Kings Blog and Q&A

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

December 9, 2007
A break from the beat in Beantown

BOSTON - It came down to the last second, with the outcome decided only because officials made a certain call that led to the harrowing finish.
We’re not talking about the Kings’ close loss at Denver on Saturday, but my experience en route to Boston this afternoon. As for why I’m headed that way when the Kings don’t play there until Wednesday, I’m putting together a Celtics piece to be published the day after Christmas – hence the temporary reshuffling of personnel on Kings coverage for these few days. Roles will resume on Tuesday.
Anyway, so the Sacramento to Phoenix leg was a bit delayed, and it seemed as if the rare cloudy weather in Arizona may have kept us in the air a bit longer as well. Upon landing, the race began as I tore off on a full-fledged sprint to the Beantown-bound flight that, of course, seemed at least a mile away. I barely made it to the terminal in time, with the US Airways rep about to shut the door when I frantically arrived.
If the Kings thought training camp was hard, try this: Wear jeans and a long-sleeved, winter-worthy shirt, an undershirt and a long wool jacket (it’s chilly in Boston, you know), throw a 30-pound workbag on your back and another mini-bag of in-flight entertainment to boot, then pretend you’re Carl Lewis. It was a bronze-medal performance, at least.
That was some finish to the Kings-Nuggets game on Saturday.
And while I know Francisco Garcia was fouled on the three-attempt that could’ve won the game, the thing that stuck with me even more was why Ron Artest didn’t shoot the ball in the paint when he had it with about three seconds left. That was the first time all night when I actually wanted – for a brief moment – to be in Denver to ask him rather than sitting on my couch spending rare time at home (days off on the beat don’t come often).
Otherwise, it was another heartbreaker for this team and a continuation of the road woes. It’s hard not to feel sorry for these guys, if only because they’ve had so little to do with their own fate (save for Artest and his seven-game suspension which, of course, was by his own doing).
Not that it needs rehashing, but the losses of Mike Bibby and Kevin Martin don’t even begin to tell the story. The situation with Artest’s daughter adds an emotionally-draining element to his current existence that only Ron knows the significance of. Then you’ve got the Justin Williams saga, the Spencer Hawes surgery that took a month away from the rookie center, and the Shareef Abdur-Rahim situation. All in all, I’m impressed they’ve competed like they have.
The qualifier to all of this, though, is that things would be much worse had Geoff Petrie not signed Beno Udrih. While the first seven games would have been easier with Artest, it was crystal clear that no combination of Orien Greene, Francisco Garcia, Quincy Douby, or even John Salmons at the point was going to produce anything but horrendous basketball.
And speaking of Greene, I’ve been meaning to mention for a while that he landed with a team in New Zealand a while back after being waived by the Kings after just six games. - Sam Amick

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