Not much setup needed for this material. I spoke with Reggie Theus by phone around 11:45 a.m. this morning about his firing, and below you'll find the majority of our conversation. I saved a bit of more specific material for the newspaper tomorrow, so be sure to come back then as well. He found out from Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie when he came to the office this morning.
On whether he saw this coming...
"I could see maybe if we had another bad stretch, but after beating the Lakers and competing with the Lakers, I just think losing to the Knicks. ... It's just not one game. It's not one situation. It's more just what they believe is what they have to do. Whether it be rational reaction or not, what's in front of you and what's in black and white and the reality of the scenario is not always true. They have to justify why they move forward or why they do something. What you think and what you believe is never the case."
On whether he clicked with Petrie during his tenure in Sacramento and whether he ever felt his firing was inevitable...
"You know as much as I do the parameters in me getting hired, whether I was the guy or not the guy and so on and so forth. You know what I'm talking about. So last year, the relationship was exactly what it was. Anybody who knows Geoff knows that it takes a minute to get to know Geoff.
I completely 100 percent feel confident that Geoff and I got to know each other a lot better over the summer and that our relationship and the direction and my marching orders were all (established). I think we were all on the same page. Geoff made a lot of suggestions that were good suggestions, and we implemented them into what we were doing. I just felt really confident that he and I were on the same page. I'm a pretty good judge of people, and I really feel that he knew that he could trust me and that I was doing what I was asked to do with the team."
On whether he has any greater understanding of why he was fired...
"You know what, there's no way I'm going to understand. There's no way I could ever understand it because, Sam, the team hasn't been healthy in two years going back to last year. This year, the team hasn't been healthy. It's still not healthy. Unless they thought we should be fighting for a playoff spot.
"Either you're rebuilding or you're not. And if you're rebuilding and you're healthy and you expect your team to play a certain way and the team isn't playing that way so the young guys can develop, then yeah you should make a move. Absolutely. I'd be the first one to say, 'Yeah, I did a (bad) job and that's the way it should be.' But under the circumstances that I have no control of - players being out from the beginning of the season (in Francisco Garcia) and has not played one game this year where he's been healthy. Kevin (Martin) has been out 15 games already and is probably going to be out several more. Our two young guys in Spencer (Hawes) and Jason (Thompson) are being talked about all over the league as being guys who are being developed and are being great. Bobby Brown shows potential, Donte' (Greene) shows potential. The minutes of what they asked me to do are moving the direction of where they should be. And at the same time, we have competed in almost every game. So when you look at that, there's nothing that I can say that wasn't in line with what I was asked to do.
"The locker room is immaculate. Compared to locker rooms in all of sports, our locker room is immaculate. The camaraderie, the togetherness of the team, how hard my staff works. There were no negatives at all. The only negatives came from somebody else's view of what should be happening with our team talent-wise. - Sam Amick