After missing the playoffs eight consecutive seasons and finishing with a 28-54 record for the second year in a row, there were plenty of reasons for the Kings’ “repeat” performance: Sluggish offense. Shaky defense. Too little passing. Too many blown opportunities on the home court.

Is anyone at Sleep Train Arena actually getting any sleep these days? Didn’t think so. Barely hours into the offseason, which will be far less traumatizing than the previous three years for obvious reasons – the league just said no to relocation! – the Kings owners and front-office executives are staring into the teeth of three significant personnel issues.

DeMarcus Cousins should be seated at the dinner table right now, elbowing for space and fighting for the entrees alongside Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond.

Thoughts, observations and quick hits on interesting moments, events and developments that occurred during the previous week.

If the speculation is true and Rick Adelman retires when the regular season ends this week, he can’t just slip out a side door this time. Not again.

Ray McCallum has certainly made the Kings’ backcourt situation more interesting. In a region known for its farm-to-fork phenomenon, what we have here is a good old-fashioned bake-off between a rookie on a late-season tear and a popular starter (Isaiah Thomas) who could sell pepperoni pizza to a vegetarian.

Sacramento’s basketball history is erratic and evolving, and let’s be honest, it’s still a little on the thin side. If someone wanted to pan for gold near Highway 49, say, maybe toss on a pair of overalls and boots and get down and dirty, he (or she) might glimpse a sparkle beneath all that muck and stuff.

Thoughts, observations and quick hits on interesting moments, events and developments that occurred during the previous week.

The popular Kings small forward who never stopped moving without the ball, who converted three-pointers from virtually every angle in the building, walked into Sleep Train Arena tentatively, with a bit of a limp.

The shovel will be sliced into the ground, the demolition crew crushing away on site, the traffic cramping our style long before Kevin Johnson is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Michael Malone looks like someone who actually breathes once in a while. Finally. With two weeks remaining in his first season as an NBA head coach, he sees the finish line, anticipates a very active Kings offseason in terms of trades, free agency and draft choices, knowing he will be back for Year II.

If there is any benevolence in women’s basketball, it will happen again. This year, next year, some year. Tara VanDerveer will take that two-step up the ladder, cut off a piece of the net, place it around her neck, then step back down and celebrate as she did in 1990 and 1992.

Thoughts, observations and quick hits on interesting moments, events and developments that occurred during the previous week.

The beginning of the end – or, really, the beginning of life after basketball – is hours, days, or at most a week away. And Sara James smiles and shakes her head, and like most adults, wonders when the calendar started to run the fast break.

His office is a little light on the furniture, so let’s just call it modern functional. There are no plants to water, no fine art hanging on the walls, no bookcases or video collections to dust. But a burger joint, a coffee bar, a restaurant, a book store and the team’s headquarters are all within a 20- to 30-second jog of Broadway.

Thoughts, observations and quick hits on interesting moments, events and developments that occurred during the previous week.

Vlade Divac dropped into town this week to promote the Kings organization’s fundraising and awareness efforts for UNICEF’s clean water initiative, with particular emphasis on China and India. This is a worthy cause, indeed, and an easy call for the team’s iconic center.

As his Stanford Cardinal prepares to play New Mexico on Friday in an NCAA Tournament opener in St. Louis, Robbie Lemons is hoping for the best.

Phil Jackson is the lord of the rings – 11 of them, actually – and if he’s not the smartest man in the room, he’s smart enough to know that the only way to screw up his new job as president of the New York Knicks is to pretend that it’s not a new job.

Thoughts, observations and quick hits on interesting moments, events and developments that occurred during the previous week.

During the final, fitful days of the Cold War, the last time relations between the United States and Russia were this severely strained, five young men from the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia grabbed their basketballs and traveled to the other side of the world.

While intrigued by Royce White's talent, the Kings are not peering too far into the future.

Junior point guard Mikh McKinney, a first-team Big Sky Conference selection, leads Sacramento State into its first conference tournament since 2006.

Thoughts, observations and quick hits on interesting moments, events and developments that occurred during the previous week.

With 22 games remaining in what can only be described as a disappointing debut for an ownership group headed by Vivek Ranadive, the Kings’ 2013-14 narrative at least offers the potential for intriguing, perhaps even fascinating, closing scenes.

Thoughts, observations and quick hits on interesting moments, events and developments that occurred during the previous week.

Barry Bonds has been dropping less-than-subtle hints these last few years. He wants to be invited back to the ballpark, wants to be reunited with his estranged family, wants to be wanted. As far as we know, he hasn’t demanded his own lounge chair or large-screen TV or, for that matter, insisted on occupying an entire section of the Giants clubhouse.

