno…

But tomorrow (Saturday) it looks like the players could have a “choice”:

Either accept the (original) 50/50 split that owners and Stern offered about 23 years ago OR (else)

  1. “risk having more owners join the hardline faction that wants a 53-47 split in its favor- and a hard salary cap.
  2. oh, wait again…..that’s the only choice?

Read the article and then watch Saturday’s talks blow up in their faces cuz the owners want this season to go willy-nilly and the players won’t give the gains they fought hard to get away.

If they cannot craft an agreement they players may face a tough match-up:  Dwayne Wade and Dwight Howard are two young players leading a group who threaten to decertify the union if they even talk of accepting a deal that puts the players share at less than that 52.5 mark.

The union “denies any rift” or threat by a group of players.  Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter say the players are “united” and seek to remain that way as they fight against hard-line owners.

So, it appears the lack of progress has developed hard-lines on both sides  And the owners group, led by “not so young” Michael Jordan is flat-out determined to reduce the players share to 50 percent or less.

The two sides say they want to find common ground and the players have agreed to lower their intial stated demands from 57 percent down to the latest 53 %.  I’m not sure they can go any lower and keeo their group together,

And the owners have made no movement at all, starting at 50% and sticking ith 50%.  Actually some have said quietly, 47%.

Each side juggles some two billion

Todays meeting between the two sides will be number 21, starting at 1 pm ET.

November 6th:

So all of these damn meetings all of the movement and offerings from the players (dropping their percentage from 57% to 53% while the owners have increased their offer from 50% all the way to 50%…yes, really still 50%) now the owners make a new offer…”and a deadline to go along with it.”

I’m sure the owners figure they have worn the players down.  They have certainly worn the fans down.  And they may truly think they are being the generous ones.  But they are not.

Commissioner David Stern gave NBA players an offer and a deadline: Accept a  chance to earn up to 51 percent of basketball-related income by Wednesday or get  ready for a deal that’s a whole lot worse.

He wouldn’t call it an ultimatum, but it didn’t sure sit well with the  union.

“The players will not be intimidated,” attorney Jeffrey Kessler said early  Sunday after eight hours of negotiations stretched late into the night.

Read more about the offer at the link above.

If I was a player I would say “Kiss my roundball ass“.

November 8th:

The Player Representatives, one for each team so a total of 30 player, will meet this afternoon to consider the owners/NBA league “offer”.  This offer,  which to me seems more like a demand, has a time limit to it—I thought the deadline was yesterday, but there was no news so maybe not.

The article at the link above describes the deadline as Wednesday.

They can push to accept a league proposal that union leaders dismiss as badly  flawed.

They can support their leaders, reject the proposal and dare Commissioner  David Stern to make good on his threat to replace it with a worse deal.   

    They can advocate dissolution of the union, inviting turmoil and a court  battle.

They can settle and play basketball, or they can prolong the fight.

Every option will be discussed

Read more at the link.  The Representatives have a tough assignment of reaching some sort of agreement that will help craft the next step the union takes.

November 9th:

So, the Team Reps gave their decision to the league:  “Fuck you!”.  And the players decision actually had a good result.  Between the publication of the decision in this mornings newspaper and lunch today the leagues owners decided to meet again with the Union before Stern’s deadline which is “sunset at the OK Corral” kind of crap.

My career was always as a manager and an executive.  I have negotiatiated way too many contracts on the side of the employer.

I fully understand negotiatiating tactics and strategies, but I have always believed that public “deadlines” are a bad tactic.  The worse you make the relationship the less trust either side can half and the harder it is to reach agreement.  Because as much as you as the mployer want to believe it is about getting people to do what “you” want—it is really about reaching an agreement.

So, good luck to the league, the owners and the players.  But it seems to me that the league blew the hell out of whatever level of trust the parties had left just a few days ago with Stern’s public “ultimatum”.  Give that crap at the table, behind closed doors.  But not in public.

Read the article with the latest news HERE or at the link above.

November 10th:

This is day # 132 of the NBA lockout.

Somehow the players & the owners continue to negotiate past my bedtime and after todays police raid on the UC Berkeley students has come to an end—-and Joe Paterno has been fired but the students at PSU just will not calm down!  And the students at Harvard have encamped for their very first night.

What does that have to do with the B-Ball lockout??
Nothing, it just shows how tired I am with this NBA Trillionaire and Billionaire lockout the Millionaire bizzizzness.

By the end of more than 12 hours of talk, nothing but a lot of blah blah blah.

But they will be back at it again today (Thursday).

David Stern’s deadline passed without a deal, though the NBA  and its players will talk again Thursday.

The NBA commissioner wouldn’t give any hints about what that means for hopes  of ending the lockout.

“I would not read into this optimism or pessimism,” he said. “We’re not  failing. We’re not succeeding. We’re just there.”

I wonder if Stern tires even Stern?

Certainly he must tire Mrs Stern??

This is day # 132 of the NBA lockout.

November 11th:

The NBA players get to “ponder” a tweaked proposal from the league & owners:

David Stern is such a great negotiator!

“David Stern is ready to start a 72-game season on Dec. 15. Players, however, aren’t prepared to make that happen just yet.

