The Kings Reunion BBQ at Power Balance Pavilion featured appearances by current Kings (Tyreke Evans Donte' Greene) and former Kings (Doug Christie, Mitch Richmond and Brad Miller).
At least 5,000 fans showed up for the event as the team continues to build on the support that began with the drive to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Miller, however, showed up on crutches after microfracture surgery on his left knee about two weeks ago.
Miller said after arthroscopic surgery last summer there were still issues with his knee this past season playing for Houston. Miller said two doctors recommended microfracture surgery, which involves creating small fractures in the bone to help generate new cartilage.
Miller put his own unique spin on the procedure.
"It is what it is," Miller said. I ain't got much vertical to get back...It's really not going to slow me down. They (said), 'You're the ideal candidate for this. A non-jumping, slow white guy. You shouldn't really lose much.' No explosiveness is going to be lost here."
Miller, who still has a home in Sacramento from his time with the Kings, said he'd be on crutches and wearing a brace for six weeks before he begins walking and riding a back. after three months he'd progress to jogging and hopefully be playing basketball after six months.
The uncertain labor situation and probable lockout makes Miller's recovery trickier. Miller said he has one more year left on his contract with the Rockets.
"It sucks for the rehab part and not being able to talk to your team doctors is stupid, stupid," Miller said. "It's done on company time and it's not like it's a twisted ankle. That part is stupid, but with the labor (situation) coming up, there might not even be a season. It might be a short season, might be a full season. You don't know, so I just wanted to get it done because I wasn't going to be able to make it through a full season if it was a full season. If it was a short season, I might have made it, but then you don't know, so just get it fixed and be ready to deal with it for the rest of my life and be happy."
Miller also took time to discuss Shaquille O'Neal's retirement. Many haven't forgotten the swing O'Neal took at Miller during his first stint with Chicago when O'Neal was with the Lakers in 2002.
"It's memorable that he missed me," Miller said. "If he would've hit me, I would've had to be talking to you, you, you...I would've probably had a lot more (money) in my bank account and not have to do anything. I might have been eating out of a spoon, or a straw, but I would've had more in my account because I couldn't go nowhere."
Miller said he's' been laughing about the incident since and the he and O'Neal joked about it when they were teammates on the All-Star team in 2004.
That incident aside, Miller recalled the physical toll it took to play against O'Neal.
"I can remember many ice packs after playing Shaq, telling our coach, 'I ain't got nothing for you' the next day,'" Miller said. "He took your full effort, amount of energy, and you had to be ready to take some blows for sure."
*Today's pre-draft workout included Isaiah Thomas and Justin Holiday (University of Washington), Talor Battle (Penn State), Jimmy Butler (Marquette), Jeremy Hazell (Seton Hall), and Delroy James (Rhode Island).
You can find video of the workouts here.
You'll also find links to interviews with Thomas, Battle and Holiday on the page.
The big name, especially on the West Coast, was Thomas. The 5-foot-9 guard starred in the Pac-10 and is looking to prove he should be a first round pick.
Thomas said he'd like the chance to face the likes of Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette or Brandon Knight in a workout to prove he's worthy of being considered one of the top guards available.
"That's the plan," Thomas said. "Hopefully they're in the workouts I'm in and I'm chasing them."
*Walker and Fredette are still scheduled to workout for the Kings next week. It could happen Thursday, but no day has been confirmed. The workout would feature two of the well-known prospects going against each other.