Enough already. Beyond enough already. DeMarcus Cousins has to cool down and cease with the temper tantrums.

Here are a few final thoughts on Jimmer Fredette, soon to be a former member of the Kings organization:

Jimmer Fredette’s short and painful Kings career is nearing its final excruciating hours. This mutual agreement to part ways? In Little League, it’s known as the mercy rule.

Thoughts, observations and quick hits on interesting moments, events and developments that occurred during the previous week.

The Golden State point guard, who played three years in college, shows that entering NBA too young isn’t always best

In the opening hours of the NBA All-Star Weekend, Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive met with Bee sports columnist Ailene Voisin for a conversation that touched on a variety of topics.

Broadway? Hollywood? A little Bollywood influence perhaps? In an arena that sounds like one of those foo-foo drinks with the umbrella, Ben McLemore gave one of the most theatrical performances in Kings history.

Ben McLemore was surrounded. OK, sort of surrounded. Within about two hours Friday, some of the game’s more spectacular dunkers – past and present – sat in a hotel ballroom, offering conflicting thoughts about this and that, including the annual Slam Dunk Contest that is a fixture during All-Star Weekend.

As a rookie with a veteran Celtics team, Dee Brown – now a Kings assistant coach – wowed the NBA with two memorable dunks.

Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive, one of the NBA’s leading experts on technology and software, will join rookie Ben McLemore at this weekend’s All-Star Game festivities in New Orleans. McLemore is among the participants in Saturday night’s annual Slamdunk contest. Ranadive, the CEO of TIBCO and first-year owner of the Kings, is among the featured panelists at the invitation-only technology summit Friday morning.

Between snowstorms, a slam-dunk contest that includes Ben McLemore, an All-Star Game that may or may not include DeMarcus Cousins and four games in East Coast cities, some of the questions pertaining to the 2013-14 Kings should be answered.

Adam Silver was barely out of diapers – OK, barely starting law school – when David Stern embarked on his NBA rescue mission in the early 1980s.

New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will arrive in Sacramento on Wednesday late in the morning or early in the afternoon – if an approaching East Coast snowstorm doesn’t delay or cancel his charter flight from New York.

The morning after the Seahawks pummeled the Denver Broncos into an early submission, the man who orchestrated Seattle’s first professional championship 35 years ago was sleepless and speaking on fumes, but sounding almost giddy.

David Stern was here for Sacramento’s first NBA breaths, and three decades later he effectively ended his reign with a red-carpet stroll down the steps and into Sleep Train Arena.

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was not among the reserves named to participate in the Feb. 16 All-Star Game in New Orleans.

Incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who takes over for David Stern on Feb. 1, already is making organizational changes. In the most significant of a handful of internal moves, Silver promoted longtime league executive Mark Tatum to Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer. There had been some speculation that Silver would scrap the position when he assembled his new staff. Instead, he opted to retain the spot for the executive who is referred to within the league as the “first lieutenant.”

NBA Commissioner David Stern is spending the final hours of his 30-year tenure the way one might have expected. The party is on. The private celebration Tuesday night in Manhattan was attended by past and present league executives and owners who are closest to the Commissioner.

When he’s not on a flight, working out or monitoring the progress at a nearby Victorian house his father is renovating, Urijah Faber usually can be found pacing the narrow parking lot outside his Ultimate Fitness gym at 17th and I streets in midtown Sacramento.

DeMarcus Cousins should be on the All-Star team. That debate should have ended days ago, certainly before he sprained his left ankle, jeopardizing his availability for the next few games.

The 49ers won’t be the same when they put their uniforms back on this summer. That’s just life in big and small pro cities these days. The spiffy new stadium comes with a hefty mortgage, which translates into higher ticket prices, loftier expectations, and itchy ownership.

Colin Kaepernick had one more throw, one more chance, and plenty of time. It was all there – the opportunity to overcome three gaudy turnovers, to further his stature as one of the NFL’s exceptional young quarterbacks, to secure a return to the Super Bowl – and then it wasn’t.

Dynamic quarterbacks, punishing defenses, crowd noise that shakes buildings. The two best teams in the NFC in another grudge match. So, no, coffee won’t be needed for this one.

Ailene Voisin, sports columnist

Ailene Voisin

Ailene Voisin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from UNLV and a law degree from the University of San Diego before committing full time to journalism.

Her career includes stops at the San Diego Union, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and time spent as the backup beat writer for Dodgers and Angels, Clippers and NBA beat writer, sports columnist, along with numerous assignments covering international events and the Olympics. Ailene joined The Sacramento Bee in 1997.

Phone: 916-321-1208
Twitter: @ailene_voisin

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