Kings Blog and Q&A

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

June 30, 2013
Pelicans plan to swoop in to land Tyreke Evans

Kings restricted free agent Tyreke Evans began free agency by meeting with the New Orleans Pelicans when free agency began at 9:01 p.m. PST, in Los Angeles, The Bee has learned.

Evans' agent, Arn Tellem, is based in Southern California.

The Kings extended a qualifying offer to Evans last week worth $6.9 million for next season.

Evans can negotiate with other teams and sign an offer sheet, but the Kings can match any offer. The Kings could also agree to a sign-and-trade with Evans.

But David Aldridge of NBA.com reports New Orleans has a "big" offer sheet ready for Evans.

Evans would like a contract worth about $10 million annually. Evans is believed to have more than 10 teams interested in him and is not expected to make a decision tonight.

June 28, 2013
Kings, McLemore, NBA Draft and a great night

So, after an unusually active NBA Draft night (and day), and finally having an opportunity post-deadline to digest the events that took place at draft headquarters in Brooklyn and at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, here are a few late thoughts:

• It's never prudent to overreact to the selections, either favorably or otherwise. Particularly in the era of one-and-done players, where the most talented prospects usually leave college after their freshman seasons and leave little time for scouts/coaches/executives to make their evaluations, this is a dicey business. Just look back at the Lottery picks over the past five NBA seasons. That said, the fact that Ben McLemore dropped to the Kings at No. 7 is very surprising. Everyone knows he can shoot, finish, that he has size (just under 6-5) and athleticism, so this might be one of those situations where GM's think too hard and miss the obvious? Or maybe questions about his maturity and motor are legitimate?

• Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro had long targeted McLemore and, as owner Vivek Ranadive revealed late in the evening, was determined to acquire him. Love the decisiveness. Even the best talent evaluators (see Jerry West) misfire occasionally, but D'Alessandro made it clear he believes McLemore will be a star. It's rare for a lawyer to allow for so little wiggle room ....

• Mike Bibby looks terrific. Now that he's retired, the one-time Kings star also looks like he has too much time on his hands: he was more chiseled than ever. He flew in for the event from his home in Phoenix, and as usual, was applauded enthusiastically when he addressed the crowd. Fans still love that jump shot, especially the buzzer-beater against the Lakers in 2002. Asked about the current Kings, Bibby said, "I think they're young, and they're rebuilding. They just need a few veterans ... like me." He laughed, so I think he was kidding about that last line.

• So who does David Stern think he is? George Clooney? Presiding over the NBA Draft for the final time - retirement looms Feb. 1 - the Commish just let it rip. The hand gestures, the smirks, the grins, the insistence on bringing Shabazz Muhammad to the podium belatedly, the warm embrace of Hakeem Olajuwon at the end. (Olajuwon was the No.1 pick when Stern became Commissioner and began announcing the draft in 1984). This was David Stern uncensored, or, as most of have known him for 30-plus years, as the off-stage David Stern. He deserved to own the stage. Among other things - the global growth of the league, his influence on racial relations, his creation of the WNBA, etc., - Stern had numerous opportunities to let the Kings skip town during the previous two ownership regimes. Instead, here they stay.

• Ranadive is hilarious. At the start of the post-draft press conference, the Kings new majority owner actually opened by saying, "Hi, I'm Vivek." He then interjected the session with D'Alessandro and coach Michael Malone with his increasingly familiar, witty asides. Le's hope he doesn't change. It's easy to be funny when it's all good. Remember when Joe Lacob was booed? The Warriors owner didn't flinch, and, yes, that was his Golden State team in the playoffs.

• Tyreke Evans' absence at the festivities was more than a little intriguing. He was scheduled to make an appearance, and surprisingly, was a late cancellation. Something about having to meet with his agent, Arn Tellem, while the festivites were ongoing? Very curious, to say the least. Tyreke, who is one of the most amiable, accommodating players in the league, shows up for everything - fan festivals, rallies in the park, autograph signings. Assuming he stays with the Kings (he is a restricted free agent), I would rather see him replace John Salmons at small forward than be thrust back into his point guard role.

• Finally, after catching up on replays of ESPN's draft telecast and my longtime colleagues on the NBA.TV post-draft show, I have one question: What happened to Jay Bilas, one of the most knowledgeable, insightful analysts in the business? He was on the ESPN set, but with four people offering opinions and observations, he wasn't able to be nearly enough of a presence. Please, bring him back.

June 27, 2013
Kings select Detroit guard Ray McCallum in the second round of NBA Draft

The Kings used their second-round pick (36th overall) on Detroit point guard Ray McCallum.

McCallum (6-2, 191) averaged 18.4 points and 4.5 assists as a junior.

McCallum was a McDonald's All-American but chose to play for his father and coach, Ray Sr., at Detroit.

June 27, 2013
Kings select Ben McLemore with seventh pick in NBA Draft

The Sacramento Kings selected Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore with the seventh pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

McLemore was projected to go as high as No. 2 but slipped to seven.

The Kings passed on point guards Trey Burke, C.J. McCollum and Michael Carter-Williams to pick McLemore.

McLemore (6-5, 185) averaged 15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and two assists as a freshman at Kansas.

McClemore is noted for is athleticism and is an efficient scorer.

June 27, 2013
Kings' ticket sales are on a roll, leading NBA

Shortly after I walked into Sleep Train Arena for the upcoming NBA Draft proceedings, Kings ticket sales vice-president Phil Horn pulled me aside to provide an update: According to the NBA office, as of Thursday morning, the Kings led all 30 franchises in the sales of new (and full) season ticket packages.

Horn wouldn't reveal the numbers, but he pulled out his cell phone and shared the video he shot while informing his staff about 10 p.m. last night.

The 60 or so salesmen/saleswomen can be seen near their desks, yelling, jumping up and down, and then breaking into the familiar chants of "Sac-ra-men-to."

June 27, 2013
Live chat: NBA Draft marks start of new era as Kings pick seventh

Join Bee sports editor Tom Couzens and deputy sports editor Vic Contreras in a live chat focusing on today's NBA Draft and the Kings' fortunes as they try to get the most value from their seventh-round pick. The chat begins at 4 p.m.


June 26, 2013
Kings, Kawhi Leonard, Mistakes, NBA Draft


Not that the previous Kings administration needed to be dinged further - and in his two decades, Geoff Petrie had more hits than misses - but Kawhi Leonard's performance in the just-concluded NBA Finals isn't easing anyone into retirement. Thus, the peril of the NBA Draft. Leonard's game is simple, old-school, and brilliant. His work ethic reminds Gregg Popovich of Chris Mullin, and at 21, his performance on the big stage hints at something beyond All-Star caliber.