If they choose to reject the league’s latest ultimatum, they will get a far harsher offer, one that could put the entire NBA season in jeopardy.

The answer should come early next week – and Stern made it clear: Yes or no, no more negotiating.”  (Bold are mine)

No more negotiating David?  Well, then what?  How do you have a league if you will not negotiate a contract?

Don’t you think your constant pouty “I won’t play anymore” public exclamations make it more difficult to reach an agreement?

I understand the frustration, but say what Stern?

And the clock “stopped” and now you started the same clock again with a different proposal?

Anyway, read the crap at the link above.

The revenue split started with the players at 57%-43% last year.

 The owners have wanted a 50-50 split.

Now their offer to the players is a 47%-53%, with the owners getting 53%.

Who expects the players will just ‘jump’ at that great offer??

November 13th:

NBA Players Union will meet Monday to discuss the owners latest “offer”.

The players’ association will meet in New York on Monday morning, a session that  could lead to the end of the lockout or send it into a bigger tailspin.  Representatives from all 30 teams are expected, as are other players, to examine  and discuss a seven-page summary of the NBA’s latest collective bargaining  proposal to the union.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of this latest offer.  It is dated Friday, November 11th.  I will keep semi-quiet about that, but at least another offer was made as I doubt the previous offer would fly with players.  But because it was just issued Friday some players and Reps have not yet seen it.

I just couldn’t stick with the Twitter feed.  As a fan it was frustrating.  If I was a player it would have been insulting.

Especially the answer to this question:

“(Dwayne) Wade asked, “why are all your “system solutions” only impacting the PLAYERS??  What have the owners (given) up of significance??”

B-Ball players are smart and they know that the union has been offering cuts on their salaries all summer long, while the owners have given up NOTHING.

Read more  HERE

November 14th:

Here we go fans…today the union rejected the recent NBA offer which David Stern called the “final” offer saying the world would end before another offer is tendered by the league and said that something “dire” is now going to happen.

What David?  Gonna cancel some games??

Anyway, the union is now set to dfisband meaning for one thing the NBA has no one to negotiate with for now.

Although one article says this also:  “The sides still can negotiate during the
legal process, so players didn’t want to write off the season just yet.

“I don’t want to make any assumptions,” union VP Keyon Dooling said. “I believe we’ll continue to try to get a deal done or let this process play out. I don’t know what to expect from this process.”

Read at the link above.  More threats by each side, trying to see who can call up the scariest group of adverbs to describe where things are.

November 16th:

The players have filed a number of lawsuits against the NBA around the country now that the league has called an end to the contract negotiations.

This is already being called:  “nuclear winter”.  Definitely not a good term.

“We’re about to go into the nuclear winter of the NBA,” league Commissioner  David Stern said in a television interview. “It looks like the 2011-12 season is  really in jeopardy.”

The league already had canceled all November games. League officials on  Monday declined to say if and when they would cancel more of the season.

Read more at the link above.

November 26th:

12:30 am PT and David Stern & Billy Hunter announce that  there is a tentative agreement.  No details were announced and no timetable for ratification or a basketball schedule.

Maybe this is why ‘Reke said today he wasn’t so sure about playing in Italy after signing an agreement yesterday.

So I guess we can survive a little more lockout until we hear some details???

I am afraid to say that this is exciting, but this is exciting.

But, remember, there is no union and the two sides have lawsuits in motion.

The deal will be contingent on players reforming as a union and players  ratifying the deal. Owners also have to agree to the deal.”
Read more HERE

The AP announces a 66 game 2011/2012 season to begin on Christmas Day.  That would be a fast turn-around onreforming a NBA Players Association (union), the voting and getting everything together.  As a fan, I hope they can get it together.

After a secret meeting earlier this week, the sides met for more than 15 hours Friday, working to try to save the season. This handshake deal, however, still must be ratified by both owners and players….

The union needs a simple majority of its 430-plus members. That process is a bit more complicated after the players dissolved the union Nov. 14. Now, they must drop their antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota and reform the union before voting on the deal.

Because the union disbanded, a new collective bargaining agreement can only be completed once the union has reformed. Drug testing and other issues still must be negotiated between the league and the players.”

NEW YORK (AP) – After nearly two years of bickering, NBA players and owners are back on the same side.

“We want to play basketball,” Commissioner David Stern said.

Come Christmas Day, they should be.

The sides reached a tentative agreement early Saturday to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season with a marquee tripleheader Dec. 25. Most of a season that seemed in jeopardy of being lost entirely will be salvaged if both sides approve the handshake deal….

…Owners locked out the players July 1, and the sides spent most of the summer and fall battling over the division of revenues and other changes owners wanted in a new collective bargaining agreement. They said they lost hundreds of millions of dollars in each year of the former deal, ratified in 2005, and they wanted a system where the big-market teams wouldn’t have the ability to outspend their smaller counterparts.

Players fought against those changes, not wanting to see any teams taken out of the market when they became free agents.”

Read more from this AP article here.

November 27th:

This may be nearly the last group of entries in this post as we wait for final word on the status of the proposed deal.

But, god what a FLOOD of articles mostly in cities with NBA Teams.

