Kings notes: Smart rejoins team after son's eye surgery

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C

ATLANTA – Kings coach Keith Smart joined the team in Atlanta on Friday morning after a family medical emergency and late-night flight from California.

Smart's youngest son, Jared, had surgery on his eye after being elbowed during a basketball game.

"Everything under the circumstance is going to be fine," Smart said before the Kings' 122-108 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. "He just has to go through the healing process after taking a hit to the eye playing basketball. He's OK; the surgery went well."

Smart coached Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs at Sleep Train Arena knowing Jared was going to have surgery at Children's Hospital in Oakland.

"I got the call right before we went out on the floor," Smart said.

Smart met his family in Oakland after the game and missed Wednesday's practice and Thursday's team flight to Atlanta.

Assistant coach Jim Eyen ran practice Wednesday in Sacramento.

Thursday's practice in Atlanta was canceled.

Adjusting to change – Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas will join the team in New Orleans, where the Kings play the Hornets on Sunday after Wednesday's trade with the Houston Rockets.

That left the Kings with 11 players against the Hawks, with Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt no longer on the roster.

Smart had come to rely on Garcia's veteran savvy and was pleased with the work Robinson had done to improve over the season.

The coach said Honeycutt also had improved even though he hadn't played much.

Smart treated having a short-handed roster like having injured players.

"The benefit … is that we didn't lose our top players," Smart said. "Our starting lineup is still intact."

No record – Isaiah Thomas' streak of made free throws ended at 46 in the fourth quarter of Friday's game.

The team record is 51 by Mike Bibby during the 2002-03 season.

More retro looks – The Hawks played in uniforms from the 1990s on the night they honored their All-1990s team.

The team honored Mookie Blaylock, Steve Smith, Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Willis and Dikembe Mutombo at halftime.

Only Blaylock was unable to attend the game.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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