Ouch.

Leonard could have been a King. And he could have been a Warrior, though at least Golden State officials can be comforted by Klay Thompson's presence. The 6-foot-8 Leonard was available in 2011 at No.7 - the pick the Kings owned - and after draft day deal with Milwaukee (dumping Beno Udrih, re-acquiring John Salmons), he was still there when Sacramento selected at No. 10. Instead, the Kings traded for Salmons, drafted Jimmer Fredette, and the Spurs acquired Leonard at No.15 after swapping George Hill to the Indiana Pacers.

During our conversation earlier in the week, San Diego State coach Steve Fisher offered a few thoughts on Leonard, the former Aztec standout who turned pro after his sophomore season: "I thought Kawhi would be good, but not this soon, obviously. He has the biggest hands of anyone I have coached since Chris Webber (Michigan). And he has worked really hard on his shooting ... is making quite a name for himself. He is a gym rat at the top of anybody's list. I couldn't be happier for him."


Other p.m. thoughts:

* Val Ackerman, the new commissioner of the reconfigured Big East, remains the most influential figure in women's professional basketball ... next to NBA Commissioner David Stern. Ackerman, who was regarded as one of the league's original salary cap experts (just listen to Jerry West), started pressing Stern to finance a women's league in the late 1980s. She received major support from Russ Granik, Rod Thorn, Rick Welts, among others, and anticipated the inception of the WNBA in 1992 - right after the Barcelona Olympics. Instead, when the U.S. women's team faltered and the squandered the momentum, plans were tabled until Tara VanDerveer led an undefeated Team USA to a perfect record in the 1996 Games.

* If you're Boston GM Danny Ainge, at least Doc Rivers (three-years, $21 million) didn't dump you for the Lakers. Besides, it's rare that so much coaching talent is still available at this point in the same offseason: George Karl, Lionel Hollins and Nate McMillan, to name a few.

* Former New York Knicks GM and Phoenix Suns assistant Al Bianchi is writing his memoirs, entitled "A Face In The Crowd: A Journeyman's Trip To the NBA." New Kings assistant GM Mike Bratz is a key figure in the book, according to Al. "Mike was a great kid," Bianchi told me Tuesday, "one of those kids who was always on the bubble. He wasn't overly quick, but could really shoot the ball, and just wanted to play. Everybody writes about the superstars, but to me, the journeymen are the most interesting."

* Mike Bibby coming to town for the NBA Draft proceedings? About time. His lethal jump shot and deceptive, change-of-pace dribble-drives have been missed. And it's interesting to see TV clips of Shaquille O'Neal dining with Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov earlier tonight in Menlo Park. Shaq - who was genuinely disappointed the Maloofs didn't attempt to sign him when he became a free agent - undoubtedly could help DeMarcus Cousins, though his schedule with TNT should give pause. So where is Bill Walton anyway? IN terms of explaining fundamentals and footwork, Walton is a walking, talking, limping, genius.

* Fredette has skills, but right now, he's a 6-foot-2, catch-and-shoot player. If he improves his ballhandling and adjusts to the physicality of the league, who knows? He has excellent instincts and court vision. Meantime, he just needs to run to his spots and shoot the ball.

June 25, 2013
Kings extend qualifying offer to Tyreke Evans

The Kings have extended a qualifying offer to guard Tyreke Evans, making him a restricted free agent, the team announced this afternoon.

If Evans plays under the one-year qualifying offer, he'd earn $6.9 million next season.

The Kings still can negotiate a long-term deal with Evans, which was the strategy with Jason Thompson last year when he was a restricted free agent.

Thompson eventually signed a five-year contract.

The Kings can also match any offer sheet Evans signs with another team. Evans averaged a career-low 15.2 points last season, though his shooting percentage from the field (.478) and three-point range (.338) were career highs.

Evans was NBA Rookie of the Year after the 2009-10 season when he averaged 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

For his career, Evans is averaging 17.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals in four seasons.

June 25, 2013
Kings officially add Brendan Malone to coaching staff

The Kings announced Brendan Malone, father of head coach Michael Malone, has been officially added to the coaching staff as an assistant coach.

"I'm excited to add a coach with the breadth of basketball knowledge my father provides," Michael Malone said in a statement. "Aside from the benefits of having a trusted family member by my side, he's a talented coach who brings more than 25 years of invaluable NBA experience to Sacramento."

The Malones are the second father/son combination to serve as head coaches. Bill Musselman was a head coach before his son, Eric, who coached Golden State and the Kings.

Brendan Malone was the first coach of the Toronto Raptors are serving as an assistant coach in Detroit and winning two NBA Championships under Chuck Daly.

The Kings have two assistant coaches under contract - Brendan Malone and Chris Jent.

June 22, 2013
Tyreke Evans to appear at Roburt Sallie's basketball camp

Former Valley High School star Roburt Sallie will host the second day of his Chasing Dreams Basketball Camp on Sunday at Natomas High School.

I stopped by the camp today and Sallie said the fee for tomorrow alone would be half of the $95 fee that covered two days.

Kings guard Tyreke Evans, who was Sallie's college teammate at Memphis, will be at the camp tomorrow.

Camp begins at 12:30 p.m.

Natomas High School
3301 Fong Ranch Road
Sacramento, CA 95833

June 22, 2013
Pete D'Alessandro talks after Saturday's predraft workout

Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro spent some time with the media today and covered a few topics.

There were several interesting tidbits but I've picked out a few that caught my attention.

*D'Alessandro said if he'd been hired in Denver as general manager he would have looked to add Shareef Abdur-Rahim to his front office.

Abdur-Rahim is the only holdover from Petrie's staff. Mike Bratz was hired as assistant general manager.

"I evaluate talent in front offices," D'Alessandro said. "I think the good people do. When you go out on the road and you're watching players, you've got draft workouts and doing all that stuff, who are the guys out there looking for a job and who are the guys who are actually down there, taking notes and paying attention to what they do. And he's one of the top-notch people."

*D'Alessandro spoke highly of George McCloud, who is onboard as a scout

D'Alessandro called McCloud an "outside-the-box thinker" and a "blend guy" in terms of how he spots talent.

It's one thing to point out the obvious - LeBron James is a good player. But spotting players that can play with someone like James is a skill McCloud has, according to D'Alessandro.

