Kings Blog and Q&A

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

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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.

February 25, 2013
Report: Kings minority owner Kehriotis to offer competing bid to purchase team

According to KTXL Fox Sports director Jim Crandell, Kings minority owner John Kehriotis plans to exercise a right of first refusal and is heading a group that is close to offering a competing bid to purchase the franchise and build a new sports and entertainment complex that does not require city/county subsidy. On his 10 p.m. Monday night broadcast, Crandell said Kehriotis, who owns 12 percent of the Kings, has secured a $350-million commitment from investors and a verbal agreement for another $400 million.

The information was attributed to an anonymous source.

Reached at his Bay Area home late Monday night, Kehriotis offered a succinct, "No comment at this time."

January 7, 2013
Vlade Divac, Kevin Johnson on Hall of Fame ballot

Longtime Kings center Vlade Divac and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson are among the 2013 nominees for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The list released today by NBA.com also includes former KIngs guard Mitch Richmond, Gary Payton, Bernard King, Oscar Schmidt, Jerry Reinsdorf and Russ Granik, as well as referee Dick Bavetta.

Divac, who was nominated by the International Committee, brings impressive credentials from both the NBA and the international community. As a skinny young center from southern Serbia, he anchored the powerful Yugoslavian national team throughout his boyhood. After the breakup of the Balkans - a development that destroyed the friendship between Divac and Croatian star Drazen Petrovic - Vlade became a fixture on the Serbian squad that upset the United States in the 2004 World Championships captured the silver medal in the 1996 Olympic Games.

January 6, 2013
More info on Hannah Storm's foundation

In Sunday's Bee, I wrote about Hannah Storm and her horrific accident Dec. 11 that left the longtime sportscaster with burns on her chest, neck, face and hands. I've received inquiries from folks asking for more information about her experiences with Vascular Birthmarks and the foundation she started several years ago. Anyway, there is plenty of information to be found on her website - HannahStormFoundation.org. As I mentioned in the column, Hannah was born with a Vascular Birthmark under her left eye, so she is more than a little familiar with the topic. Like a lot of people, I am hoping she recovers quickly and completely from the propane gas grill accident (she was rushing to get dinner going) and resumes her anchoring duties soon with ESPN's SportsCenter.

July 10, 2012
Kings' Scott Moak back in play


LAS VEGAS - Kings' public address announcer Scott Moak, who emceed Saturday's press conference to announce the 12-man roster for the men's Olympic team, returned today for another series of events. On Wednesday, he hosts a Q & A with Hall of Famer Bill Russell, then hosts a panel discussion with original Dream Teamers Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin and Clyde Drexler, along with former Sonics star Gary Payton.

Moak - who has a great voice and doesn't overhype or overpower his audience unlike some of the league's announcers (see Miami Heat) - had an interesting entree to USA Basketball. It seems that when David Stern sent the NBA's marketing team to Sacramento after the Kings' near relocation to Anaheim in the spring of 2011, one of the staffers (Aaron Ryan) became impressed with Moak. When Ryan left to head marketing for USAB, and it turns out, remembered the voice of the Kings.

I'll update when I get times, locations and broadcast information for the events.

April 13, 2011
Ask a King: Jerry Reynolds answers your questions

By Blake Ellington
Special to The Bee

LSJerryReynolds.standalone.prod_affiliate.4.JPGKings director of player personnel and television analyst Jerry Reynolds took questions from fans submitted on The Bee's Kings Corner page on Facebook as well as the Kings Blog. Below are his answers.

Alan Kendrick and Sandy Percival Jamison ask: When (and if) the Kings move, will you go with the team to Anaheim?

Well, that's impossible for me to answer because I am hoping that the team will be here and you know, this is my home; and Roseville will be my home, so regardless of what happens I am not going to move.

What about Grant Napear and the rest of the play by play crew?

I have no idea.

So you and Grant haven't talked about it at all?

We have talked about it but I think he is probably young enough that he would have to be more inclined to do whatever is necessary to keep a job, I am at the stage where I could retire if I wanted to.

Are you ready to say if the Kings leave, you are going to retire?

No, I still want to work. I might have to do something different, but I am healthy and I feel good, so I might have to find something else to do. I feel like there are some things I could do, I've got a master's degree in education and I used to have a radio talk show, so I think there are some other things I could do.