Today we have articles in our newspaper in every section:  front page, local, sports, business–everyone ids talking about the a”deal” or the Kings or both.  Exciting after “nuclear winter”.

Front Page:  Even someone from the Kings comes out to make a statement about the deal.  It has been some measure of time since we have heard from the kings.  Look for a comment here.  Nope?  Today, in this article we have folks from the Kings with some positive comments.  Nice.

The tentative agreement is great news for our fans, players and our  organization,” Kings spokesman Chris Clark said. “We are very hopeful the NBA  will be back on the court on Christmas Day.”

Local section:  We have an article about Mayor Johnson’s ongoing push for a “stong Mayor” position.  Many argue that if the Mayor held all of the power today his first action would be to call the Arena deal done.

Sports sectionNBA Deal Lifts Kings Hopes:  the article explains how difficuylt it would have been to sustain the push for a new arena if the NBA was on life support.

The tentative deal reduces players’ share of league basketball revenues from 57  percent to somewhere in the 49 to 51 percent range over the length of a new  contract, which is expected to be a 10-year deal, with an opt-out clause for  both sides at six years.”

If the players are willing to accept this deal I will support them.  It won’t hurt guys in their present deal and (depending on the language) maybe not even the guys on the verge of their “Deal”.

It impacts the rookies.  And it really hurts the guys who are in the 7th grade today.  The guys who will push thru their rookie contractg and then come out in their first “Free Agent” period at the end of this 6-10 year NBA contract.

Got a kid playing ball in your driveway?  Practicing 500 free-throws a day?  That is the guy that this NBA contract will impact.

Got a 7th grader who will be a billionaire and own a NBA team in six years?  This contract will help the hell out of him.

Free Agents like the Kings Marcus Thornton are happy the deal is nearly done so that they can move on.   They may not be happy with the specifics of the deal.

Commissioner David Stern said training camps ideally will start Dec. 9,  coinciding with the start of a compacted free-agency period. The season would  begin with a Christmas tripleheader.

By then, the Kings will have had time to use the $25 million to $30  million under their salary cap to add to the roster, which would include  re-signing Thornton and signing their three draft picks.

But until Thornton actually can speak with the Kings, he remains in limbo.”

Today we will end with one of the Sacramento Bee’s regular Kings reporters, Aileen Vioisin.  I rarely agree with Vioisin and don’t much enjoy her writing.  You make you own choice.

“…the small owners arm-wrestled their bigger colleagues for a reason: This is  their league, too.

“You never can be sure how a new system will work,” NBA  deputy commissioner Adam Silver said early Saturday, “but we feel ultimately it  will give fans in every community hope that they can compete for championships,  and that their basis in believing in a team will be a function of management of  that team, rather than how deep the owners’ pockets are or how big the market  is.”

Check out the articles at each link above for today.  Good stuff!!!

There are also a TON of other articles out there.

We will start with this one since we are talking about Marcus Thornton.  The article from the Royal Pain blog suggests that the new CBA will help the Kings retain Thornton   The Free SAgency period will be shortened under this first year just because so much of the calendar is gone.  The other thing on the Kings side (and a problem for them) is the amount of money the Kings have to spend.

With Jimmer on board I worried the team may trade Thornton, now there probably is not time to make a good trade.  But if the Kings can package Thornton and some forward (Greene?) for a real Point Guard, I say pull that proverbiasl trigger.  Evans is a great 2 guard, but he is not a point guard.  Either is Jimmer.

November 28th:

Very very late:  the NBA announced it will allow teams to start talkinking to their own players and to agents of players on other teams.  The scramble will be on

November 30th:

The lockout is partly unlocked and the Kings decide to talk to their own free agent players:  Dalembert and to Thornton.

Since the NBA lockout began July 1, Kings coaches and executives had met numerous times to  discuss how they would eventually approach free agency.

Wednesday, the talk was finally put into action

And with that, the Kings reached out to their free agents – Marcus Thornton and Samuel  Dalembert – to begin what will be an important, compressed free-agency  period.

Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said the team will have to spend $16 million to  $17 million to reach the minimum salary level and is about $25 million under the  projected salary cap.

It is the biggest salary cap cushion of any team in the league.”

So, the Kings have the most money to spend of any team in the league.  But will only spend maybe half of it this year.  So they  are not looking winning this shortened season right?  Right.  Nothing wrong with that.  But they have to spend a ton of bucks just to reach the required league minimum.  Almost amusing.

And with the lockout near an end,  basketball is back on the focus as fall comes into view:  “These are the kinds of negotiations NBA fans have been waiting for.

Teams began talking to agents Wednesday as the lockout inched closer to its  end, and basketball moved back into focus. Dwight  Howard and Chris Paul were linked to trade speculation, while free  agents such as Tyson  Chandler and Nene were in the news after months of attorneys getting all the  ink.

Now, the players are taking over and the league was set to reopen its  facilities for workouts Thursday.   

    Some may arrive out of shape, just as was the case in January 1999 after  the NBA’s only other shortened season. But they’re anxious to get back, with a  little more than three weeks until they start playing games.

Read more at the link…..As fans, we thought it was bad when players started getting millions to play basketball, football, basball….now attorneys get millions just to talk about it and sports writers get millions …not me    :-(  just to talk about it….