"Those are the guys he's really good at identifying," D'Alessandro said.

That will be important with the Kings. Many scouts around the NBA describe the Kings as a collection of individual talent that doesn't blend well together.

D'Alessandro has known McCloud since the 1990s, when he was still playing in the NBA and D'Alessandro worked for a sports agency.

"Whenever I spoke to George it wasn't 'Hey I really like that player,'" D'Alessandro said. "It was 'I like that player, but not on that team, I like that player on this team for this reason.' And he always had reasons for how someone plays off someone. I always found that his ideas a lot of times they came through."

*D'Alessandro also discussed two of his players. He said he's spoken with Tyreke Evans, who was at Friday's predraft workout.

He also addressed DeMarcus Cousins, who has been instructed by his agent Dan Fegan not to say anything publicly about the Kings.

Cousins is eligible for a contract extension this summer. But that's a tricky proposition as long as Cousins' maturity is a concern after run-ins with coaches, teammates, officials and a broadcaster in his first three seasons.

If not for those issues, offering Cousins a maximum contract would be close to a no-brainer.

Cousins' silence could be interpreted as a sign he wants to be traded, but that is not the case. He does not want to be traded.

Fans, however, would like to hear that from Cousins.

D'Alessandro said he has a good relationship with Fegan.

"A lot of this stuff gets somewhat blown out of proportion," D'Alessandro said. "This league is what it is, there's no surprises here. I can't wait to get my time to sit down with DeMarcus. I think face time is what it really is. You don't know someone until you look them in the eyes. I don't want to have a phone call. It'll happen, we'll get there and I will keep you updated."

*Right about now Shabazz Muhammad might be finishing up lunch with D'Alessandro.

Muhammad was at the practice facility today for a predraft workout but sat it out because of a sore left ankle.

D'Alessandro said he's seen Muhammad play and was looking forward to sitting down with him for lunch.

This is Muhammad's second visit with Sacramento, so it's obvious the Kings are considering him with their first-round pick in the draft.

D'Alessandro said his war room is set up and his team will be ready for Thursday's draft.

*D'Alessandro likened Bratz to a "free agent signing."

Why?

"He's that good."

June 21, 2013
Shabazz Muhammad returns for a second workout

After impressing in his first workout, the Kings will host UCLA guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad for a second predraft workout.

Muhammad joins Tony Snell as the only other prospect the Kings will have hosted twice. Muhammad is a candidate to be selected with the Kings' first-round pick, seventh overall.

Muhammad's stock was said to be falling and that he could end up not being drafted in the top-10.

But the Kings clearly liked what they saw and want new general manager Pete D'Alessandro to have a closer look at Muhammad.

Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum is scheduled to workout for a second time for the Kings on Monday.

Here is the lineup for Saturday:

Doug Anderson (Detroit), 6-6, 212
A.J. Davis (James Madison) 6-6, 210
John Dickson (Sacramento State) 6-6, 200
Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), 6-6, 222
Mfon Udofia (Georgia Tech) 6-2, 195
Kwame Vaughn (Cal State Fullerton) 6-3, 195

June 21, 2013
Kings make Bratz hiring official, add George McCloud to scouting department

The Kings officially announced the hiring of Mike Bratz as assistant general manager.

Bratz is a former player and coach with the Kings. He worked with new general manager Pete D'Alessandro for three seasons in Denver.

Bratz spent last season as director of player personnel for the Nuggets.

"Adding Mike to the front office provides our organization with a tremendously valuable basketball professional," said D'Alessandro in a statement. "He brings 35 years of NBA experience serving in nearly every role the game has to offer. During our time together in Denver, I came to know Mike as one of the classiest, hardest working individuals in our business. It gives me great pleasure to welcome him back to Northern California."

Bratz is from Lompoc, Calif., and played for the Kings in their first season in Sacramento.

Bratz was also an assistant coach with the Kings for for seven seasons (1991-92, 1993-94 - 1997-98).

He also worked as a scout and radio analyst.

*The Kings have also hired former NBA player George McCloud as a scout. He played 12 seasons in the NBA with Indiana, Dallas, the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets.

June 21, 2013
NBA, Heat, Spurs, Stern, Incredible Finale


There were too many blowouts for me to rate this championship series as a classic, but Games 6 and 7 represented the best of the NBA. I have covered this league since 1981, sat courtside for the Finals duels with Bird, Magic, Jordan, Charles, Stockton, Malone, Kobe, Shaq, etc., and these last two games were magical. This was compelling old-school basketball, with none of the flexing (see Dwight Howard) or nonsense that too often detracts from today's game. This was passing, shooting, defense, teamwork, unselfishness, major contributions from role players (Shane Battier) and emerging stars (Kawhi Leonard), and mostly, the greatness of future Hall of Famers LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Tim Duncan.

A few final thoughts:

* Duncan is 37 years old. Two years ago, he converts that two-footer (or the putback) over the smaller Battier that would have tied the game. He still finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four steals - this, coming off his 30-point, 17-rebound performance in Game 6. Who does that at 37?

* Tony Parker's hamstring injury was probably far more serious than the Spurs let on. While LeBron deserves major credit for his defense, there is no way a healthy Parker goes scoreless in a seventh game if he's healthy.

* Despite bad knees, Wade always produces in the clutch.

* Manu Ginobili always produces in the post-game interview session.

* This enduring perception that LeBron should be punished for leaving Cleveland is beyond ridiculous. Yes, we all have soft spots for the superstars who begin and end their careers with the same franchise (Bird, Magic, Stockton, etc.), but go back and look at the Cleveland Cavaliers roster that reached the 2007 NBA Finals against these same Spurs. The Cavs had seven years to provide a supporting cast for LeBron. Seven years. That's on them.

* Interest in the Game 7 prompted owners of my corner restaurant to turn on the overhead television - for the first time since I've been buying salads-to-go for the past 15 years. Just guessing, but the TV ratings must be a records-buster.

* Kudos to Heat president Pat Riley (for continuing to put the players and coaches in place) and owner Micky Arison for celebrating David Stern during the post-game trophy presentation. As Arison noted, this is Stern's last championship series, and given the Commissioner's contributions to his league, this is a grand finale. Also, for those in Sacramento? Arison, who is a member of the finance/relocation committee, was an unwavering backer of keeping the Kings in town.

June 20, 2013
Former Kings player, assistant coach Mike Bratz set to become new assistant general manager

Former Kings player and assistant coach Mike Bratz is on his way to Sacramento to finalize a deal to become the Kings' new assistant general manager.

