Kings notes: Young players' showcase passes on Sacramento

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 - 5:57 pm

BOSTON – The Kings' presence at All-Star Weekend might be limited to relocation talk during Commissioner David Stern's news conference.

The NBA announced the participants for the Rising Stars Challenge, the game that includes the league's best first- and second-year players.

No Kings made the game for the first time since 2009. That's also the last time the Kings had no representatives at All-Star Weekend.

Second-year guard Isaiah Thomas and rookie forward Thomas Robinson had hoped to play in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Second-year guard Jimmer Fredette is hoping for an invitation to the three-point-shooting contest, but that call hasn't come.

Center DeMarcus Cousins had hoped to be named an All-Star reserve last week. He is among the league leaders for centers in scoring (17.4 points), rebounds (10.2) and steals (1.6).

Cousins said it bothered him that he didn't make the team, and he also was upset that Thomas (11.3 points, 3.2 assists) did not make the Rising Stars Challenge.

Cousins said the focus on the franchise's possible relocation and unstable ownership situation hurt Thomas.

"There's no reason Isaiah shouldn't have been in that game," Cousins said. "He's had an incredible year, and once again he's not even mentioned. I feel like that's on the organization."

Thomas also did not make the game last season. But he did enough to twice win Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors after taking over the starting point guard job late in the season.

Another homecoming – Coach Keith Smart said he came close to making the Minnesota Timberwolves' roster in 1989. He credits his time in a unique basketball league while playing in Massachusetts that summer.

Smart played for the Worcester Counts of the World Basketball League. The league was limited to players 6-foot-5 and shorter.

"It kept me in really good shape," he said. "Because I went from there and I went to (an NBA training) camp and came pretty close to making an NBA team."

Sitting out – John Salmons (stomach flu) was inactive Wednesday. He left Monday's win at Washington after the first quarter because he was ill. Francisco Garcia started for Salmons against Boston.

Without Salmons, Tyler Honeycutt was active for the Kings after being inactive the previous nine games.

Celtics forward Jared Sullinger played only four minutes because of back spasms.

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