Remembering the good times ...
Sometime within the next few weeks, the Kings will announce plans to retire the jerseys of Vlade Divac and Chris Webber during games later this season. The retirement date for Divac appears set: March 31, during pregame festivities when the New Orleans Hornets and fellow Serbia native Peja Stojakovic visit.
The date for Webber's ceremony still is being discussed. The Kings are working to accommodate their former power forward and his business obligations, including his duties as a TNT analyst. The best guess here is sometime in February or early March. Webber, who was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers when the Kings began dismantling the aging, injury-riddled team that was wildly entertaining during the early part of the decade, played briefly for the Detroit Pistons before ending his career last year with his original team, the Golden State Warriors.
Not the retiring type
Although Geoff Petrie has tabled any conversation about a contract extension (his current deal expires at the end of the 2009-2010 season), I was reminded again earlier this afternoon about why I believe another multiyear agreement is inevitable: He is one of those people who would go crazy in retirement. Assuming the Maloofs remain committed - and Petrie continues to wield tremendous influence over at Arco - there is no doubt in my mind that he's not going anywhere. The only other consideration would be his health.
The Kings' longtime basketball president was diagnosed with walking pneumonia last Tuesday and told to stay home and rest for four or five days. Yet there he was while the team was practicing, wandering in the lobby of the facility, and still appearing pale and tired. Asked what he was doing at work, he laughed, and stated the obvious: he was bored. Three days of hanging around the house was the most he could tolerate.
At a chance meeting at a cafe near Arco, I bumped into Edna Campbell, the former Monarchs guard who is also a breast cancer survivor. Campbell, who remained in Sacramento after retiring from the WNBA, said she recently completed her coursework for a nursing degree. She takes her boards next month. Eventually, she hopes to enroll in a master's program to become a nurse practitioner.
"This is a good time for me," said Campbell, who is healthy, and looked fit enough to suit. "I finished school and I turned 40 today."