Bratz had served as director of college scouting for the Denver Nuggets since 2008 and will be reunited with new Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro, who was hired from Denver.

Before joining Denver, Bratz worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers in various roles, including scout, director of player personnel and director of basketball operations from 2000-07.

So Bratz was also in Cleveland while Michael Malone was an assistant coach with the Cavaliers.

Bratz was an assistant coach with the Kings from 1991-97 and an assistant with Washington (1999-00).

Bratz played nine seasons in the NBA with stops in Phoenix, Cleveland, San Antonio, Chicago, Golden State and Sacramento.

Bratz is a Stanford graduate and a member of its Athletic Hall of Fame.

June 19, 2013
D'Alessandro and Malone already working well together

Kings coach Michael Malone is happy to have the general manager that will be making the decisions in next week's NBA Draft on board:

"Having him here is great moving forward. As I mentioned yesterday, Geoff Petrie and his whole staff were nothing but great to me but now having a guy in here, who we're going to be here together moving forward, is terrific. We've met a lot, we've talked a lot, we've had a lot of meals together, talking about the direction we want to go with our team, the draft, free agency. It's a great knowing I have a partner moving forward."

On the draft being close and the front office still in transition:

"We're getting there. It' just nice knowing I have a GM in place in Pete D'Alessandro. And me, him, Vivek (Ranadive), we're going to get the draft done ... there's no concern."

*Malone said his father, Brendan would be in town next week to join the coaching staff. There are two more spots Malone would like to fill within the next week.

Major differences

Tim Hardaway Jr. was one of the six players at today's predraft workout.

Hardaway said he was glad I acknowledged that his game is not like his father's. That should be obvious, but it's a lazy assumption given their physical differences.

Senior was a 5-11 point guard who could break down defenders and had one of the coldest crossovers the game has ever seen.

Junior is a 6-6 shooting guard.

Then there's their very different upbringings and college experiences. Senior played at UTEP while Junior was at Michigan, one of the country's premier programs:

"We grew up in two different types of backgrounds, two different types of situations. He grew up and all he thought about was basketball. Chicago was a basketball city. Miami, the limelight, you're hanging out with your friends, you've got South Beach, you've got movies. We grew up in two different types of worlds."

Highlighting those different worlds was Junior noting his father has a lot of his games on VHS tapes from his days with the Miami Heat.

If Junior wants to catch up on his dad's Golden State days in the early 1990s, he has to find a computer.

"That's when I go on YouTube and type in Run TMC or type in his name and I really see what they were all about back then," Junior said.

Junior is projected as a first-round pick, just like Senior, who was the 14th pick in 1989 by the Warriors.

Summer league schedule announced

Below is the summer league schedule for the Kings, next month at UNLV

Preliminary round games

July 13: vs. Dallas, 3 p.m., Cox Pavilion
July 15: vs. Golden State, 5:30 p.m., Thomas & Mack Center
July 16: vs. Toronto, 3 p.m., Cox Pavilion

Teams will be seeded for a double-elimination tournament starting July 17.

Teams seeded 1-10 will have a bye in the first round.

All teams are guaranteed to play five games. The championship game is July 22.

For tickets call 702-739-FANS, visit UNLVtickets.com or any UNLV ticket outlet.

June 18, 2013
Former Sac High star among players working out Wednesday

The Kings will have some familiar names at Wednesday's predraft workout.
There will be the son of one of the best point guards of his era (Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan), a former local high school star (Chase Tapley, San Diego State) and a player the Kings have hosted once already (Tony Snell, New Mexico).

Hardaway was a key player for the Wolverines, who lost to Louisville in the NCAA Championship game.

Tapley starred at Sacramento High School before a solid career with the Aztecs.

Snell is back for his second workout with the Kings. He's reportedly rising up the draft boards of NBA teams because of his length and shooting ability, two things the Kings could use.

Lineup for Wednesday workout:

Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan) 6-6, 205
Ra'Shad James (Northwood) 6-1, 197
Trent Lockett (Marquette) 6-5, 210
Tony Snell (New Mexico) 6-7, 198
Chase Tapley (San Diego State) 6-2, 203
Rodney Williams (Minnesota) 6-6, 204

June 17, 2013
Chris Mullin put in good word for Pete D'Alessandro; Kings would welcome Mullin's help in future

Vivek Ranadive felt he'd found his new general manager last week after interviewing Pete D'Alessandro.

Still, the Kings owner made a phone call who knows D'Alessandro well - his boss from 2004-08 in Golden State - Chris Mullin.

After being told by Mullin that D'Alessandro was the "smartest guy out there" Ranadive was assured he would be making the right decision by picking someone he considered a "long shot" for the job.

Ranadive preferred an executive with experience and this is D'Alessandro's first time being in charge of a team's basketball operations.

It also meant Ranadive's first two hires had ties to Golden State.

New coach Michael Malone was an assistant for the Warriors the last two seasons.

"I had a very high bar for this," Ranadive said. "And when I spoke to Pete it just clicked. The fact that he was at Golden State was not a factor."

The Kings have already offered Mullin a job as a consultant for the team.

D'Alessandro is the man over basketball operations but adding an experienced voice is something the Kings would like to do as part of the new regime.

"We'll have to look at how we can have Mully help us," Ranadive said. "He's a legend in the area and we all know him well and it would be great to have his help."

June 16, 2013
Kings offer Chris Mullin a role in front office


The Kings have offered Hall of Fame player and former Golden State Warriors executive Chris Mullin a role as a consultant, The Bee learned.

Sources spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the private nature of the offer.

Mullin was the top basketball executive for the Warriors from 2004-09. New Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro worked for the Warriors from 2004-08, the final two years as assistant general manager.

The Kings will introduce D'Alessandro at a press conference Monday afternoon at Sleep Train Arena.

If the Kings do bring in Mullin, it would fuel speculation about the Kings' future pursuit of free agent guard Monta Ellis.

Mullin drafted Ellis in 2005 when D'Alessandro.

Ellis reportedly turned down a contract extension from the Milwaukee Bucks and would be interested in playing for the Kings and new coach Michael Malone.

June 15, 2013
Kings hire Pete D'Alessandro as new general manager

The Kings have hired Pete D'Alessandro as their new general manager, a source confirmed.

D'Alessandro will replace Geoff Petrie, who has been the Kings' top decision maker in basketball operations for 19 years, but will not have his contract renewed when it expires June 30.

