Kings Blog and Q&A

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

July 18, 2008
The first peek

LAS VEGAS - I sort of feel like I'm a little late to the party here, because while first-round draft choice Jason Thompson was working out for the Kings in Sacramento prior to the NBA Draft, I was covering to the NBA Finals. On Friday at the Cox Pavilion - on the campus of my alma mater, I might add - I finally got a chance to see the rookie play.
These are my quick first impressions:
* He goes after the ball. As promised, he isn't shy about attacking the basket or muscilng for rebounds, and perhaps most impressively, he persists. If he fails to gather the rebound the first time, he swats at the ball, uses his body to dislodge and antagonize opponents, affording himself another opportunity to gain control.
* He doesn't have the lean, prototypical NBA physique (think of a lanky Greek god), but he has long arms, and he will be more physically imposing when he drops some body fat and adds tone.
* He definitely has skills, and a feel for the game. He runs the floor, possesses post moves, and in general, has a pretty sophisticated repertoire. The longer you watch him, the more he grows on you. I can see why Geoff Petrie and his staff liked him so much.
* He has big - I mean, huge - feet. He also runs in a deceptive heels-first motion, which makes him seem anything but athletic. But he is quicker and more agile than he initially appears. As for those feet: he says he wears a Size 20 sneaker - only about two sizes smaller than Shaq.
Overall, I see the potential. He also is very smart and chatty, a la teammate Spencer Hawes, and seems like a terrific kid. The Kings might be on to something with these two. The NBA can't have enough personalities ...

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