The Kings decided to skip shootaround this morning, electing to rest throughout the day before their game this evening. Just guessing here, but I'm thinking
there's a fair number of players working on their tans and watching eye candy over at the Palms Casino Resort.
And considering their next opponent, who could blame them? Here come the New York Knicks, who bring their own exhausting drama and super stage even here at summer league. The saga of Larry Brown is over, the Knicks having fired their former coach and general manager Isaiah Thomas taking over.
Thomas, as always, has been trailed by the gargantuan pack of New York
media this week. Another sign the Kings' opponent is just a little different? The game will be televised, albeit on delay. NBATV is airing it on July 15 at 7
p.m. The Kings' finale on Wednesday will also be aired
(July 18, NBATV 9 p.m.)
The Knicks draw a different crowd here, the fans greater in number and decibel level. They are hard core, with 14-year-olds yelling suggestions to the Channing Fryes/Nate Robinsons/David Lees during midgame. Many of them spend the entire day trying to compile autographs, trailing players and quick with a New York-style crack if they get blown off. Strange as it sounds, the energy seems to carry onto the court, where the Knicks' show just seems a little more juiced than the rest. And their youngsters can provide a
thrill. Lee has been as entertaining as always, the high-flyer averaging 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. And Robinson, the reigning slam dunk champ, is
placating the crowd whenever they want the 5-foot-9 leaper to throw it down.
Then again, they were a hoot to watch last summer league, too, before proceeding to win 23 games. And as New York Times writer Howard Beck
pointed out, the irony is thick in the Knicks' selection of hotels. They are staying, of course, at the Wynn.