Kings notes: Aldrich debuts against Bobcats

Published: Monday, Mar. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Monday, Mar. 4, 2013 - 6:22 am

Finally, Cole Aldrich joined his new teammates.

Aldrich made his Kings debut in the fourth quarter of the team's 119-83 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday at Sleep Train Arena.

The third-year center was part of the six-player trade with Houston on Feb. 20. Aldrich did not accompany Patrick Patterson and Toney Douglas from Sacramento for the Feb. 24 game at New Orleans because Aldrich required more medical testing.

He said some "minor things" came up on his physical exam.

"Nothing big," Aldrich said. "Now it's all cleared up, and now I'm here."

Aldrich played the final 7:25 of Sunday's game and had two points, three rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot.

The blocked shot came 17 seconds into his stint.

"That's just kind of the player I am," Aldrich said. "Just always trying to protect the rim, just all defensive stuff. I can score the ball when given the opportunity on pick-and-rolls, but I know my job is to defend the rim and do the little things."

Kings coach Keith Smart has criticized the team's defense, particularly the lack of challenged shots near the rim.

Smart said Aldrich will have to be an "anchor guy" defensively to continue his NBA career.

"That's what this team needed very, very much," Smart said. "So this is a great opportunity for him as he continues his career."

Aldrich said he didn't play basketball while the Kings were on the road.

"The toughest thing was just staying in shape running on the treadmill at the hotel," Aldrich said. "Being a professional was really what it was about. I had a little hang-up with my physical, and you've just got to stay in shape and be a professional."

Moving around – When Francisco Garcia was traded to Houston, his longtime locker stall became available.

So Isaiah Thomas claimed Garcia's corner stall next to Jason Thompson's.

Thomas had used a locker near the main entrance to the locker room from the arena since joining the team as a rookie last season.

Grappling time – The Kings celebrated Latino Heritage Day on Sunday by giving purple Kings luchador masks to fans. A luchador is a Mexican professional wrestler.

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