Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 15, 2006

Question: Would anyone really be dumb enough to take Bibby or Miller away from us?
-- Alex, Shingle Springs

Answer: Bibby is moveable, and Miller a little trickier. Bibby is still young enough to be a very good player for years to come. And if he opts out of his contract after this season, someone could lock him up for a lowered rate (he makes $12.5 million this season) in exchange for his long-term stability. Or you could not re-sign him and clear all sorts of salary room once he's gone. As for Miller, he would be tough to move. He has three seasons beyond this one on his deal for approximately $34 million, and his reputation has only dwindled since Chris Webber and Vlade Divac left town.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Was appointing Eric Musselman as head coach a mistake? It seems he's doing the same things wrong that he did at Golden State: unclear player rotations, poor game management and a weak defense.
-- Skip Bullock, Albany, Ore.

Answer: We're a long ways from knowing the answer to that question. And when it comes to the debate over Rick Adelman vs. Musselman, it will always be, for the most part, an irrelevant one since the Maloofs-Adelman relationship had deteriorated so badly.

But on his own, Musselman has certainly had his share of tough times early in his tenure. His rotations are absolutely unpredictable, though I find it humorous how fans are sometimes never happy. With Adelman, so many fans grew tired of the 7-8 man rotation, which was predictable night in and night out. If the Kings were winning games, the rotation would be a non-factor.

And I think it's reflective of a bigger problem, that Musselman has to try to make up for huge voids - be it rebounding, scoring, defense etc. - on any given night by getting creative with the lineup. Unfortunately for the Kings, it leads to a lack of identity, which has also impacted things defensively, as you noted.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Sam, what is going on with Ron Artest? Does he really think that he is in the "go-to" category with Kobe and LeBron? He can be "the man" around the basket, but he feels that he must shoot long jumpers? Are we heading for a major power struggle with Coach Musselman?
-- Tim Smith, El Dorado

Answer: You wouldn't be the first person to think Ron has an over-inflated sense of his offensive skills. And even from an overall sense, his attitude toward team-building through the concept of one "go-to" guy is unfamiliar in Sacramento, where even Chris Webber shared the spotlight with plenty of others.

Ron is best used going to the hole or posting up, with an occasional jumper mixed in. Now whether Musselman can convince him of that is another story.

The thing with Ron is that he's at a fork in the road of sorts in his career. Known for so long as one of the game's best defenders, he entered this season determined to be recognized one of the best scorers, too. But there's a reason 99 percent of players are heralded for their play on one end of the court, and not both. It's a pretty tough juggle.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Do you think Musselman was the right coach for the Kings? They were more fun to watch under Adelman and he won more games with this same squad last year minus a few players. How do you feel about maybe going after Garnett?
-- Reggie, Fresno

Answer: If the Kings could find a package to get Garnett that wouldn't gut the entire roster, they -- along with most teams in the league -- would pull the trigger. And, really, a dominant down-low presence is the one thing the Kings have been missing for some time now.

As for Musselman, everybody loved the guy when the team was 8-5. But losing can change things. And the comparisons to last year are a little tricky. The absence of Bonzi Wells is tough to gauge since his replacement, Kevin Martin, has played so well. Ron Artest's mindset is also different this season than it was when he came in last season, another factor that is impossible to accurately gauge. Get back to me in 30 more games, when there's been ample time for this group to mold or melt.
-- Sam Amick

Question: As a Sacramento native in the nation's capitol I stay up late night after night to watch the Kings continuously allow their opponents unfettered access into the paint. What, if any, chance do the Kings have of trading for an athletic, shot-blocking big man to help alleviate our perimeter defensive mistakes? And if so, who might be available between now and the deadline?
-- MJ, Washington, D.C.

Answer: You've got to believe Kings exec Geoff Petrie would have brought one to town if they had the chance, but quality big men are in short supply. At this point, I think acquiring a younger, more athletic power forward is a higher -- and more do-able -- priority, as was evidenced by their pursuit of Seattle's Chris Wilcox.
-- Sam Amick



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