D'Alessandro comes to the Kings after serving as vice president of basketball operations for the Denver Nuggets last season. He'd been with Denver for three seasons.

The hiring ends a search that saw new majority owner Vivek Ranadive going with an executive that his touted for his statistical analysis and knowledge of the salary cap.

Memphis general manager Chris Wallace and former Indiana general manager David Morway had met with the Ranadive recently.

D'Alessandro was praised by former Denver general manager Masai Ujiri for his work. D'Alessandro played a key role in the Carmelo Anthony trade that allowed the Nuggets to trade their star while also acquiring enough talent to remain competitive in the Western Conference.

D'Alessandro will have to get caught up on the Kings' roster quickly as the NBA Draft is June 27. The Kings own the seventh overall pick in the first round and have been running draft workouts under the supervision of Petrie's staff.

D'Alsessandro isn't new to Northern California, having worked under Chris Mullin in Golden State for four seasons (2004-08) including two years as assistant general manager.

D'Alessandro's hiring only adds to a tumultuous offseason for the Nuggets. Since being upset in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs by Golden State, the Nuggets will go into next season without two key leaders.

Ujiri left to become Toronto's general manager after the Nuggets granted him permission to speak with the Raptors. Ujiri was NBA Executive of the Year this season.

D'Alessandro was considered a top candidate to replace Ujiri, but the Nuggets granted him permission to interview for the Kings job.

Coach George Karl, weeks after being named NBA Coach of the Year, was fired last week.

The remaking of the Kings' front office likely isn't complete. Someone like Wallace could still be brought in as president of basketball operations.

D'Alessandro will also have to fill out his staff and begin assessing areas such as the scouting department.

June 12, 2013
Kings meet with Chris Wallace about GM opening again

Kings ownership met with Memphis general manager Chris Wallace for a third time Wednesday in the Bay Area.

Wallace had widely been assumed to be the lead candidate to be the new Kings general manager early in the process, but the Kings have continued to speak with numerous candidates.

Wallace has been given permission to speak with the Kings because his role is diminished under new ownership in Memphis.

San Antonio assistant general manager Scott Layden is expected to meet with new majority owner Vivek Ranadive later this week.

Another name that has surfaced is Atlanta advisor and former general manager Rick Sund. It should be noted Sund has a good relationship with Jerry West who Ranadive has looked to for guidance during this process.

June 12, 2013
Reports: Sund, Layden added to the Kings GM mix

Add two more names to the list of candidates to be the new Kings general manager.

ESPN reports San Antonio assistant general manager Scott Layden.

USA Today also reports the Kings have done background work on former Atlanta general manager and current team advisor Rick Sund, who would partner with Golden State assistant general manager Travis Schlenk.

June 12, 2013
Colangelo, Cousins, Team USA, Try Again


USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo had issues with DeMarcus Cousins in the opening days of the national team training camp last summer in Las Vegas, but apparently, that's all in the past. Cousins accepted an invitation to participate in the July 22-25 national team mini-camp, again in Las Vegas. The list of invitees is a who's who of young NBA stars, among them Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Ryan Anderson, Damian Lillard, John Wall, and Kawhi Leonard, to name a few.

Players competing in the mini-camp enhances their prospects for being named to the national squad for the 2014-16 international season, including the 2016 Olympics. Mike Kryzyewski returns as head coach, with Jim Boeheim, Monty Williams and Tom Thibodeau as his assistants.

Of greatest significance for Cousins? The list of 27 players only includes three other centers - Greg Monroe, Tyler Zeller and Andre Drummond. Despite his early issues with Colangelo, Cousins also received strong public endorsements last summer from Kobe Bryant, along with private praise within USAB for his effort during the majority of the training session.

"DeMarcus and I talked," Colangelo said the other day. "He has another chance. He did a lot of things well last summer."

June 12, 2013
Cody Zeller will workout for Kings on Thursday

The Kings will host Indiana center Cody Zeller for an individual predraft workout Saturday.

Zeller was viewed by many as a lock to be a top-5, if not top-3 draft choice before the season. He had a solid sophomore season (16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds per game), but wasn't the dominant force some expected.

That's why the 7-footer could be available when the Kings select in the first round of the NBA Draft June 27.

Regardless of the criticism, Zeller is one of the most talented bigs available. He can score in the post and is a good athlete. Zeller also has a nice shooting touch from the perimeter.

June 12, 2013
DeMarcus Cousins accepts invitation to Team USA minicamp

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is one of 27 players invited to attend the USA Men's Basketball minicamp July 22-25 in Las Vegas.

Cousins was apart of the USA Select Team that played against the USA Olympic Team last summer.

The invitees also include former Oak Ridge High School and Cal star Ryan Anderson.

Some wondered if Cousisn would be in the group after USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Cousins needed to mature last summer.

But again, Cousins is the only King represented on a bigger stage outside of Sacramento. Three years ago it would have been assumed Tyreke Evans would be in the mix, too.

Evans game hasn't taken off the way many assumed it would while Cousins continues to show the premium placed on talented big men.

"The majority of these players have prior USA Basketball experience including 10 members of last summer's USA Select Team that helped prepare the U.S. Olympic Team," Colangelo said in a statement. "This year is an important first step in the rebuilding of the USA National Team roster for the 2014-16 international competitions, and we believe we have compiled a roster of not only outstanding basketball talents, but individuals who will represent the United States in the manner we expect."

The players confirmed to attend are:

Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Pelicans
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons
Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets
Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers

June 11, 2013
NBA fines Kings for Malone comments about Chris Paul

The Kings were one of three teams fined by the league Tuesday for statements, remarks, conduct, etc., that could be construed as "tampering" with a player who is currently under contract. In a slight slip of the tongue during his introductory press conference 10 days ago, rookie coach Michael Malone mentioned that Chris Paul "would look good in a Kings uniform."

An assistant in New Orleans when the veteran point guard was with the Hornets, Malone was responding to a question about his relationship with the Clippers free-agent-to-be.

"The Kings organization accepts the league's decision and regret any infraction of the policy," team spokesman Chris Clark said. The amount of the fine was not disclosed. The Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks were also fined.

June 10, 2013
Larry Bird no longer in Kings GM mix

Hall of Fame forward Larry Bird, who has discussed the Kings GM vacancy with new owner Vivek Ranadive and was said to be at least mildly intrigued, told team officials that he is no longer interested in the position. Bird sat out the 2012-13 season and is weighing whether to return to the Indiana Pacers - where he has an open invitation to resume his role as the team's top basketball executive - or to extend his sabbatical a second season, both for personal and health reasons.

