Former Kings coach Paul Westphal, recently named an assistant on Lionel Hollins’ staff in Brooklyn, attended the opening practice Monday for Team USA. He watched the session from the upper section with Hollins and fellow Nets assistant Joe Wolf.
Westphal endured some tough basketball and arena-related moments in Sacramento. He was in tears when he addressed the announced sellout crowd after the 2010-11 season finale against the Lakers – a night when many believed the Kings had played their final game in Sacramento and would be relocated to Anaheim by the Maloofs – and said he monitored the matter from afar after being released by the organization in 2012.
“It is nice to see a situation where they get some resources behind it, to see how far it will go,” Westphal said, referring to the ownership change.
Asked how difficult it was to oversee a team with the threat of relocation hovering, he replied: “I don’t want to complain about it. I knew that was the situation. You just go in and deal with it. There are hurdles with every job. I’m glad they were able to stay, and the future looks bright.”
Rose rises – While DeMarcus Cousins’ prospects to make the FIBA World Cup roster is a major topic of conversation, outside of Sacramento it was trumped by Derrick Rose’s presence.
The Chicago Bulls star was the starting point guard on the 2010 U.S. national team and, according to coach Mike Krzyzewski, would have been the starter on his 2012 Olympic squad had he not been sidelined for the 2012-13 season and almost all of 2013-14 because of ligament and cartilage tears in his left and right knees, respectively.
“Derrick surprised everyone with not being as rusty as we would have anticipated,” said USA Basketball czar Jerry Colangelo. “So that is a big thing. That kind of stood out in this workout.”
• Kings coach Michael Malone is expected to attend the practices beginning today. The training camp ends with a Friday night scrimmage.