During summer league, the Kings brought all of their free-agent signees to Las Vegas. They posed for pictures, and all seemed well in the land of the Kings.
One of those additions didn’t make it to training camp with the Kings. Forward Luc Mbah a Moute had his contract voided after failing a physical over the team’s concerns about his right shoulder.
Mbah a Moute, however, was deemed healthy enough to participate in the NBA Africa exhibition game Aug. 1, where he played for Team Africa and then signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
He was at Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday night as a member of the Clippers.
Mbah a Moute said he could not discuss the grievance the National Basketball Players Association filed on his behalf and said there are no concerns about his health.
“I feel great,” Mbah a Moute said. “I’ve always felt great. I feel great. I’m excited about being (a Clipper) this season. It’s a great opportunity, a great team, so there’s a lot of excitement.”
Mbah a Moute played in nine games for the Kings during the 2013-14 season before being traded to Minnesota. He said he looked forward to coming back to Sacramento and reuniting with some of the Kings’ assistants who had joined George Karl’s staff.
Mbah a Moute averaged a career-high 9.9 points with Philadelphia last season.
“You can’t keep dwelling on things,” Mbah a Moute said. “Life happens and you just have to move on. I believe everything happens for a reason. It didn’t work out for whatever reason, but now I’m here and I’ve just got to make the most out of the opportunity.”
Faith in Willie – Karl has said rookie Willie Cauley-Stein has the ability to be a starter this season. But he made his NBA debut off the bench Wednesday.
Karl didn’t want Cauley-Stein’s debut to come against Clippers superstar forward Blake Griffin.
“The last two weeks of training camp, he’s been very good,” Karl said. “He’s mentally gotten stronger and more serious about what he has to do to stay on the court. If we were playing a lesser team he’d probably start.”
Karl opted to go with veteran Kosta Koufos to match up with Griffin to start the game.
Fire with fire – Pundits have wondered if the competitive nature of Rajon Rondo will blend with DeMarcus Cousins in a positive way.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers coached Rondo in Boston, where Rondo was a four-time All-Star and helped the Celtics win an NBA championship in 2008.
Rivers said the pairing can work.
“They can mesh,” Rivers said. “They’re both volatile, but I have this saying, ‘I’d rather stoke a fire than start one,’ and they have fire. Give me fire. I don’t like the other ones where you have to start them, those are hard.
“It’s a lot easier, in my opinion, to try to temper than to start one, and they both have great fire, great fire about the game, and I don’t see what’s bad about that.”