Postcard from Vegas ...
This is among the most unique jobs I've had since taking on the Kings beat, and I have to admit I didn't plan on following coaching searches in Vegas (otherwise known as wandering around the Palms Casino) two offseasons in a row. Nor, for that matter, did the Kings plan on conducting two such searches.
On a side note, last night's Detroit-Cleveland game had Kings-related subplots beyond the prospect of whether Terry Porter receives an interview. The 31-point night of Cavs rookie point guard Daniel Gibson sparked a memory of a conversation I had with former coach Eric Musselman in February. It was days after the Kings had not pulled the trigger on the heavy trade discussions with Cleveland before the deadline - a deal in which Mike Bibby was offered to Cleveland and, to the best of my knowledge, the only known piece from the Cavs was forward Drew Gooden. I asked Musselman if he thought that deal could be revived during the summer, and he noted that things always can change. For example, he noted, Gibson could develop into a nice little point guard. And if this quote from TNT analyst Doug Collins during last night's telecast is any indication, that's exactly what has happened:
"The guy's becoming a legend," Collins said of Gibson during the outburst in which he hit all five of his three-pointers and was 7 of 9 shooting overall. "Two weeks ago, nobody had even heard of him, and now he's becoming a star."
I'm thinking this might have effectively killed the prospect of sending Bibby to Cleveland, considering the previous premise was that the Cavs needed another big piece to be a serious playoff contender. Even if the Cavs do lose to the Spurs, I'm guessing general manager Danny Ferry would be hesitant to make any major changes to the roster that went to the NBA Finals. I do hear, though, that Miami is not among those teams afraid of taking on Ron Artest. That doesn't mean the heat would be offering enough to satisfy Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie, but Pat Riley is justifiably motivated to add another player of significance to help the 2005-06 champs return to form.
- Sam Amick