Kings Blog and Q&A

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

July 16, 2008
The Abdur-Rahim quandary

There will be no shoving here, not even any mild nudging.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim will recover or not recover on his terms, because he has a contract but also because he has the Kings' respect. He continues to work toward a comeback this season, with Sunday's participation in a summer league practice a step in the right direction. Just how many steps he can take without stumbling, however, becomes the question from here on out.

I caught up with Abdur-Rahim by phone while he was in the Las Vegas airport on his way out of town. Here are the parts of the interview not included in today's story...

"For the most part, (recovery) has been steady. (On Sunday), I was able to get out there and practice with them and go up and down. It's just to keep working and see how things progress and how the knee responds to the workload that's expected of us.
There's been some, I guess you'd say, bumps in the road here and there. Not hiccups. I've been able to adjust to them and keep going. It's the same process and see how much I progress and how much I can do."

On the possibility of retirement...

"I haven't really thought about it like that. I think at the end of the day with some thing like this, it'll make the decision for you. I would love to be able to do whatever I do on my terms. If not, I guess it's one of those things - anyone's body is only going to let you do what it's going to let you do. That's the thing. I haven't really mentally started adjusting to it and thinking like that. I guess my body, it will let me know."

On the maddening ambiguity of his knee condition...

"(It's) old age Wear and tear. I'm 31, but it's the wear and tear of playing as many years as I've played. You can never predict things like that. Some guys have had trouble like this later in their career than I've had it, and some have had it much earlier.
So you can't predict these things. My thing is to gear in and try to give myself the best possible opportunity to be healthy and get back on the court and do what I love doing and contribute to the team.
"Right now, it'd be working myself toward training camp, to get myself ready for training camp. I think the difference from this summer to last summer was that I was kind of coming off of rehab (last summer) and not knowing what I could do. This year, I'll have a better understanding of exactly what I can do. I know what I want to do. It's just a matter of what my body will allow me to do. Basically, that's what it is."

On handling the frustration...

"I think last year, I was really frustrated. I think over the summer, being away from it, I'm more at ease. But last year I got really, really frustrated at times.
It's not like I ever tore anything, like I tore my knee up or something like that. That's the most frustrating thing. It's like, 'What exactly did I do to get to this point other than run up and down the court the last 20 years of my life? It's been one of those things that sprung on me all of a sudden., all at once. Our body tells us all in different stages. It's kind of like that.

On how he felt on Sunday...

"Yesterday was the most I've done. I've been on the court doing a lot of drills running and stuff three times a week. I try to do something five times a week. It's hit and miss sometimes. I won't lie. I've had a few hiccups here and there, but nothing where I've had to stop all together and not be able to do anything."

On the ultimate goal of the situation...
"I want to be able to get back on the court and contribute. I don't want the uncertainty of 'Can I go, can I not?' I think that's where I was last year. It's frustrating for me...
I want to know regardless of whatever it is, that I can go on that day. - Sam Amick



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