Christopher Guernsey asks: What keeps you so centered and smiling all the time?

Well, that's a good question. I have always felt like that it is very important to take your job seriously, but not yourself. At the end of the day, hey, enjoy life as long as you can and I love basketball and I get the opportunity to do that. Obviously, (there has been) a lot of frustrations here this year in some ways, but I still enjoy what I'm doing.

Alex Gonzalez asks: Will you write another book about the Sacramento Kings? Nobody is more qualified than you. And the final chapter may already be writing itself.

My publishers have talked to me about that and I have said that probably once I do retire and wait a couple years, and then instead of "Reynolds Remembers" it might be "Reynolds Remembers Everything."

RosevilleRealtor asks: Are you moving back to French Lick (Ind.)? The West Baden Resort is pretty sweet ... but I would take the OC over it any day. What is your plan?

No, I am not moving back to French Lick, I've got relatives and a brother back there and I am glad I was raised there and it was a great experience, but this is my home now.

mrwang asks: Who was responsible for picking Pervis Ellison over Glen Rice way back when? Was that you?

No, Bill Russell was the general manager at that time. And actually, by the way, Glen Rice wasn't the best pick; Tim Hardaway went 14th.

tseats asks: Now that Tyreke (Evans) is returning how will the Kings work the guard rotation? Since both Beno (Udrih) and Marcus Thornton are playing so well it would be a shame to sit either one on the bench and start Evans instead. I think they should explore running a three guard set with Thornton at the four spot since he is a good post-up/back-to-the-bucket guard.

I like the three guards all playing at the same time to be honest because I think more and more in this league you can play three guards and Paul Westphal is doing it. They are all playing big minutes, but more and more he's playing all three at the same time.

can_Kings_win asks: Since we know you're a numbers guy, what are your odds as of today, that the Kings will remain in Sacramento assuming they make some headway on a new arena?

I don't have any insight. I am an optimist by nature so let's say I am 90 percent optimistic that they'll still be here next year.

sacgirl88 asks: What do you see the Kings taking from this season to improve next season?

Well the way they finished, I mean obviously getting Marcus Thornton made this team better. They have been playing at a much better rate here in the last month and half so that is something to build on. Obviously the start of the season (was) very disappointing.

Previous "Ask a King" interviews:
Marcus Thornton - March 15, 2011
Paul Westphal - Feb. 4, 2011
Carl Landry - Dec. 15, 2010
DeMarcus Cousins - Nov. 24, 2010

Photo caption: Jerry Reynolds is shown during a Sacramento Monarchs press conference in 2003. (Lezlie Sterling/lsterling@sacbee.com)

March 24, 2011
Ask a King: Submit your question for Jerry Reynolds

jerryreynolds.JPGIn the latest installment of "Ask a King," we're taking questions for Jerry Reynolds, the Kings' director of player personnel and television analyst. Blake Ellington, author of the Bleed Black and Purple blog, will conduct the interview with questions submitted by fans.

Reynolds is in his 25th season in the Kings organization, having served as head coach on two occasions between 1987 and 1990 and as general manager from 1992 to 1993.

To ask your question, go to The Bee's Kings Corner page on Facebook, find the Ask a King post and leave a comment. We'll use the best questions for the interview; if you see a question you like, click "like" to increase the chances of the question being used.

We'll take questions through Thursday, March 31.

Photo of Jerry Reynolds by Rocky Widner/Courtesy of the Sacramento Kings

Previous "Ask a King" interviews:
Marcus Thornton - March 15, 2011
Paul Westphal - Feb. 4, 2011
Carl Landry - Dec. 15, 2010
DeMarcus Cousins - Nov. 24, 2010

March 15, 2011
Ask a King: Marcus Thornton answers your questions

marcusthornton2.jpgBy Blake Ellington
Special to The Bee

Marcus Thornton has been a busy man these days.

The second-year guard was traded to the Kings on Feb. 23 and quickly worked his way into the starting lineup, where he has developed a hot hand. He scored a career-high 42 points in Monday's win over Golden State, and has averaged 22.2 points in 10 games with the Kings.

Through all that, Marcus took time to answer questions submitted by fans on The Bee's Kings Corner page on Facebook. Check out his interview below, and thanks to everyone who asked a question.