I’m glad as heck that we have players back where they should be.  Playing.

I’m not so sure about owners owning.  you may have figured that out reading my stuff.

Oh well, I am prejudiced FOR athletes.

This may be the last lockout I see.  I am old enough that I may not make it to see another.  They take a hecka lot out of you.

Read the Kings Season Preview (Part One of Three) HERE via SacTown Royalty.

Hells to the jingle bells, yeah.

I am beyond friggin’ psyched and uber-stoked the NBA is back. :) I am as blisteringly pumped as Beavis and Butthead with front row tickets to an AC/DC and Metallica metal-palooza. We went from the possibility of no team in Sacramento, and to no NBA season, to a sounds-right total of 66 games played where the team belongs, beginning on a day when gifts are given. Seems appropriate, huh? My feeling can be summed by the opening salvo from front man of a no-name band I saw at a dark and drunken club with amazing acoustics two weekends ago.

 Rock n roll, bitches.”

I don’t agree with everything the guys says, but the writing is spiffy and he is hopeful so it gives King’s fans some measure of optomism.

Part Two of Three is HERE

December 2nd:

NBA Players authorize the return of the players association.  With the union reformed, talks with the owners will re-start on completing the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) needed to get training camps open on December 9th.

The NBA allowed teams to open their facilities to their players, as well as talking to their own free agents.

What did it mean to the Kings?  Besides opening discussions with the teams two free agents, one player came into the Kings practice facility on December st.  That player?  G/F Francisco Garcias.  Garcia is a guy that spends a lot of time in the practice facility.  But he is one of those gym rats who’s workouts don’t translate to on-the-court success.  A couple of times in his career, fans and probably Garcia, have expected big years.  Even his very big contract did not result in on-the-court success.

Garcia’s teammates seem to like him.  He is the only King from the “old” days,, the glory days.  The winning days when Sacramento was Kings.  But he sure is not the one you would have expected to still be here.

A trade would be nice for a nice guy G/F who practices a heck of a lot of time.

Training camp starts December 9th.  Two exhibition games have been announced:  December 7th vs the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, and December 0th vs the same team here in Sacramento.

December 8th:

Team owners & players ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement so league business is open tomorrow, December 9th as are training camps and we will hear even more rumblings/grumblings about Free Agents and Rookies.

The 10-year deal promises owners savings of perhaps a quarter billion dollars a year but largely leaves intact the soft salary cap system that the players fought hard to maintain.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________

The Kings team is sponsoring a Fun Run  Saturday, October 22nd at Power Balance Pavillion.  This is a 5k fun run/walk and a portion of the fees will be donated to physical fitness programs in the Sacramento City Unified School District.  Special guest is former Kings guard, Doug Christie.

Registration starts at 9 am

Fun run/walk from 10 am to 11:30 am

Post-party starts at 11:30 and runs until at least 1 pm.

Pre-registration is just $15.00, includes a T shirt

On the day is $20, includes a T shirt

Kids 5 and under are free (but no T-shirt)

Come dressed in your favorite costume for Halloween and win prizes, plus activities for the family in the post-race party.  Costume awards for Best Kings, Scariest, Best Individual, Best Kid and Best Team costumes.

Enter online HERE.

Doug Christie has dinner with Kings partners on October 21st at Spataro in downtown Sacramento:

TV station Fox-40 will be there.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
Join in the Sacramento Kings Fitness Clinic

When:       Friday,  October 28th

Where:     Sacramento Kings Practice Facility

You can register at the link above.  Only are available so HURRY!!!!!


______________________________________________________________________________________________

SMALL MARKET. BIG HEART

Eventually this is a full-length documentary Coming Dec. 2011.   “Small Market, Big Heart” is  a full-length documentary designed to share the compelling 26-year story of the people of Sacramento and their battle to get and keep a professional sports franchise.  See the article at the link above.

The Small Market/Big Heart website is full of a lot more detailed information.

So, mark your calendar for December…..They are also looking for sponsors so if you have ever dreamed of seeing your name on the big screen for a full-length movie??  Here is your chance!!!

______________________________________________________________

*************************************************************

This may be the best rumor floating out there during the lockout:

Magic Johnson may become the Kings owner.

Magic sold his stake in the Los Angeles Lakers so currently has no team attachment and has always expressed his desire to own a NBA team.

Magic has money, but not NBA sole owner money (I don’t think).

But he could be part owner and would be able to bring in others just with his name and reputation.

It certainly seems the Maloofs would like to exit stage right and the article at the link explains Magic’s connection toSacramento’s Mayor former NBA point guard his own self, Kevin Johnson.  And Magic has connections with AEG, the arena & stadium “king makers” in Los Angeles who are drooling over Sacramento. (Look below and read the Arena section of this post)

Maybe Johnson & Johnson could be good for what ails the Kings?

************************************************************

Bobby Jackson, former Kings SG/PG and all around great guy off the court and in the lockeroom, announces that he will be a Kings Assistant Coach.

Channel 10 in Sacramento reports that  Jackson tweeted, “What up tworld I have decided to join the Kings coaching staff as an Assistant Coach once the Lockout ends.”   More at the link.

