Now that it's official that all silver linings or positive points are welcome for Kings fans who have less to root for by the day other than draft pick possibilities, consider these nuggets from an otherwise-dreary evening at Arco Arena.
Beyond the Kings' loss, there was the triumph of Jason Hart. Anyone who knew Hart on any level was happy to see him succeeding, let alone having the sort of nail-in-the-coffin impact on his old team that he had in his 16-point, seven-rebound, six-assist outing. And much the same way that almost every professional can be judged by his reputation among peers, there was no better indicator than the reaction of his former teammates. Most of the Kings players and even a few assistant coaches went out of their way to offer Hart hugs and handshakes despite the game's outcome.
I've read plenty from fans who are down on Hart because of how his agent handled his situation earlier this season, but the truth about pro sports is that it gets ugly like that sometimes - especially when a player is fighting to stay in the league and staring free agency in the face. As Hart said about his agent, Bill Neff, back at the height of the mud-slinging, that was "my guy looking out for me." As for Hart, he never went public with his true feelings before he was released and resisted the urge to after beating the Kings.
"There's a lot on the line, so it's not about revenge or anything like that," Hart said. "You just want to get the win. The Clippers haven't won here in a while, so it's just sweet when you can get the win."
The other feel-good development was that of Harold Pressley, another guy who's hard not to like who was hired Friday as the Kings director of player development.
Pressley - who will mostly serve as a player mentor and liaison to the NBA - wasted no time in earning his new paycheck. He chatted with numerous players after the loss, and he seemed to spark nothing but positive reactions and some semblance of rapport among those who were still around. And if he could pull that off after a loss like this one, imagine the possibilities in victory.
- Sam Amick