PARK CITY, UTAH - Late-night greetings from Utah, where the chill has set in but the winter snow has not.
A few talking points before the Kings try to cool off the 5-2 Jazz on Monday night.
* Good for Ron Artest for agreeing on a settlement with the NBA regarding his seven-game suspension (likely giving him some of his lost wages back) after he appealed, but his team is sure wishing he could've had at least one game reduced to come back for this one. Jazz small forward Andre Kirilenko typically struggles with the much-bigger Artest, often putting the brakes on his go-go-go game when the alternative is trying to drive through the roadblock that is Ron-Ron.
Kirilenko, whose offseason trade demand and admitted misery in playing under Jerry Sloan changed nothing, is back to his versatile ways - Exhibit A: 15 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, four steals, and a block in Saturday's 118-94 win over Memphis.
* More than two weeks ago, it really seemed as if the sexual misconduct investigation on Kings forward Justin Williams was within days of reaching a resolution, so I'm wary to make any predictions.
Nonetheless, there may be reason to believe that it could finally reach an end within the next few days. As for what the resolution will be, Williams' attorney - William Portanova - has reiterated all along that he believes the case won't be filed and Williams will not face charges.
Lastly - and this is long overdue - it should be noted that KCRA's coverage of this case appears even more absurd now than it did when this situation began. From the Paparazzi approach in the driveway of Williams' home to the fancy graphic of Williams' and the team's whereabouts to the silly and sensational end to the report, it was over the top. And it's made even worse because it's KCRA - the folks who actually make the drive to Kings games at Arco Arena on a bi-monthly basis but funded Mike Teselle's flight to Albquerque, N.M. in a heartbeat.
* Jason Hart is the early winner in his eternal battle for minutes with Ronnie Price that began in Sacramento. The veteran Jazz point guard is averaging 9.1 minutes per game to Price's 2.8, though both likely spend the same amount of time marveling at starter Deron Williams (21 points per game, 10.4 assists). Although I wonder if Price ever does this to Boozer during practices now that they're teammates.
BLOG UPDATE: Talked to Ronnie this morning at shoot-a-round. The always-pleasant Price reports that not only does he not do that to Boozer at practice, but it's just better to pretend that play never happened.
"We donít talk about those things," Price said with a sheepish laugh. "We just keep that quiet. Iím not making any comments on that. Youíll have Carlos coming after me."
- Sam Amick