The new Kings coach is teaching defense and reinforcing it in practice. There can’t be enough talk about defense, and the players are learning that the quickest route to Joerger’s good graces is giving their best effort.
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern has a healthy ego, and thank goodness for that. He is defiant, dynamic and brilliant; a natural-born leader, and thank goodnesss for that, too. A less committed commissioner never would have had the stamina for the marathon Kings ordeal that spanned four different ownership groups, four mayors, dozens of consultants and too many arena incarnations to count.
The Kings signed veteran Arron Afflalo in the offseason to provide stability at shooting guard. The Kings have been inconsistent at the position, and Afflalo hopes to prove he can still be an effective defender while adding versatility on offense.
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.