November 16th:

B Jax comes back to the Kings as an Assistant Coach (assuming we have a season…and a Sacramento Kings.  The kings will also add Keith Smart as an Assistant Coach with Jackson.  Both are former Kings players and Smart was Head Coach for a bit o time leading the Golden State Warriors last season.

Smart broke my heart as a college player back in 1987 firing the winning shot against Syracuse giving the college crown to Indiana.

That was one of three times I got to see the Final Four in person.  What a thrill even though Syracuse lost in the New Orleans Superdome.

*************************************************************

So, in the midst of the lockout  we are stuck with articles like these:

September 22nd:

There was a rookie game.  Fredette gathered fellow rookies for a game at Bringham Young University.  Information about the game is at the link and actual rookie game coverage is here.

September 23rd:

The Kings rookies impressed the crowd during Jimmer’s game.

September 28th:

Kings Rookies Play the Waiting GameAt the link the Sacramento Bee talks about how different this season is for rookies.  “Instead of looking for a place to live in Sacramento and preparing for training camp, Thomas is living in the same apartment and  working out with players who would have been his teammates had he chosen to stay  in college”.

In Sacramento what about an arena?  Every day it’s something new and the owners continue to seem to be completely uninterested in Sacramento even though we have a previous All-Star PG as Mayor, working hard to get a new arena built.

And speaking of rookies, will they be any good?  Will Cousins and Thompson mature?  Will Thornton have a follow-up great year?  Will Tyreke be recovered from the injuries?

October 12th:

A push for an Exhibition game in Sacramento:

Social Media played a major role to keep the Kings in Sacramento for at least one more year.  And now, it’s playing a vital role to bring basketball back to California’s capital during the NBA Lockout.

Kings forward Donté Greene is organizing a charity exhibition game for the Sacramento region, thanks in large part to Twitter.  A Sacramento Kings fan tweeted the idea yesterday to Greene, who took the message to heart and put the thought into action

October 17th:

If the NBA season is cancelled could the Kings get a Top 10 draft pick for the 2012 draft?  Almost a tempting proposition since I nearly don’t care about this season anyway.

From Hoops World this morning “Re-running the 2011 draft order won’t fly with very many teams, although some have made the case the easiest way to insure the perennial lottery teams like Sacramento, Toronto and the Clippers get out of the draft lottery in the coming years would be another pass with the 2012 draft class.”

But they also note that a re-run of the 2011 draft slots would not fly with the upper level teams, although I would think the 2011 order would be pretty close to the 2012 order except those ping-pong ball teams because that can go a million different ways on any given day.

But another swing at the Top 10 would be good for the Kings, tho we will probably get there anyway.  And the 2012 draft class certainly looks more promising talent-wise than the 2011 class.

Read more at the link plus vote for how you would want the draft to be conducted.

November 9th:

Donte Greene is at a time in his young career he should be solely focused on making the next step.  On showing significant improvement so that he can get a big payday.  If not, his chances for a really big deal dwindle and his opportunities for anything quality as a Free Agent a year from  now go up in smoke.

He has talent and has made some growth as far as maturity but is still a bit of a head case.  And has not yet shown consistency that equals more minutes on the floor.

All that was to happen this year.  Now the lockout (I almost typed ‘strike’)  threatens his future, not justhis pocketbook.  He could wind up a career end of the bench big guy or out of the league in a year or two.

Now, instead of making those improvements and proving his worth, Greene has put together one “charity” game to be held at the University of California in Davis called The 2011 Goon Squad Classic scheduled for November 20th.  The name kind of shows Greene’s level of immaturity.

If I was an NBA player during this lockout, the last thing I want associated with my name is “Goon Squad”.  Even as a joke.

Some of the other goons are Jimmer Fredette, Tyreke Evans (not a goon), DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant (no longer a goon), John Wall (not a goon), Jason Thompson, Hassan Whiteside (have not seen enough yet Hassan) and others.

Read about the game HERE  and you can Twitter Mr Greene @dontegreeneCOS

November 22nd:

Before Sunday’s Goon Squad Classic you can watch this Channel 10 video of some current and future Kings as they prepare for the game.  And even talk about the lockout.

________________________________________________________________________________________

*****The Sacramento Arena*************

What about a new arena?

This is the sticking point for all of the parties.

September 27th:

The new arena faces yet another critical vote.  Actually 2 important votes, check the link.

September 29th:

The Sacramento City Council approved both measures and so the arena moves a few big steps closer to reality with money approved” $550,000 in spending for lawyers and consultants to “vet the project” and negotiate a proposed arena with the NBA and the Maloofs”.

October 1st:

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA PG All-Star, continues to work hard to settle the issues surrounding a new arena and keep the Kings in Sacramento.  A point guard does not want to lose an NBA team while Mayor.  At the link you will find a September 5th USA Today article.

Mayor Johnson has been able to get key votes approved by the City Council since that article.  More hard work is ahead of him (and us).

October 6th:

Sacramento officials have a “constructive” meeting about their arena plans with the NBA. 

The daylong meeting, held in Dallas, is expected to be the first of a series of  discussions before the end of the year between the league and the city as the  two sides attempt to agree on a financing and development plan for a new sports  and entertainment facility in downtown Sacramento.

