With four centers on the roster, led by All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings appear set to use big lineups. New coach Dave Joerger, however, is inclined to deploy smaller lineups that occasionally will dictate Cousins’ role on the court.
Darren Collison is the Kings’ presumed starting point guard. But he’s facing a possible league suspension after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, and the Kings have not been told when they’ll find out about potential discipline.
With many athletes expressing concern or anger regarding social issues, the Kings want to make sure their protests are done as a team. While the Kings will discuss the issue as a team, some players already have been active in their hometowns.
The Sacramento Kings hosted a light, playful media day event at the new Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. Staff, players and even media personalities Gary Gerould and Jerry Reynolds, were all seen joking with one another and also with members of the media, keeping the event spirited and entertaining.
Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive, leading a media tour Tuesday of the about-to-open downtown arena, said fans in the luxury suites and lofts will have the ability to have courtside action piped into their seating areas.
Kings forward Rudy Gay will opt out of his contract after this season and become an unrestricted free agent. The Kings could trade Gay to get something in return for him. Gay said he’s in the best shape of his life partly because of shock treatment for Achilles’ pain.
Kings guard Darren Collison had a difficult offseason. This month, he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of domestic battery stemming from an incident with his wife in May. Collison said he’s focused on his family and the season as he awaits possible discipline from the NBA.
The controversial $8 million sculpture was revealed outside Golden 1 Center to a crowd of artists and political leaders. “Coloring Book” is the centerpiece of the Sacramento arena’s large public art collection.
For the third consecutive year, the Kings will open training camp with a new coach. It’s Dave Joerger’s turn to see if he can do what George Karl and Michael Malone did not, which is last long enough to change a culture marked by losing and dysfunction.
Shelly Willis signed for quite a package earlier this month. It was 18 feet tall, weighed 11,000 pounds and was worth $8 million. The delivery of artist Jeff Koons’ sculpture outside the new Golden 1 Center was the culmination of a nearly two-year journey in which Willis and others maneuvered political minefields, juggled the wants and criticisms of local artists, and raised the cash to support the largest investment in public art this city has ever seen.
Golden 1 Center arena patrons are not all alike. Some will be able to walk for many blocks. Others are disabled and need to be dropped off close by. Some will come on two wheels, and will need a safe place to park their bikes. Some will arrive on light rail, others on Uber. Then there are the 1,000 or more arena workers who need to find their way into downtown almost nightly.
Lenny Wilkens, Wayne Embry, Elgin Baylor and Don Chaney were among the first generation of African American NBA players who quietly, yet forcefully, stood up against discrimination. They are eager to see players’ reaction to the current climate when training camp opens. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s actions remind them of their response to discrimination in the late 1950s and early 1960s.