Kings Blog and Q&A

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

June 5, 2009
Christmas in June

Dionte Christmas admits he won't wow you with his vertical leap.

The 6-foot-5 guard is relying on his jump shot, not ability to jump to earn a spot on a team's roster.

"I think every team could use a shooter," Christmas said Friday after his workout with the Kings. "And I like to pride myself on being one of the best shooters in the country. I think I can bring that to a team. I' m very energetic. I think I can be a great asset to someone's team."

Christmas led the Atlantic 10 in scoring the last three seasons. He's noted for having a quick release on his jump shot with good elevation and form.

Christmas' 319 three-pointers are the most in Temple history. He made 107 threes as a senior, also a school record. He averaged 19.5 points last season.

And Christmas does his homework before visiting a team. When I spoke with him in Oakland following his workout in front of several teams, he was able to detail how he'd fit in with Golden State.

The same went for the Kings. Christmas sees himself as someone who might "follow in the footsteps" of Kevin Martin as a perimeter scorer. He added that his skills would also take pressure off the likes of Jason Thompson.

Christmas' admitted lack of elite athleticism is one of the reasons he's projected as a second-round pick. He might be considered a reach with the Kings' pick at No. 31, but there always remains the possibility of Christmas' stock rising or the Kings acquiring another pick in the second round.

Christmas is also confident he could help a team as a ballhandler, which is a skill he's working t improve.

Another intriguing player that worked out for the Kings was Pittsburgh point guard Levance Fields.

At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Fields looks a lot like a football player. And he's from Brooklyn, NY and most basketball fans know the swagger that comes with a point guard from New York.

Fields isn't considered one of the top prospects at the position.

He led a Pitt team that was known for its toughness. So it's no surprise that's what Fields touted as one of his strengths.

"I'm just tough nosed," he said. "Tough mentally, a grind it out type of player. Not really pretty, not fancy. I just get the job done and do whatever my team needs for me to do to win. I think that's all that matters. As long as my team wins, that's all I care about."

Fields averaged 10.7 points and 7.5 assists as a senior.

There will be more on Earl Clark and James Johnson in tomorrow's Bee. And I'm sure there will be some kind of update on the Kings coaching search.

--Jason Jones



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