“All sides expressed a desire to continue to work collaboratively. Our focus is  on putting in place a public-private partnership that will put the taxpayers  first and generating more than 4,000 jobs and $150 million in annual economic  activity in the City.”

Read the article at the link.

October 9th:

AEG could help make the arena dreams come true. 

“If all goes according to plan, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) of Los Angeles will also be the operator and lead investor in  the proposed sports arena in Sacramento’s downtown railyard.

AEG is a multibillion-dollar enterprise owned by one of America’s wealthiest men,  Denver oil tycoon Philip Anschutz.

Read more at the link.

AEG’s concert promtions could make sense for an arena in Sacramento.  They have political clout to get things done.

“In Sacramento, concerts and other special events might be the key to getting the arena built. The Kings would be the main tenant, but non-sports events are usually more profitable for arenas because they tend to share more of the revenue with the building operators, Bongiovanni said.

With its stable of big-name music acts, AEG could use the railyard arena as a tour stop. “They may view Sacramento as another outlet or distribution channel for their content,” Carter said.”

Yet, Kings fans worry that the lockout and possible cancellation of games (or the season) could impact the movement toward a new arena even with AEG on board.  Read more  from Channel 3 KCRA.com HERE.

October 21st:

The lockout talks with the Arbitrator not only fell apart—they got ugly (see above Lockout negotiations section) but what does that mean to Sacramento and the arena talks??  According to Mayor Johnson, nothing.  They Mayor states (with hope) the talks with the NBA will move forward even though the main business of the league (the season) is not only on “hold” but in extremely dire straits.  My view?  During all of the previous stoppages or threatened stoppages either by players or the owners, or even both, the situation has never gotten so murkilly dirty.  I have sincere doubts that discussions that involve the league about any issue (arena, tickets, players, staff, costs, shares, wuteva) will not go well for the time being.

The thought of discussions about an arena where the league itself has assumed the spot of the team opwners (this is the Kings situation) should scare everyone.  Props to Mayor KJ for keeping a positive attitude, but  my god…..

“Johnson issued a statement reiterating his intention to build an arena for  sports, concerts and other events, regardless of whether the Sacramento  Kings play in it this year, or at any time.

“While like many others we hope that the NBA and the players are able to  come to an agreement, our focus has always been that this facility is more than  just a professional basketball arena but rather, similar to what has taken place  in Kansas City, an entertainment and sports complex that will generate economic  activity and create jobs,” the mayor wrote.”

Read more at the link and good luck Mayor!!

October 28th:

More arena news, this time maybe good??  At the link read about a new law regarding development projects that may help Sacramento’s efforts to build a new arena.

“California Senate President Darrell Steinberg said today he had California’s  economic welfare in mind, not just downtown Sacramento’s desire for a sports and  entertainment complex, when he recently pushed a new law allowing some large  projects to move forward more quickly.”

November 9th:

Not much public news about the arena.

This Sacramento Bee reporter had an article 2 weks ago saying he thought the NBA tactics of canceling games and threatening to dump the season was good for  the opportunities for a new Kings arena.

I disagree and could not post that crap here.

Well, today, with the season in extremely dire circumstances, Breton seems to be scared.  Now he is saying he thinks the tactics threaten a new arena and I agree.

Read it at the link.

November 10th:

Is AEG the Savior for Sacramento, the Kings and a new Arena??

AEGs leader is Christian evangelical billionaire Phillip Anschutz who is touted as the savior of downtown Los Angeles.

Certainly he got an arena financed and built and brought businesses along with it.

Anschutz also has made tons of money, gutted some California State environmental laws, supported President George W Bush and almost single-handedly funded Colorado’s anti-gay ballot measure plus runs hiw own right-wing public-service group.

So you get the good along with the strangely evil.

Quite a combination.  When you have no $$$ (i.e., the City, the County, the State and the Maloofs) do you really want to turn that CD/DVD player on so you can dance with that rickety ol’ devil?

AEG bullied a couple of bills thru the California Legislature.  “The most contentious point is that (SB292 which everyone calls “The AEG Bill”) allows AEG to bypass the California Superior Court and bring all CEQA lawsuits and challenges in front of the court of appeals.”

This bill (and others) was passed to help AEB build its Los Angeles Football Stadium, Farmers Field.

A few days ago it was reported in the Sacramento Bee that California Senate President Pro Tem (a friend) helped push thru this and AB900 which would allow Governor Brown to hand-pick a couple of very big public developments ($100s of millions) and allow them to basically walk thru the process.

And, “yes, possibly even infill projects like the proposed Kings arena in Sacramento’s downtown rail yards.”

The Sacramento rail yards are such an excellent site for the citys development and we need to move forward expeditiously.  It is really the only spot for a new arena.  And what a great spot for a stadium anyone?  And bars and restaurants and homes and apartments and shopping malls.  And the new city transportation hub:  heavy rail, light rail, buses and streetcars.

And, yes the rail yard can hold it all and the right development mix can sustain it all.

But there are environmental issues and we cannot afford to ignore them and just build on top of them.  Our people are more ikmportant than that.

