Kings notes: Team sees preseason trip to India in coming years

Published: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 - 3:10 pm

LAS VEGAS – The NBA uses the preseason to spread its brand internationally with teams playing in South America, Asia and Europe this fall.

The Kings' opponent Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers, will play two games in China next week.

And it's only natural to wonder when the Kings might play in India, considering principal owner Vivek Ranadive has stated he wants to make center DeMarcus Cousins a superstar in India, Ranadive's birthplace.

Coach Michael Malone would not be surprised to see the Kings play in India in the coming years.

"(Ranadive has) said many, many times he wants to be a global brand," Malone said. "With his background in India, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Sacramento Kings playing a game there in the foreseeable future. It's an untapped market."

Grinning Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni sounded sarcastic when talking about the bonding the Lakers could do on a long trip, adding he'd "rather bond at home."

But as a veteran of multiple overseas trips, D'Antoni said the trips are no problem.

"We owe a lot to the NBA, and they've given us a pretty good living, so we have to do this trip," D'Antoni said. "Wow, I think it's OK."

Injury update – Guard Greivis Vasquez (ankle) and forward Carl Landry (strained quadriceps) did not play Thursday against the Lakers at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Malone said he hopes to get Vasquez on the court in one of the Kings' next two games. The Kings host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday and the Phoenix Suns next Thursday.

The Kings continue to take a cautious approach with Vasquez, who had surgery in the offseason.

"If you were in our practices, you wouldn't even think anything is wrong with Greivis," Malone said. "He's like the caged lion that you have to hold back to protect him from himself because he has a big heart and he wants to play."

Landry's return is still uncertain. He did not make the trip to Las Vegas, and Malone said it was still being determined how much time Landry might miss.

Luc Mbah a Moute (ankle) also did not play Thursday.

Et cetera – Landry's brother Marcus is playing for the Lakers this preseason. Marcus was in training camp with the Kings in 2010.

• The annual preseason game against the Lakers is usually played at Thomas & Mack Center on UNLV's campus. The Lakers made the MGM Grand Casino home this year. They hosted a charity event at the casino Wednesday night.

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