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

October 6, 2012
Kings take team building outdoors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Kings did not take a normal day off Friday.

Kings coach Keith Smart took his goal of making the team a synergistic unit away from the Olympic Training Center to the Action Learning Center at Broadmoor Resort to put the Kings through some team-building activities.

Instead of jump shots and defense, the Kings were in activities such as climbing walls and helping each other across tight ropes.

Smart took the Kings out of their comfort zone for a reason.

"Hopefully experiences like that will help them as far as when things go wrong how to reach back to that bonding experience to help your teammate get through that moment," Smart said after practice Saturday morning. "Obviously they've still got to do things that their skill level brings them but hopefully that experience will allow them to get through them mentally."

The Kings were often at their worse when things were tough on the court last season. The Kings did not rely on each other in those situations and as a result lost a lot of close games.

There was apprehension from the players. For example, Tyreke Evans is admittedly scared of heights unless he's on a roller coaster.

But by the end of the day the consensus was it was an experience worth having.

"When we first got there all of us were like 'We don't know about this,'" said DeMarcus Cousins. "We were up in the mountains, it was cold, it was uncomfortable."

Those uneasy feelings ceded as the players took part in the activities.

"The whole idea of the trip was being comfortable being uncomfortable," Cousins said. "In the end it was a good experience, we learned a lot, worked together."
It kind of bonded us as a team. We're going to have to help each other out so it was pretty fun."

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