Kings Blog and Q&A

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

January 5, 2007

Question: The Lakers just beat the Kings. What a pity the game was announced partly by Sir Charles Barkley. I had to mute him and just watch; he was so obvisely pro Kobe Bryant. He did give Mike Bibby alot of credit. What is your opinion of him as a sports announcer?
-- June Vance, Folsom

Answer: He just cracks me up in general. I love the comedy act, the unfiltered analysis and the "What will Charles say next?" element. He was at his best off camera last night, engaging in a back and forth with some 50 Kings fans who were hassling him on his way into Arco Arena. He gave jabs and took them, all with a smile and that booming laugh.
-- Sam Amick

Question: How long will the Kings owners hold onto this "defensively" minded joke of a coach Musselman? And how about "defensively" minded Artest? The Kings just gave up 74 first half points to the Lakers. 74 POINTS!
-- K. Goldfine, Santa Rosa

Answer: Yeah that was a rough half. They just get killed by teams with good big men, and Andrew Bynum and Brian Cook qualified as such last night. Their lack of size and athleticism down low is a green light for opponents, not to mention the often-spotty perimeter defense of Mike Bibby and, at times, Kevin Martin. Opponents scouting reports all have the objective of "attack the rim" highlighted and underlined. Musselman is far from being fired. And if and when they move Artest, it won't be because he can't play defense - because he does it better than 99 percent of the league.
-- Sam Amick

Question: I am so tired of fans bashing Brad Miller. Ever since coming back from his foot injury, I see Brad working harder than ever. Eric Musselman is a new coach with a new style and strategy, and it takes time for great players (like Bibby & Miller) to adjust to a new system. I know Shareef Abdur-Rahim has Brad beat in a few categories, but for roughly the same amount of minutes played, Brad has twice the number of assists and for this reason, don't you believe the Kings are a better overall team when Brad is on the floor?
-- Sean, Granite Bay

Answer: When Brad is playing his style - hitting his shots and being utilized as a passer - I absolutely think he makes them better. The problem is, as you said, that he hasn't been able to consistently do that in the new system.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Great game to watch last night only to see them fall short. Could you get the word to Francisco Garcia to put the rap and GQ world aside and spend the time in the gym working on his three-point range. The two attempts he tried late in the OT missed so badly, it could have changed the outcome of the game. Pressure is one thing, but he's a paid professional expected to produce. The look on Musselman's face told it all.
-- Al, Davis

Answer: Couldn't help but laugh at the combo of your name and your locale (Good luck in the coaching search Mr. Davis!). As for Garcia, he's not the rapper. That's Artest. And if he was in GQ, then I missed it. But you're right about his shot selection. Just because he knocks down threes with ease during practice (which he does) doesn't mean it's the best thing for this team every time he has an open look.
-- Sam Amick

Question: I believe that the Kings keep drafting 6-5 to 6-7 shooting guards/small forwards types because that is what Petrie was when he was a player. General managers that were once players draft players that they perceive to be like them. In some cases to the detriment of the team. See the Kings true need for a shot blocking big man, not another shooting guard. See also Bill Russell and Pervis Ellison. Do you agree with my this theory?
-- TP, Fairfield

Answer: I think there's some truth to that, although Petrie drafted more big men than guards early on in his Kings tenure. Lately, though, he certainly seems to be enamored with the shooters. This year especially, as you noted, they had very real needs for a big man or a backup point guard and didn't draft either. They were very close to drafting 6-foot-9 Alexander Johnson out of Florida State, a forward who went in the second round and has had some big games for Memphis this season.
-- Sam Amick

Question: What's the deal with artest? Is he really hurt or playing a game with the team?
-- Mike, Boston

Answer: He's definitely had knee and back problems. But whether that's the entire reason for his sluggish play and absences in recent weeks? Only Ron knows.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Do you think the Kings will end up trading Mike Bibby? If so, do you think he'll be heading East? If not, do you think he'll opt out after this season and sign on with a contender like the Cavs or Pacers or maybe even the Heat?
-- Adam, Seattle

Answer: The second question, to a certain extent, may dictate the first. If the Kings feel as if Bibby will opt out regardless of whether he gets an extension (don't hold your breath on that, by the way), then he likely gets moved. They don't want to lose him for nothing. Mike has said he wants to stay in Sacramento, but the question is whether that means more than the chance to land a long-term deal this offseason that would set him up for the next stage of his career.
-- Sam Amick

Question: Does Ron Artest have a health problem with his knees?
-- Michael Manoff, Rancho Cordova

Answer: He absolutely has routinely complained about knee trouble. An MRI taken in late December was negative, but Artest said there was still soreness. The more he talks about them, it's starting to sound like a chronic sort of thing as opposed to an injury - good old fashioned hoops knees, if you will. The puzzling part is that some nights it looks like they affect Ron and the next night he looks 100 percent. He continues to complain about back problems as well.
-- Sam Amick

Question: The Kings are in desperate need of a talented big, but I like their smalls. 2-3 is OK with Martin, Garcia, Salmons and Douby. I'm hoping Price develops into a Bobby Jackson-type backup point. Do you thing we could get a talented big if we packaged Bibby and Artest and a draft pick? We could throw in Thomas or Shareef. If not, do you think we could get some of the NYK young talent for Artest since Thomas is crazy enough to take him?
-- Ron Bull, Roseville

Answer: You could absolutely get a good big for Bibby, Artest and a pick, but that big better be Kevin Garnett or something close to it if I'm making that deal. I think you're better off convincing Isaiah to bring Ron home again for some young guns or maybe a Channing Frye.
-- Sam Amick



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