It started with Kevin Martin.
The Kings shooting guard made it clear leading up to Thursday's practice that he had a few things to get off his chest in regards to the ongoing situation with his coach. And by the time the media session was over afterward (and with one follow-up phone call to Beno Udrih), he wasn't alone. From Martin to Brad Miller, John Salmons, Udrih, and Bobby Jackson, it was a day of much discussion about the recent plight of Reggie Theus and his team. As an aside, The Bee's Melody Gutierrez chatted with a candid Quincy Douby after the continuation of his strife-filled season in this story.
For those of you in the mood to absorb and analyze this mess and hear how they plan to clean it up, here's the extra material from those interviews that wasn't in today's story.
On the role injuries have played in the losing
"I think people just look past stuff way too quick in this business today. They look at our 5-15 record, but we haven't had our team yet. It's not a fair judgment at all. You can judge two months from now, three months from now, but Reggie has done everything he can do. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror, and rally around each other and rally around this staff and get back to playing exciting basketball."
On the reality that speculation about Theus' uncertain job status was kickstarted by the team's ownership
"That's on them. I would never touch the upstairs thing. I'm just talking about us players down here. Upstairs is upstairs. They have their own thing (upstairs). I'm talking about who goes out and plays on the court and who is around the team.
"The comments they say, we don't look at them in a bad way or in a good way. That's on them. We just worry about us, and that's all that we worry about. We have our coach, and we're going to play for our coach. Hopefully from now on, with getting guys back, there's going to be a different mentality around here. It's going to get back to how it was before I went down with that injury in that game, because we were having fun.
"Everybody's going to have their own opinions. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes. I look at it as from a media, player, and fan standpoint, we haven't had our full team yet this season. When I was involved when we were 0-4, we acted like it was the end of the season. And then we came back 3-4, and then it was like a whole new ballgame and we had some injuries, and now it's back to 'Oh yeah, they should do this or that.' It shouldn't be nothing like that. We haven't had our team yet. We're probably, injury-wise, probably the worst team in the league on injuries. We've (had) three or four key guys who were in and out. Now we've just got to get everybody together and then we'll see how it goes in the next month.
"We just don't need the distraction (of Theus' situation) to our team right now. We need to come out and play for each other, for the organization. We're not the ones making the decision, so that's the last thing we need to worry about. We just need to rally around each other.
On the state of the locker room
"It is down, but we've got a long ways to go. With me coming back, I've just got to feel like I was a part of all the losses because that's our team record. And now, we've just got to practice hard every day until we get everybody back and on Saturday hopefully it looks like a different team than we've seen in the past month."
On where he stands with Theus
"When you get in a team situation, I think you've got to see it as family. You've always got to support each other. You've always got to have each other's back no matter what. I think that's what's going on in our locker room right now. We totally support each other, the players and the coaches, and we've just got to ride out with each other regardless of what's going on.
"You can blame it on a lot of different things. You can blame it on health. You can blame it on not executing at the end of games, on missing free throws, on people helping when they shouldn't (defensively). There are a thousand things you can blame it on. The bottom line is we just ain't getting it done. There's too many things you can blame it on just to narrow it down to one thing. We didn't get it done. It's all of our faults, and we just have to keep moving and try to get it right."
On the losing streak
"It's tough. You lose games by two or lose by 20. I can't think of the last (game) we were in where we lost by seven or eight points. We're either really in the game with a chance (to win) or we've been out of the game. It's a tough thing, one of those things where hopefully you get one win and then break it."
On what needs to change the most
"Wins. That's what's best for us. Winning cures everything. We're trying to get these young guys some playing time and experience, but making sure it's productive time, not just out-there time. "
On the team
"I know we are much better than what we're playing right now. I know that. ... We've been down a couple guys, and now they're coming back. Rotations are a little bit different with different guys getting different minutes. It's all little stuff. I think the little stuff is more important than the big stuff. The big stuff basically comes out of the little stuff, so I still have a lot of confidence in us. We've just got to get our heads together and just play for each other, be a team out there and ride it out all the time - all 48 minutes. - Sam Amick