Bird, 56, is the highest profile candidate on Ranadive's wish list. The incoming owner is continuing to speak with a number of individuals about his club's most important front office position, and has interviewed Chris Wallace, Travis Schlenk, David Morway, Mike Dunleavy and Chris Mullin, among others.

Former Kings star Chris Webber, who for years has expressed a desire to rejoin his former club in a personnel capacity, also met with Ranadive on at least one occasion, and his TNT cohort (and one-time King) Kenny Smith on Monday revealed that he has spoken to the new owners about a personnel position.

In the absence of a GM, head coach Michael Malone continues to supervise pre-draft workouts at the Kings practice facility.

June 10, 2013
Chris Jent added to Kings coaching staff

The Kings officially announced the hiring of assistant coach Chris Jent today.

Jent spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Ohio State.

"Adding Chris to our coaching staff provides the team with a coach who will remain loyal to the mission of returning this franchise to prominence," said coach Michael Malone in a statement. "He's experienced at the professional and collegiate levels, is extremely well-prepared, and has made a significant contribution in every stop along his coaching career."

Jent had a 10-year professional career including two seasons in the NBA. He was a part of the 1994 Houston Rockets team that won the NBA Championship.

Jent is noted for his work with shooters and is widely credited with improving the jump shot of four-time league MVP LeBron James.


June 10, 2013
Report: Kenny Smith says he's talking to Kings about joining franchise

Add "The Jet" to the mix for a new voice in the Kings front office.

Former King and current TNT analyst Kenny "The Jet" Smith told USA Today at the NBA Finals he has spoken with new majority owner Vivek Ranadive about a role with the franchise.

"We've been talking; we've been talking," Smith said. "That's all I'm going to say."

June 9, 2013
Shabazz Muhammad headlines Monday's predraft workout

The Kings will also host a six-player predraft workout Monday.

The headliner is Shabazz Muhammad, the talented forward from UCLA who has seen his stock fall of late.

Some say Muhammad underachieved at UCLA in averaging 17.9 points as a freshman. Eligibility issues as well as questions about his real age were issues in his lone season in Westwood.

Below is the lineup for the workout:

Brandon Davies (BYU, 6-foot-10, Forward)
Elias Harris (Gonzaga, 6-foot-7, Forward)
Zeke Marshall (Akron, 7-foot, Center)
Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota, 6-foot-8, Forward)
Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA, 6-foot-6, Guard-Forward)
Romero Osby (Oklahoma, 6-foot-7, Forward)

June 9, 2013
Kings granted permission to interview Denver VP for Kings GM opening

The Kings have been granted permission to interview Denver vice president of basketball operations Pete D'Alessandro in their search for a new leader of their basketball operations.

The Kings have met with numerous candidates, most recently former Indiana general manager David Morway, since Vivek Ranadive took over as majority owner and began looking for someone to replace Geoff Petrie.

No interview has been scheduled yet. Word the Kings asked for permission to interview D'Alessandro came last Thursday, the same day coach George Karl was fired.

June 8, 2013
Michael Malone gets competitive in workouts

Michael Malone likes to coach defense. He's also willing to play defense.

"I don't mind getting down and playing a little defense and playing pick-and-roll," Malone said after the first of two predraft workouts the Kings hosted. "I know I'm competitive and I think when they sense my energy and my enthusiasm they kind of feed off of that as well. And guys that don't have that will obviously stick out."

Malone was asked about that and if he had to be creative with workouts considering he doesn't have his entire coaching staff. Malone said there are "plenty of bodies" available, including his own to get the job done.

Malone did have one additional coach helping (along with former assistant coach Bobby Jackson) on Saturday.

Chris Jent was on the court as part of the workout team, even though his hiring has not been made official.

Roy Rogers, another candidate to join the staff was at the workout but was not on the court with the players.

Malone said there was nothing formal to announce as far as hiring Jent or Rogers.

Malone said he'd like to hire four assistant coaches and additional staffers to serve in player development roles.

Until there is a formal announcement, Malone's only confirmed addition to the staff is his father, Brendan.

Meanwhile, Malone is making the most out of the workouts.

"I want to get into the intangibles," Malone said. "I want to try to get inside these guys and see what kind of heart that they have, what kind of competitive soul that they have and see if they can fit into the culture that we're trying to create."

C.J. McCollum, a guard the Kings could use the seventh pick on, described Malone as "high intensity."

"I love his style a lot," McCollum said. "He's a Queens guy. He's been in basketball for a long time and he knows the game."

*Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov were among those watching Saturday morning's workout.

*Louisville guard Peyton Siva said Kings guard Isaiah Thomas sent him a text message before his workout on Saturday. Both are from the state of Washington.

*Michael Carter-Williams said he's out to show teams he's improved his perimeter shooting. He shot 29.2 percent on three pointers as a sophomore at Syracuse.

*McCollum said he can play point or shooting guard. Might he be this year's Stephen Curry? He's heard the comparisons. Both are 6-foot-3, come from smaller schools (Curry played at Davision, McCollum at Lehigh) and are proficient shooters from long distance.

June 7, 2013
Chris Jent set to join Michael Malone's coaching staff

Some quick updates from a busy Friday for the Kings:

Besides hosting Trey Burke for a pre-draft workout, a source confirmed Chris Jent will join the Kings coaching staff as Michael Malone's lead assistant.

Jent has been an assistant coach at Ohio State for two seasons after serving as an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jent worked with Malone while he was also an assistant with the Cavaliers.

Jent is the second coach to join Malone's staff. Malone had already stated his father, longtime NBA coach Brendan, would be on the staff.

Another name to monitor as Malone fills out his staff is Roy Rogers.

He's highly sought after for his work with big men.

Rogers was on Lawrence Frank's staff in Detroit and credited with the strides made by Greg Monroe and rookie Andre Drummond's development.

Jent is noted for improving the shooting of his players.

Former Indiana general manager David Morway interviewed with the Kings. Morway worked under Larry Bird - whom new majority owner Vivek Ranadive is after to run basketball operations - before being replaced with Kevin Pritchard by Bird.

The relationship between Bird and Morway apparently didn't end well but Morway has been a candidate for jobs since, including Orlando and Portland.


June 7, 2013
Trey Burke, top point guard in draft, works out for Kings

The Kings hosted Michigan point guard Trey Burke for an individual pre-draft workout Friday.

