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  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Rookie Thomas Robinson reacts after dunking for two of his 12 points. He also grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    DeMarcus Cousins walks toward the baseline to inbound the ball as the Suns began to take control in the fourth quarter. He had 15 points and 15 rebounds for his 20th double double this season.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Sacramentan Bryan Oliver, who said he has been a Kings fan since 2000, watches Wednesday's game as he holds out hope that the team will stay put.

Kings notes: Smart says sale isn't topic of team discussion

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013 - 12:36 pm

There's plenty of news surrounding the Kings that has nothing to do with what happens on the court.

But before the Kings played the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday at Sleep Train Arena, coach Keith Smart insisted news of relocation does not change his approach or that of his team.

Smart said there isn't much discussion among the coaches or players about the possibility the team could move to Seattle.

Smart didn't attribute a slow start in Monday's loss at New Orleans to the news an agreement had been reached to sell a controlling interest of the Kings to an ownership group in Seattle.

"You're not paying attention to what your team is doing if you're focused on what's going on (with news) on the outside," Smart said. "You can't control that."

Bird is the word – The New Orleans Hornets reportedly will announce a name change to the Pelicans and change their team colors effective next season.

Some have laughed at the name, but Smart, a Louisiana native, isn't one of them. Smart offered a detailed explanation on the life of Louisiana's state bird and how it eventually goes blind diving in the water for food.

"I think the people of Louisiana have a great understanding of that bird," Smart said. "That bird will go searching for miles around to find food to bring back to its young."

Smart said the name would go over well in New Orleans.

"It sounds strange, it's a little different, but I think the people of that region understand what the meaning of that pelican is," Smart said.

No return for E.T. – Former Kings assistant coach Elston Turner was not with the Suns.

Turner has been a candidate for head coaching jobs and appeared to be a logical choice to become Phoenix's interim coach when Alvin Gentry was let go Friday.

The team bypassed Turner and fellow assistant Dan Marjele, a former Suns star. Turner had been Gentry's lead assistant.

Turner is deciding if he wants to join Lindsey Hunter's staff, which has only three assistants after Marjele left the team.

Hunter was not on the coaching staff and was working in player development for Phoenix.

"Things are still in the air with Turner," Hunter said. "I don't know what the situation is. The other guys were here."

Hunter said he reached out to Turner "the first day I found out I had the job."

Jayhawks unite – A group of Kansas alums gathered before the game for a meet-and-greet with two of the school's former stars. Kings rookie Thomas Robinson and Suns second-year forward Markieff Morris met with the fans before the game.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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