Kings Blog and Q&A

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

February 17, 2007
ALL-STAR WEEKEND: Panda Express

All those world-class eateries in Las Vegas, and I was
the one munching on fast-food Chinese, eating like the
common man at the far-from-common Palms Casino while
taking in the sights on Friday afternoon. The sights
are good on that side of the building, though, where
the concept of cheaper slots and cheaper food attracts
the locals and can sometimes create a culture clash
between the haves and the have-lesses.
So between bites of Firecracker chicken, I looked up
to see an attractive woman in an elegant purple dress
ordering from…McDonald’s. Then the purple got my mind
racing about the incredible lack of – as the Kings’
folks say – purple passion at this All-Star weekend.
As has been said before, there are no Kings reps of
any kind for the third consecutive year, a distinction no
other team has. The Maloofs have been repeatedly asked
about it, each time saying their guys just haven’t
played well enough to be All-Stars and they wish Kevin
Martin would have been chosen for the three-point
contest.
What’s more strange is that the only Kings presence
has been a bit eerie, almost foreboding. Just after
seeing the purple lady, I looked up to see a man
cruising past Haagen Daaz in a Mike Bibby jersey. Then
I saw the Maloofs being asked about possible Bibby
trades on NBA TV. And as fans have noticed on chat
room sites, the looks on their faces were, well,
interesting, and it clearly wasn’t the most
comfortable topic. All of this, of course, comes after
a similarly strange experience Thursday.
During the aforementioned Palms tour, chef Barry of
the Nine Steakhouse was showing us his Wall of Fame,
which is actually the door to his office. It’s signed
with autographs and messages of the biggest names in
sports who have visited the restaurant, from Smokin’
Joe Frazier to Joe Montana. So Joe Maloof tells Barry
that he needs more Kings players on the wall, that
Bibby is the only guy he has. And, of course, I’m
thinking something about how the permanent ink just
doesn’t seem so permanent anymore.
The disclaimer here is that there is one Kings rep –
Kings dancer Heidi, who was selected via fan vote to
be here. And there’s always Loren Woods, who earned
$400,000 courtesy of the Kings this year but was cut
and is playing in this afternoon’s D-League All-Star
game. There are actually a few players in town,
including Ron Artest. He is one of many featured
guests at a Mandalay Bay party tonight headlined by
rapper Ludacris.
--Sam Amick



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