Burke (6-1, 187) is considered the top point guard by most draft pundits and the highest rated player the Kings have hosted in two pre-draft workout sessions.

BURKE.jpegBurke (pictured) said the information he has is that he could be drafted as high second and as low as seventh, where the Kings pick in the first round.

June 6, 2013
Coaching market flooded with competent, accomplished candidates

New Kings coach Michael Malone, who spent 12 seasons as an assistant, might rue the day he joined the head coaching brotherhood. Job security there is not. The Denver Nuggets firing of George Karl Thursday - and assuming the Memphis Grizzlies' officially cut Lionel Hollins loose - means that more than one-third of the league's coaches were fired. To be precise, 12 of 30 head coaches were fired, including six who led their teams into the playoffs.

I can't remember a time when the coaching market was flooded with so many competent and accomplished candidates (Nate McMillan, Hollins, Jeff and Stan Van Gundy, Phil Jackson, Doug Collins, etc.), and certainly none moreso than the Nuggets' Karl. In his ninth and final season in Denver, Karl led a balanced, but moderately talented team to a franchise-record 57 victories. The injuries to Danilo Gallinari (out for year), Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson hampered the Nuggets and contributed mightily to their first-round elimination by the Golden State Warriors. And it goes without saying that it's extremely difficult in this league to win without at least two legitimate stars.

Karl's inability to get the Nuggets beyond the first round, coupled with his request for a contract extension and more security, reportedly prompted team president Josh Kroenke to part ways with the second key Nuggets figure (Masai Ujiri) in the past several days. But Kroenke may have a few regrets this time next year, because no coach in this league squeezes more out of his talent than George Karl. A two-time cancer survivor and future Hall of Famer, Karl wins wherever he goes. He won't be out of work long.

June 6, 2013
Trey Burke to workout for Kings Friday

Michigan guard Trey Burke will participate in a pre-draft workout Friday for the Kings.

Burke left Michigan after winning several Player of the Year awards as a sophomore and losing in the NCAA Championship game.

Burke (6-1, 190) is widely considered the best point guard available. The Kings passed on the top point guard in last year's draft, Damian Lillard.

Lillard went on to go one pick after the Kings selected Thomas Robinson at No. 5 and was the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year for Portland.

Burke averaged 18.6 points and 6.7 assists last season

June 6, 2013
Denver's Pete D'Alessandro is newest name Kings are looking at for GM

The Kings search for a new head of basketball operations continues to expand with the team asking permission to speak with Denver vice president of basketball operations Pete D'Alessandro.

D'Alessandro worked closely with former Denver general manager Masai Ujiri, who left the Nuggets for a more lucrative deal with the Toronto.

D'Alessandro could also replace Ujiri unless another team makes an offer the Nuggets do not match, as the Raptors did with Ujiri.

The Kings introduced new head coach Michael Malone on Monday but it appears they will go into next week looking for a new general manager.

Yahoo! Sports reports Ohio State assistant coach Chris Jent has been offered a three-year deal to become Malone's lead assistant.

Malone and Jent worked together in Cleveland.

Another name to watch as a possible assistant is Roy Rogers, who was on Detroit's staff last season. He's being sought after by several teams after the job he did with the young bigs in Detroit under Lawrence Frank.

Rogers was credited with playing a big role in developing Detroit rookie big man Andre Drummond. Rogers would obviously take on the task of working with DeMarcus Cousins.

Like Cousins, Rogers is an Alabama native.

Malone's father, Brendan, is the only name confirmed that will be on the staff.

June 5, 2013
Kings in talks with Larry Bird to run basketball operations

Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive has been in conversations with NBA legend Larry Bird about a role in running basketball operations, The Bee has learned.

But contrary to a report earlier, Ranadive did not meet with Bird today.

Ranadive continues to explore candidates to replace basketball president Geoff Petrie, whose contract expires at the end of the month.

Bird had been a coach and executive with the Indiana Pacers. Bird brought in many of the players that were a part of this season's Pacers that lost in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Kings have also had discussions about bringing in former star Chris Webber to the organization in some role. Webber is not a candidate to be the team's general manager.


June 5, 2013
Ranadive meeting with Larry Bird?

Vivek Ranadive's interest in Larry Bird to run basketball operations has been well known since he took control of the Kings.

According to longtime NBA writer Peter Vecsey, Ranadive is meeting with Bird today.

Bird is the biggest name of the known candidates to replace Geoff Petrie. Chris Mullin, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Wallace and Travis Schlenk are also candidates.




June 4, 2013
Report: Malone reached out to Chris Jent for coaching position

New Kings coach Michael Malone has already cleared out the previous coaching staff and announced his father, Brendan, will be on his staff.

Who Malone wants on his staff is beginning to take shape with a report he has already reached out to Patrick Ewing and now former Cleveland and current Ohio State assistant Chris Jent, per Yahoo! Sports.

Jent is credited with helping fix LeBron James' jump shot and would be welcomed on a Kings squad that has struggled to shoot efficiently.

June 4, 2013
Kings fire rest of Smart's coaching staff; Bobby Jackson to be reassigned

The Kings announced assistant coaches Alex English, Clifford Ray, Jim Eyen and Bobby Jackson have all been fired, effective immediately.

Jackson, however, will remain with the organization in another capacity, according to the press release sent by the team.

The contracts for the assistant coaches expire June 30.

New head coach Michael Malone met with the assistants Tuesday morning to inform them of his decision.

Malone has already said his father, Brendan Malone, would join his staff.

Malone could find himself competing with Charlotte coach Steve Clifford for assistant coaches. Both have ties to Bob Beyer, an assistant with Golden State that also coached with Clifford in Orlando.

Both are also considering Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing for a coaching position.

Clifford worked with Ewing in Orlando and Houston. Ewing is also good friends with Charlotte owner Michael Jordan.

June 4, 2013
DeMarcus Cousins is invited to Team USA minicamp

New Kings owner Vivek Ranadive says he wants DeMarcus Cousins to become an international star.

Now there's word Cousins could still eventually represent America in international competition.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told Yahoo! Sports Cousins is invited to Team USA's minicamp next month.

Cousins was part of the select team that practiced against Team USA last summer. Cousins drew praise from the likes of Kobe Bryant, but Colangelo said Cousins had "some growing up to do" and needed to "mature."

Cousins responded by seeking out Colangelo for an explanation and said he never was told how he had been immature with the select team.

But even with that and a season marred by three suspensions and piling up technical fouls, Cousins can still earn his way onto Team USA.

