Kings (16-62) at Clippers (18-60)
Scoring: Kings 11th (101.06), Clippers 27th (95.48)
Shooting: Kings 23rd (44.9 percent), Clippers 22nd (44.1)
Scoring defense: Kings 29th (109.66), Clippers 25th (104.11)
Shooting defense: Kings 30th (48.4 percent), Clippers 26th (47.5)
Rebound differential: Kings 30th (minus-5.06), Clippers 28th (minus-4.03)
The link: Clippers coverage in The Los Angeles Times,, and the LA Daily News. Kings coverage in The Bee (Game story vs. Houston on Thursday, Game notes,. Photo slideshow).
It's all about change from here on out for the Kings, even if there are four more games that must be played for the sake of schedule keeping.
With the obvious focus on changing their own dire situation, it's certain that there will be player changes (they have only eight players on contract for next season) and almost certain that there will be a coaching change. And if it was up to Chris Webber, there would be a front office change as well.
The former Kings forward told me recently that he would like to team with Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie in the Kings' rebuilding effort, rejoining the team in an ambassador-type role in which he could help attract free agents, weigh in on the remaking of the roster and help the organization on all matters of public relations. In an interview that took place before the retiring of Vlade Divac's jersey at Arco Arena on March 31, Webber said he was already talking to three teams about a return to the game as soon as next season (though he would not disclose which ones). And while the Kings aren't one of them, he wishes they were.
"Yeah, I'm definitely going to be in basketball," said Webber, whose official title at present is that of TNT analyst. "I'm deciding now if I want to do TV next year. I have some opportunities (in the NBA). And of course I would like (to be in) Sacramento first. But it is what it is."
The question, of course, is whether the Kings would share his vision. The organization is scaling back across the board, with talks of possible pay cuts and perhaps even layoffs in house. Even if it is Webber, the notion of adding bodies goes against the grain at the moment. One thing is clear, though: Webber wants back in, and badly.
Asked if the team's current sad status would deter him from such a move, he answered definitively that it would not.
"It doesn't matter," he said. "I love Sacramento. It's kind of hard, because (the teams he has been talking to) even said, we want you but if Sac says something, then what?
"They're already asking me that. I live here, have a restaurant here. Of course (he would prefer to be in basketball here), but I'm going to be in basketball and make sure I advance and am in basketball."
As Webber was quick to point out, he had to be convinced to come here from Washington after the Kings traded for him in May of 1998. The reality that Sacramento is not a premier hoops destination remains, he said, but he believes he could help with that obstacle. In truth, I really don't see this happening but it is an interesting idea in what is a very uninteresting time.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports chimed in about the coaching landscape in this column, and it is my opinion that one particular line about the Kings was dead-on. Speaking about the team's coaching searches in the past and how they related to the possible one in the future, Wojnarowski wrote...
This time, the basketball executives are trying to wrest control back (from ownership).
The signs are mixed as to whether Petrie or the Maloofs will have the most influence on a potential coaching search this summer, but it says something that I can be told definitively one week that John Whisenant would be a serious candidate and then hear the next week that he is more of a safety valve choice. Difficult waters to navigate, to be sure.
The economic climate will continue to play a large part, but it's seeming as if the list of candidates could be as long as the process. The combination of hard times all around the league and the lure of possibly having the No. 1 pick could net the Kings a reputable coach for cheaper than usual, but they obviously won't know where they're picking until May 19. Much, much more to come on that front, it seems. - Sam Amick