SANTA BARBARA - It didn't take long for coach Michael Malone to have to turn up the intensity with this team.
After praising his team's effort following Tuesday's mornings practice, Malone didn't like what he saw from the Kings Tuesday evening.
The night practice was noncontact and apparently the team took that as an opportunity to take it easy.
"Last night's practice to start off was a below average practice," Malone said. "I got on them a little bit. To their credit they turned it around and we wind up having a productive practice."
Said guard Isaiah Thomas: "We were a little dead. That first practice, he got us, got us going. But that second practice was more of a mental practice and we came out slow but by the end of practice he congratulated us and said 'You turned it around.'"
Malone's message stayed with the Kings for Wednesday morning's noncontact practice. The Kings will scrimmage tonight.
"Today they did a much better job with their focus, attention to detail and getting through it," Malone said. "One good practice is nice but we're nowhere enough to a team that can turn it on and turn it off."
*Almost the entire front office is in town. Chairman Vivek Ranadive watched practice this morning along with adviser Chris Mullin, general manager Pete D'Alessandro, assistant general manager Mike Bratz, and Basketball operations director Chris Gilbert.
Director of player personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim is expected to be in town tomorrow.
*D'Alessandro said he's content to watch how things play out with the roster and maintain communication with Malone before making any changes to the team.
"There are a few (free agents) left out there," D'Alessandro said. "I think where we are right now is in a good place in terms of the evaluation progress. To tinker right now would probably be a little more difficult than when we get into the season a little bit."