Spend the money.  Do it right.  Then make a few billion dollars.

Think Big Sacramento selected a local man as their of the citizen architect design competition.

Troy Bedal of Roseville won for his idea of a Walk of Fame. It features engraved bricks for people and organizations that helped make the sports and entertainment complex a reality. Walls along the walkway would have busts of local heroes, including sports figures.”

Read the rest at the link above.

Good news or bad??  Power Balance, who took over naming rights at the demise of Arco Arena has filed for bankruptcy protection and settled a class-action lawsuit for some $57 Million.

Read the article at the link.  Some of this has been known and/or rumored for quite a while now, but as the article says the Power Balance signs were just erected on the Arena this summer, so it must be disappointing.

We maintain close communication with power balance and aware of their decision to file for voluntary protection available to them through the court. They have been good partners since day one and our understandably taking steps to put the company in a position to continue their innovation in the performance technology sector. They have assured their commitment to the Sacramento Kings and the surrounding community and we expect to continue our productive partnership through this process and into the future.”

More at the link above.

December 2nd:

Number crunchers have been counting parking spots for their part of contributing funding for arena constuction.  Yes, parking spaces.

Parking spaces in the city control because the plan site the arena in downtown Sacramento.

“…Sacramento officials have been banking on a plan to raise millions of dollars  for a new downtown sports arena by leasing city-owned parking spaces to a  private operator.”

And because Sacramento did not approve the “sdtrong” Mayor ordinance awhile back, our City Manager controls the counting and then the value of those spaces.

City Manager John Shirey told The Bee on Thursday that the assessed value of the  city’s parking facilities is lower than officials’ early “hopes or  expectations.” The recent estimates came from financial consultants at Bank  of America.
Read more at the link above.

What about the old (nee current) Arena?  Power Balance, as we have read above cotinues to have life even during, as well as after, the lockout.

__________________________________________________________________________________

*****Overseas and Other Options*****

Will Kings Players Go Overseas?

It is hard to guess and really depends on the status of negotiations (see above on that).

October 21st:

So here we go!  With the negotiations with the Federal Negotiator in the room having fall apart—I think the floodgates opened.

For the Kings it starts with a player that is on the team but none of us have seen in a kings uniform (yet).  JJ Hickson.

Today it is announced that Hickson has signed to play in Israel during the lockout.  I understand people signing oveseas.  You play ball, you cannot play ball here, you are not getting paid, you don’t want to sit on your butt and you have teams from elsewhere offering you deals.

So Hickson will go and my guess is that others will follow.  Quickly.

November 11th:

Well, my guess was wrong.  I often am.  But then again, JJ Hickson only lasted one game in Israel.  He was not the first American B-Ball player to go to Israel and return home after just one game though, right Trevor Booker??

I wonder why?  Oh, yes Mr Booker got hurt.  Mr Hickson just got his feelings hurt??

Maybe AJ Mitnick’s piece will shed some light.  Listen to the full audio  at the link, or at least read the quotes below, and remember:  Hickson is very far away from being a NBA “star” (except, perhaps, in his own mind).

As with many players who were McDonalds All-Americans who went on to be first-round picks as teenagers, Hickson only knows a lifestyle of luxury. It is difficult for a player who has been praised and coddled his whole life to travel across the world to play in a gym that may be the size of a high school gym, for a team with less than ten men working on the basketball staff, and with a per diem that consists of a bottle of water and a chicken sandwich.

There is no one to get your rebounds during a shoot around (unless you ask me nicely!), no one to carry your bags to the bus, and no state-of-the-art practice facility.”

Will players return from overseas?

Well we have one player returning now:  Forward Trevor Booker from the Washington Wizards went to Israel to play during the lockout.  Now he is returning after an injury.  Fortunately it does not appear to be a significant injury.

Booker has a thigh bruise and will return to the U.S. to be checked by his own doctor and “begin the rehabilitation process.”

How scary it mnust be for the player to suffer any injury so far from home.

How scary it must be for the team and the coaches to hear a player has been injured during this lockout and so far away.  And of course the fears of his family and the fans.

This an interesting injury and story for a few reasons including this one:  Booker will be replaced on the team by…..J.J. Hickson.

All of those questions remain unanswered.  Rumors suck, but some will probably wind up here.

“Booker is the second Wizard to get hurt during the lockout, with restricted free agent Othyus Jeffers tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament during a workout in July. Jeffers told the Washington Examiner that he was unsure when he would be able to return, but the injury generally requires a six-to-nine month rehabilitation process. “

November 20th:

With the lockout having moved into competing lawsuits and court morass, additions to this post will consist mostly of items about players overseas.

Players now are kind of stuck.  Overseas teams have limits on the number of NBA players they can carry and the seasons have mostly already started.

That said, Draft Express carries an accurate and updated page of stats for players who ARE playing overseas.

They track players who had minutes last season (2010/2011) in thew NBA and get minutes in 2011/2012 in various leagues overseas.

The Draft Express link is HERE

There are an awful lot of “one-minute wonder” players out there aren’t there??

November 25th:

Our Thanksgiving gift was from  Tyreke Evans who signed with Virtus Roma.  If I went overseas Italy would be the place.  France=OK but Italy I might not come home for a long while.  Just for the food.

