One day more.
No, not the theme song from the Broadway play, Les Miserables, but the time left on my annual tour of duty in Las Vegas. I’m hardly expecting sympathy, but this city can certainly wear on you after anything more than three days (this is Day No. 7 for me). This trip is nothing like last summer league, in which the Kings’ stay was two days longer and the trip went two days extra (for a grand total of four) when I was assigned to cover the World Series of Poker. By the end, I was truly one of Les Miserables.
And still, chances are none of that was as exhausting as those arena discussions over at the Palms Casino yesterday. Both city officials and the Kings owners came out of the marathon discussions with, essentially, the same message: there was some progress, but much more work left to do. Considering these talks, potentially, could go down as historical in the regional sports perspective, you’d think being on the scene would be quite a treat – excitement, tension and drama filling the air. At least that’s what I thought when I ventured over to the Palms even though I wasn’t on arena-watch duty.
It would have been more gripping from my couch in Sacramento. There was no vibe, no buzz, just a mid-size pack of media trying to keep from upsetting the resident security staff while playing the waiting game. Kings-wise, the day wasn't that much more interesting.
They had no game, only practice, in which forward Louis Amundson sat out with a sore knee, rookie guard Quincy Douby played after taking the previous game off with a sore right Achilles, and the only new injury was when coach Eric Musselman’s son, Michael, took a short tumble from the mini-bleachers. He bumped his head, but it sure comes in handy when dad has a training staff at the ready.
The Kings play Dallas tonight in their summer league finale, in which they may play without Kevin Martin. The third-year shooting guard has already done what he came here to do: show that his offensive game is reaching new heights and his defense continues to improve. Should free agent Bonzi Wells not return to Sacramento, Martin will be expected to carry a whole lot more of the scoring load. As always, there’s the disclaimer that this is only summer league, but he has averaged 22.8 points per game (third behind Minnesota’s Randy Foye and Houston’s John Lucas). He’s done it, though, while going 100 mph, which has resulted in some minor back spasms – hence the possible rest. I guess I’m not the only one ready for a break.
– Sam Amick
News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.
July 12, 2006
One day more.