Jason Thompson has averaged a head coach for every season he’s been in the NBA.
That’s seven head coaches, including three this season.
But something new for the Kings power forward was being the subject of trade rumors in which he or those close to him were said to be pushing for a deal out of Sacramento.
Last Sunday, Yahoo Sports reported Thompson’s “camp” was seeking to get him dealt by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Thompson is accustomed to being in trade rumors, but he said he never would request a trade.
“I woke up to a lot of tweets and a lot of texts (about the report),” Thompson said. “And even me knowing the league and being a communication major, I’m smart enough one, not to do that, two, obviously it was a mistake. ... It wasn’t accurate, but it’s always something different from year to year.”
This season’s trade deadline came two days after the Kings introduced George Karl as their coach. Thompson is well versed at coaching changes and how they can affect his role.
“It’s not easy,” Thompson said. “It takes a lot of talking to people, veteran guys to try to get through it. But you try to be as professional as possible because you know with new systems offensively and defensively, the coach is going to look at a player differently than other coaches.”
In his Kings debut Friday against Boston, Karl started Carl Landry at power forward and brought Thompson off the bench to try to spark the second unit.
But instead of starting Landry to begin the second half, Karl went to Thompson.
Thompson was back in the starting lineup Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.
Thompson said his early conversations with Karl had been productive.
“I think it’s good you have a good relationship with your coach, especially early on,” Thompson said. “I just wanted to see where his head was and what vision he has for the team and myself.”
Though he’s been the subject of trade talks for a while, Thompson is close to passing Peja Stojakovic for most games played in Sacramento-era franchise history.
Saturday’s game was Thompson’s 513th for Sacramento. Stojakovic played in 518 games for the Kings.
“I think it’s going to be a great accomplishment,” Thompson said. “I don’t know if it’s one to celebrate, but it’s one to just be blessed. Young kid out of Rider to achieve something like that with one organization.
“Hopefully, I can write a book someday, and that will be in it. But for me, I have to have a happy ending sooner or later for it to be a successful book.”
Technical difficulties – Kings center DeMarcus Cousins began the season with a goal of picking up five or fewer technical fouls.
Cousins is now up to eight after being called for two in as many games under Karl. He’s still off last season’s pace, in which he earned a one-game suspension for his 16th technical foul.