"You bury the past and go forward," Colangelo said. "He's invited and he's definitely on the list. New year, new summer, new opportunity."


June 4, 2013
Malone: Chris Paul would look pretty good in a Sacramento Kings uniform

After being formally introduced as the Kings head coach Monday, Michael Malone didn't discourage speculation about his new team's possible pursuit of free-agent-to-be Chris Paul. Among other things, the Clippers point guard is upset because Clips owner Donald Sterling told reporters that coach Vinny Del Negro was fired because his most important players - Paul and Blake Griffin - weren't fans. More importantly, Malone, who spent 12 years as an NBA assistant before landing the Kings job, became close with Paul when the two were with the New Orleans Hornets.

"Obviously, Chris would look pretty good in a Sacramento Kings uniform without a doubt," Malone said. "He's a great friend, somebody I had a great relationship with when I spent time with him in New Orleans. We stay in touch. He's got a lot of things going on right now. As I told him recently, I care about him. I hope he's okay, and whatever decision he makes is best for him and his family, and I'll always be rooting for him."

And, by the way, the name is Michael. Malone's father, Brendan, who will be an assistant on the Kings coaching staff, said no one in the family has ever called him "Mike." The family's deep Irish Catholic roots were apparent during the media session: Michael Malone's daughters, Caitlin (8) and Bridget (6), have thick red hair.

June 3, 2013
Geoff Petrie working with new coach during transition

Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie is still playing a key role with the team even as he knows he's in his final month with the franchise.

Until the Kings hire a new general manager, Petrie and his staff are running all the preparations and research leading up to the NBA Draft on June 27.

Until ownership settles on a new general manager, new coach Michael Malone is leaning on Petrie.

"I just told (Petrie) how much I appreciate him sticking around because he knows the draft a lot better than I do," Malone said. "He's been studying these guys ... and he also can offer great insights to the current players on our roster as to what their strengths, weaknesses are and personalities. But I'm still going to keep an open mind and form my opinion on these guys."

Malone said he would meet with Kings assistant coaches Tuesday.

Assistants Bobby Jackson and Alex English were at today's pre-draft workout. Jim Eyen has been an assistant under Keith Smart and Paul Westphal.

"I met with all three of the guys today before the workout," Malone said. "...I told them tomorrow we'll have a chance to sit down and talk and figure out what the best thing is going forward for them, for me."

*Malone said the Kings as constructed can be a good defensive team. Yes, that's hard to believe for anyone that has watched them in recent years.

The Kings under Westphal and Smart were an "either/or" team.

When the Kings played defense, they couldn't score. When they scored a lot, defense was an afterthought too often.

Malone said Monday if the Kings can maintain their offensive efficiency and make strides defensively, the team could improve quickly.

Malone said you don't have to have five great individual defenders to be good on defense if the scheme is right and players trust it.

The Kings talked about playing defense, but only did so in spurts.

"You just can't talk about being a good defensive team," Malone said. "It's got to be the first practice, first drill in training camp and it's got to be all year long. It's got to be something you sit on top of...I really feel with the roster the way it's situated, it can become a better defensive team."

*Malone plans to travel to meet with players on the roster. DeMarcus Cousins is in Los Angeles this week, where he hopes to meet with Malone and majority owner Vivek Ranadive.

Neither talked as if they want to trade Cousins and Malone said he is reserving judgment until he sits down with Cousins or any other player.

"At the end of the day these players are all going to have a choice to make," Malone said. "You're either going to embrace the change or resist."

Malone said he anticipates players will embrace change.

June 3, 2013
Kings introduce Michael Malone as new head coach

Kings New Leadership Basket.jpgMichael Malone didn't always pay attention to his new boss.

Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive knew he wanted Malone to be his head coach. And as he traveled to watch the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs as a minority owner, he studied Malone, an assistant on the staff.

Ranadive found he couldn't break Malone's focus.

"This man was 100 percent focused on the job at hand, which was the Warriors," Ranadive said Monday. "I tried to get his attention and he didn't even look at me. He had such intensity and such focus."

The Sacramento Kings introduced Malone as the franchise's 25th head coach Monday afternoon at Sleep Train Arena, hoping his intensity trickles down to a roster not known for focus.

June 3, 2013
Grant Hill: Accommodating, thoughtful, candid, witty and delightfully different

So, as it turns out, while many spectators in Sleep Train Arena last April 17 were wondering if the Kings would ever play another game in Sacramento, Grant Hill, one of the greatest players and most respected NBA players of his era, was sitting on the visitors bench with the Los Angeles Clippers, weeks from announcing his retirement.

Sadly, chronic ankle problems prevented him from reaching his full potential and ending his 18 seasons with an induction into the Hall of Fame. Before the injuries and the surgeries, he was a 6-foot-8 combination of grace, guile and explosiveness. He was a big cat - with terrific ballhandling skills. I'll never forget the first time I saw the former Duke standout play in person: in Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum during his freshman year.

On a team that included Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner, it was obvious that the slinky small forward, who scored, rebounded, passed and defended, already was the best player on the floor. When I caught up with Mike Krzyzewski outside the locker room afterward, I offered my first impressions - that his small forward was going to be tremendous - and asked if I was overstating Hill's abilities. Krzyzewski, whom I had gotten to know during the Dream Team Tour of 1992, smiled and shook his head.

June 2, 2013
Six players to take part in pre-draft workout Monday

The Kings announced six players will take part in a pre-draft workout Monday afternoon at the team practice facility:

Will Cherry (Montana) 6-1, 181
Chris Evans (Kent State), 6-8, 220
Rudy Gobert (Cholet - France), 7-2, 238
Aziz N'Diaye (Washington), 7-0, 260
Travis Releford (Kansas), 6-6, 210
Brandon Triche (Syracuse), 6-4, 198

The current front office staff under Geoff Petrie will run the workout.

The Kings are still conducting a search for a new general manager. Memphis general manager Chris Wallace has ascended to the top of the board as a candidate, but new majority owner Vivek Ranadive hasn't ruled out making a run at Larry Bird.

Bird put together the current Indiana Pacers roster that forced Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.

June 2, 2013
Kings to introduce Malone at Monday press conference

The Kings will introduce Michael Malone as the franchise's 25th head coach at a 1:30 p.m. press conference at Sleep Train Arena.

New majority owner Vivek Ranadive will also be present to help introduce the first major hire since assuming control of the Kings last week.

Malone has 12 years of NBA experience with the last two seasons coming in Golden State.



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