It wasn’t a completely sour trip to the Big Apple for the Kings.
Sure, they lost their sixth straight game, doing it in a dramatic fashion that has made for some wild finishes but no wins to speak of in nearly two weeks. But off the court, it was a homecoming unlike any other on the schedule this season.
Beyond the well-publicized return of Queensbridge’s own Ron Artest, Quincy Douby and Francisco Garcia were back near their respective neighborhoods too. Garcia squeezed in a visit to the Bronx, where he is beloved among family and friends and instills amazing amounts of pride as the only Dominican Republic-born player in the league.
Maurice Taylor had a different sort of return, as he spent a season and a half with the Knicks that ended with his buyout during the latest offseason. He was there at the peak of the franchise's drama, from the feud between then-coach Larry Brown and general manager Isaiah Thomas to the feuds between Brown and some of his players.
"I've never seen that much stuff going on with a basketball team in my life, and it was stuff that didn't really relate to basketball," he said. "That's the thing you have to worry about out here, is a lot of people talk about stuff that doesn't have to do with basketball."
Douby had the support of his alma mater against the Knicks, as the entire Rutgers team watched the action at the Garden. On Sunday, Douby shared his home visit to Coney Island with rookie Justin Williams, surprising his family while showing his new teammate the best the area has to offer. I asked Douby to name the top three sites on that unique tour, not quite sure what sort of answer I’d get. In case that built riveting suspense for anyone, check back tomorrow for the list.