Kings Blog and Q&A

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

September 11, 2012
Team-building key to Colorado Springs

The Kings holding training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., is different.

Why leave town for practices? Coach Keith Smart has the answer.

"When you start having camp in your facility the one element you miss out on early is that team building block early," Smart said.

Team building has been at the top of Smart's list for the Kings since taking over in January for Paul Westphal.

Smart couldn't believe on the road most players on the Kings didn't socialize together. And training in Sacramento was not going to aid the process.

So when Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said Smart had the OK to move training camp for five days of practice, Smart sought out venues and decided on one he knows well in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

"I had experience from playing and working out with the national team back in college (at the facility)," Smart said. "I thought it would be good for our team to keep bonding."

Smart said players not having the option to go home away from teammates after practice and ride the bus together everyday can foster camaraderie.

And heading to Colorado will help eliminate distractions.

It's something he saw while coaching the Warriors when the team would begin training camp in Hawaii (I would have voted for the Kings in Hawaii).

"I saw the benefits when those guys got together and those guys would hang out together," Smart said.

If this means we'll see more unselfish play on offense and defense from the Kings remains to be seen.

Smart, believes this is the right way to start out to reaching that goal.

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