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

August 20, 2008
More Stockton, please

Fans in Stockton can expect to see more of the Kings in future years if the upcoming preseason game sells as hoped, said Pacific athletic director Lynn King at a news conference Wednesday at Spanos Center.
"Our goal with this is not one-and-out," King said. "We want them back."
The Kings will take on the Los Angeles Clippers in a preseason game at the Stockton facility on Oct. 15. Tickets went on sale today, with prices ranging from $10 to $125.
"It's such a natural thing (to have it here)," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "I'm happy to take this short road trip here. This is a big basketball area."

Here are some notes from today's news conference:

* Theus hasn't watched much of the U.S. men's basketball team this summer, but that's not because he thinks they'll come home short of gold.
"That team can't be beat," Theus said. "That's a real basketball team. The team they had before wasn't. I have only watched a couple games, because I know the outcome."

* Video of the news conference was promised in a previous post. That video was shot and ready to go until the camera froze and turned itself off. The camera did not listen to my chants of "please save, please save."
A second effort will be launched Thursday for Bobby Jackson's news conference at 1 p.m. inside the Kings locker room.

* Theus is pretty familiar with Spanos Center. While coaching at New Mexico State, his Aggies played against Pacific and he vividly recalls his last trip to Stockton.
"We won in overtime," Theus said.
New Mexico State defeated the Tigers 79-69 in an overtime game Feb. 18, 2006 at Spanos Center.
Theus also remembers playing in Stockton in 1987 while a member of the Kings. When asked by a reporter at Wednesday's news conference if he remembered who he played against in that exhibition game, Theus chuckled as he retorted: "Do you remember where you were in 1987?"
Luckily, The Bee archives remember. The Kings defeated the Golden State Warriors 122-104 in front of an announced crowd of 3,791. Theus led the Kings with 25 points.
Want to read the original game story from 1987 that appeared in The Bee? Click the "continue reading" tab below.

SMITH STARS FOR THE KINGS
By R.E. Graswich
Bee Staff Writer
Publication Date 10/31/1987
Page C1 Section SPORTS
STOCKTON - Too bad it's not this easy every night for the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings dominated every facet of Friday's NBA exhibition game and beat the hard-luck Golden State Warriors 122-104 before 3,791 fans at the University of Pacific's Spanos Center.
The Warriors, plagued by injuries and contract squabbles throughout the preseason, received more bad news before the game when All-Star point guard Eric "Sleepy" Floyd called coach George Karl and asked to be excused for personal reasons. Permission was granted. The Warriors refused to disclose the nature of Floyd's personal matter, or predict when he might return.
The Kings, meanwhile, received an encouraging performance from Derek Smith, the big guard-small forward who has been troubled by knee problems for the last two seasons.
Smith scored 14 points in 18 minutes, hitting all six of his attempts from the floor.
"I was very pleased with the way Derek played," Kings coach Bill Russell said. "He's almost back. He's still afraid to test that knee. That will be the real test, when he stays in there after the knee begins to hurt. He hasn't done that yet."
Smith, who had played only 13 minutes in the preseason prior to Friday, had his most promising moments in the second quarter.
He scored two consecutive baskets on plays that were characteristic of his 1984-85 season, before he injured his knee.
On one play, he caught a long breakaway pass from Reggie Theus and rolled in an easy layup. Seconds later, he hit a 10-foot, off-balance jump shot.
Smith closed out the second quarter with a 20-foot jumper from the corner. He also converted two free throws, giving him eight points in his first 11 minutes.
"It's a strange feeling," Smith said after twisting his ankle slightly and sitting out the fourth quarter. "I'm not totally comfortable out there, but I feel it coming. I got some significant minutes. This is what I needed."
Theus led the Kings with 25 points. Joe Barry Carroll scored 20 for Golden State.
The Warriors closed out their preseason in familiar fashion -- they limped along with patchwork lineups because of continuing injuries and contract hassles.
In Floyd's absence, the Warriors opened with Kevin Henderson at point guard, which meant that the Kings' starting point guard, Kenny Smith, received less of a test than he would have if Floyd had been on the court.
The Warriors were also missing key people in the frontcourt. Forward Purvis Short called in sick with the flu, and forward Larry Smith is still unable to suit up because of a slightly torn thigh muscle.
Larry Smith hasn't played in any of the Warriors' seven exhibition games, and it's not certain whether he will be available next Friday, when Golden State opens the regular season at Kings arena.
The Warriors' problems didn't change the Kings' plans. Russell altered his starting lineup, using reserve Johnny Rogers at small forward, where Ed Pinckney is expected to start.
Later, Russell tried a lineup never seen before: Joe Kleine at center, Derek Smith and Rogers at forward and Harold Pressley and Michael Jackson at guards.
The makeshift unit was effective, protecting the Kings' lead and running the floor with confidence.
The Kings' reserves dominated the Warriors in the first half, taking a 65-48 lead at halftime.

Kings notebook -- Russell's ability to experiment with his front line was limited, as 7-foot center Jawann Oldham sat out the game with an inflamed tendon. . . . Guard Franklin Edwards, who has appeared in only one game this exhibition season -- a scoreless six-minute stint in the opener Oct. 18 -- missed his fifth consecutive game with ankle problems. . . . Pressley, whose broken nose is still healing, wore a protective mask for several minutes, then discarded it.

Prior to the game, the Warriors said they had reached a four-year agreement with holdout guard Terry Teagle, who had been a free agent. The Warriors' top reserve last season, Teagle will sign his contract today. . . . Warriors guard Henderson suffered a hip injury and didn't play in the second half. . . . The Warriors' lone victory in the exhibition season was a 101-86 decision over the Portland Trail Blazers Oct. 20 in Oakland. . . . The Kings will leave today for a two-day trip to Montana. The club plays the San Antonio Spurs Sunday afternoon in Shelby, then returns for its final preseason game Monday night at Shasta College in Redding against the Phoenix Suns.



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