So as I keep telling you Kings faithful, there's a slow-moving attempt here to establish a schedule to this blogosphere. As it stands, we're looking at daily updates with a few standing elements along the way. Friday is 'Web Watch' day (look below), and I'm deeming Saturdays the Q&A day. This is being done because the alternative is the Q&A bin growing larger and larger and weeks going by until I get to them. I would also like to provide a weekly segment of original content, interviews and such that wouldn't normally find a home in the print edition of the newspaper (Exhibit A, this recent sitdown with David Thorpe). All of this is self-monitoring, really, for I operate best under a set schedule. Anyways, enough blabbing. This is a short version of Q&As, so I'll squeeze another one in early next week...
Question: So, Sam, is there any seller's remorse on the part of Kings' brass that they did not pry a first-round pick out of Atlanta, given that Bibby's presence does not automatically equal playoffs for the Hawks? Or is Shelden Williams supposed to be that pick? - Zack, Rome, Louisiana
Answer: The deal was what it was, and Atlanta's first round pick from this year already belonged to the Suns anyway.
Shelden Williams is definitely a big piece of it, but only one of the many. The Kings wanted to see Beno Udrih run the team again before he became a free agent this summer, wanted the young guys to have more minutes and the core guys to stop fighting over the ball (not in a personal sense - it was just the reality of the way styles didn't mesh between Bibby, Kevin Martin and Ron Artest). None of those things were going to happen with Bibby around. In the meantime, they likely saved $11 million with expiring deals and may have left the door open for Ron Artest's return (for a year as his choice, and the future thereafter up to them).
Question: If Ron was not traded, Does this mean:
A) They like Ron better than what was being offered?
B) Ron Ron is the Real Deal. He has what it takes?
C) Ron isn't worth anything and we are stuck with him hoping he opts out so we can use his money to get free agents than might not even be as good as Ron.?
D) The Kings are somehow in a better position if they wait till this summer in a sign and trade. Ron gets More money, and we get back what Artest is worth in return ? - faSTRman, Lincoln
Answer: It's definitely not option "C." There's some truth to "A" and "B," and "D" remains an option as well.
Question: I don't get why the Kings don't tell Ron they love him and make a long-term commitment to him. He's a great asset and seems to always maintain composure on the court. Why don't the Kings keep him? I really wish they would. Thank you for your time. – Michael, Roseville, Calif.
Answer: Everybody knows there’s a past there, and Artest continues to try and prove that the past is the past. Nonetheless, his style and history clearly scared off more than a few teams before the trade deadline that could’ve used his skills in the second half. But since his agent came out and said Artest “isn’t likely” to opt out, you may eventually get your wish of seeing him here long term. And for the record, there has been much made about Artest not professing his joy of remaining with the Kings after the deadline. Our own Scott Howard-Cooper hit on it today, as did the Washington Post in this story. On the day Stevens came out with his client's stance on the matter, I e-mailed Artest to see if he had anything to add. His response, as I see it, should explain the borderline awkwardness with which he handled the queries about remaining with the Kings. He said he was taking Stevens' advice of not discussing the business of basketball and sticking to basketball itself.
"You have to call (Stevens)," Artest wrote. - Sam Amick