Reke does have an NBA “out” which allows him to come home if the lockout ends.  Read it and weep at this link.

And how does David Stern keep setting deadlines and issuing ultimatums that get ignored and he goes on TV and on Twitter and acts like he is still the man?

I don’t get how he doesn’t see how badly he has performed during this and why he is not totally embarassed??  Unless the goal all along was just to play out the string and then cancel the seasdon.  If that was the idea, Stern did a great job.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Free Agents & Rookie Signings

December 3rd: 

The Kings are the frontrunner to sign Houston free-agent F Chuck Hayes, originally from Modesto California.

Not a player I would be interested in but short-term front-line defense….I dunno??  More at the link above.

December 3rd:

Rumor is that Thornton is sought by “4 or 5 teams” ncluding New Orleans.  I’m sure he is.  With a high average in less than half a season in Sacramento will boost his view to execs at (almost) just the right time.  He is a Restricted FA this season, so unless the Kings want him to leave he is staying in Sacramento.

So the questions become:

  • are there teams that just want to make an offer sheet & see the Kings match it?
  • are there teams that will make an offer and have a sign-an-trade in mind?

He will get a lot of looks, as he should.  He may be more valuable to other teams than to the Kings.  Thornton fit right in after Evans’ injury.  Now Evans is healthy and Jimmer is in town.  Minutes available to thornton will probably go down.

Read the article here.

December 5th:

The Bee reports the Kings are ready to make offers to Dalembert and Thornton.

The Kings contacted the agents for guard Marcus Thornton and center Samuel Dalembert last week and will look to reach agreements with both this week in time for training camp Friday.

Thornton and Dalembert have drawn a lot of interest, but the Kings have an advantage in retaining both.

Dalembert is an unrestricted free agent, and the Kings have about $25 million under the salary cap to use in offering him a contract that would be worth more than contenders over the salary cap could offer.

Thornton is a restricted free agent. If a team signs Thornton to an offer sheet, the Kings will have three days to match it and retain him.”
Read more at the link.

December 6th:

Read this article about Rumors, Free Agents and Deals that can help the Kings return to the playoffs this year, which would be their first playoff appearance since 2006.

The Arena sponsor, Power Balance, may be leaving.  Power Balance is going thru some legal difficulties including an apparent auctioning off as part of a court settlement for bankruptcy.

Read all about it at the link above.  Hard to say if this is good or bad.  The Kings lose some money today but they then have an opening that they could also attach to the new Arena.

And here are some interesting possibilities for Arena names based on some of our well-known local businesses!

The Kings will host the Lakers in the opener.

The Lakers won’t look quite the same during this visit. Coach Phil Jackson  retired, former Cleveland coach Mike Brown took his place, and center Andrew Bynum will be serving a five-game suspension for  body-slamming Dallas guard J.J. Barea in the playoffs. But Kobe Bryant returns for what figures to be another memorable  performance, and ex-Kings forward Ron Artest makes his first Sacramento appearance as Metta  World Peace. “
More at the link.

December 7th:

On Pearl Harbor Day, thank you to all of our WW II Veterans and their families for your service.

The Kings are considering how to spend the money they have under the cap to bring on some veterans in addition to their own FAs and rookies.

The team has plenty of cap space just to get up to the new minimum teams are required to spend.

The article states The Kings need to spend about $17 million in salary this season to reach the  minimum salary floor, and are approximately $25 million under the $58 million salary cap.

Now, I understand teams are not always completely upfront about money and their intentions, but saying they are some “25 to 58 million” below the cap is amusing.  It’s like me saying I made an error in my checkbook somewhere between $280 to $5,080….it’s that last missing 30 mill that will kill ya guys.

I think Dalembert will be gone.  Without the lockout maybe they would have had a chance, but teams have had a lot of time to think and lottery teams that did not draft or trade for a “C’ will have renewed interest in Dalembert because he played well when the team won some games late last season.  Always helps your bottom line to play well when yourt team wins.

Which means the Kings need another center and since getting Nene or even Gasol are about nil,  Chandler would be great, I don’t see it happening.  And this article mentions Guard JJ Barrea as a possible pick-up, that would be nice but I’m sure Dallas will try hard to hold onto their team.

But the bigger issues are the need for the coach to get it in his head that players need a settled rotation.  People need to know what their role is.  What do I contribute to the team?  They need some stability in their minutes and their role in the team’s rotation.

I don’t care if it is Dalembert or Nene…the issue is the same.  Is  coach listening??

December 8th:

Updates:  Jersey numbers

JJ Hickson will wear #31 for the Kings, and

John Salmons will wear #5 in his second go round as a Sacramento King.

Chuck Hayes may not make it to a Guard spot with the Kings as the Minnesota Timberwolves are in hot pursuit and according to Hayes the Kings & Wolves are “neck to neck”.

NBA League business opens tomorrow (December 9th), and with the shortened time for trades, signings, FAs, team staffing and for the Kings to get up at least to the league minimum on team salaries–we could have a whirlwind month!!!

And checkout the new Back in Black jerseys for the Kings HERE.  Sweet!!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 766 other followers