HOUSTON The Kings added Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Alex English to the coaching staff Friday.
English took the spot vacated by Keith Smart, who was promoted to head coach last week after Paul Westphal was fired. Smart was familiar with English from coaching in the minor leagues.
"All the connections came together where you didn't need background on anybody," Smart said. "You just had people vouching for him. I'm comfortable with him, and I'm sure he's going to come in and provide the greatness that he is to our team."
English, 58, is the NBA's 13th all-time leading scorer with 25,613 points. He spent seven seasons as an assistant coach and director of player development with Toronto from 2004 to 2011. The Raptors declined to renew his contract.
English had similar roles with Philadelphia (2003-04) and Atlanta (2002-03) after coaching in the NBA Development League.
Smart expects English to join the Kings in Minnesota, where the Kings play Monday.
Hayes' return The visiting team might have had the most popular player at the Toyota Center.
An injured visiting player rarely goes on pregame television for the home team, but that was the case with Kings forward-center Chuck Hayes.
Hayes, who spent his first six seasons with the Houston Rockets, has missed the last four games because of a dislocated left shoulder.
There was a video tribute for Hayes after the first quarter, and many of the fans gave him a standing ovation. The video ended with the phrase, "Chuck Hayes, Thanks for Six Great Seasons."
"My son asked me, 'Are they going to boo you?' " Hayes said before seeing the video. "I was like, 'I don't know if they're going to boo me.' "
Hayes said it was difficult to return to Houston while injured but still appreciated the Rockets fans.
Hayes' only activity Friday came during his morning conditioning and exercises to strengthen his shoulder.
"I was thinking if I wasn't hurt I'd be a nervous wreck," Hayes said. "It would be worse than my first college game."
Still out Starting guard Marcus Thornton missed his third consecutive game because of a left thigh contusion.
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