Faustino Cisneros asks: Do you have a Twitter account?

Yeah, I just started one like three or four days ago.

What's your name on Twitter?

OfficialMT23.

Ken Horn asks: Do you think there will be more opportunities/playing time in this offense for you than the Hornets?

Yeah, I came into a great opportunity and I just appreciate Sacramento for giving me the chance to show my abilities.

Ken Horn asks: Now you've seen Sacramento support the Kings first-hand, don't you think Sac-town deserves this team?

Yeah, I just wish the fans ... it didn't just come that game, you know they come to all the games and show their support but I think they do, But it's not in my hands.

David E. Cairo III asks: Do you think your playing style is a good fit next to Tyreke Evans in the starting lineup or do you see yourself as a Jamal Crawford-type gunner off the bench?

We'll have to see. I think we'll do pretty good - me and Tyreke in the backcourt - because we are both very unselfish and we both get our teammates involved. So I think we will be good together.

Dan Nguyen asks: As a player, which is more important to you? 1. Big contract; 2. Play for a winning team; 3. More minutes on the court.

Just winning, man. When you win, the contract comes with it and the minutes come, too. So just winning man, that's what I am all about, just winning. I hate losing.

Brian Birt asks: Are you happy being traded from the Hornets to the Kings? Obviously you're sacrificing being a member of a winning team and coming to Sacramento, where the season hasn't been going well. But with that comes much more playing time and a new opportunity as a player. Which one of those is more important to you as a player?

I feel good where I am at. Sacramento made this trade for me so obviously they saw something in me. So wherever I am needed that is where I am going to play at.

Teresa Cowman asks: Do the Kings play the LSU song for you when you score? How's the food out there in Sacramento?

No, they don't play the LSU song, I kind of miss that. But the food -- the food is great. They have some of the spices that we have in New Orleans.

Isaac Price asks: Are you planning to stay with the Kings when your contract expires?

Who knows? The GM and whoever say the same: I'll be here.

Previous "Ask a King" interviews:
Paul Westphal - Feb. 4, 2011
Carl Landry - Dec. 15, 2010
DeMarcus Cousins - Nov. 24, 2010

Photo caption: Marcus Thornton goes in for a dunk in the first quarter of Monday's Kings victory over Golden State. (Jose Luis Villegas/jvillegas@sacbee.com)

March 1, 2011
Ask a King: Submit your question for Marcus Thornton

marcusthornton.JPGWe're taking questions for the newest King, Marcus Thornton, in the next installment of "Ask a King." Blake Ellington, author of the Bleed Black and Purple blog, will conduct the interview with questions submitted by fans.

Thornton was acquired from New Orleans on Feb. 23. The second-year guard out of LSU has quickly made an impact for the Kings, averaging 19.3 points in his first three games with his new team -- including 29 in Monday's victory over the Clippers.

To ask your question, go to The Bee's Kings Corner page on Facebook, find the Ask a King post and leave a comment. We'll use the best questions for the interview; if you see a question you like, click "like" to increase the chances of the question being used.

UPDATE: We'll take questions through Tuesday, March 8.

Previous "Ask a King" interviews:
Paul Westphal - Feb. 4, 2011
Carl Landry - Dec. 15, 2010
DeMarcus Cousins - Nov. 24, 2010

Photo caption: Marcus Thornton scores two of his 29 points in Monday's Kings victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. (José Luis Villegas/jvillegas@sacbee.com)

February 4, 2011
Ask a King: Paul Westphal answers your questions

By Blake Ellington
Special to The Bee

westphal2.JPGIn the latest installment of "Ask a King," head coach Paul Westphal took questions submitted by fans on The Bee's Kings Corner Facebook page, the Kings blog and the Bleed Black and Purple blog. Below are his answers.

Abdurrahman Kadric via Facebook: What do you think about our draftees, and if you were to pick now, would you pick someone else over DeMarcus Cousins?

We're thrilled with getting DeMarcus last year, and you know, nothing against any other players, but we got the guy we think that'll really be the right player for us this year and well into the future.

Abdurrahman Kadric (continued): Do you think that the draft was weak this year and is there any chance we'll see Hassan Whiteside evolve good enough to play solid minutes in the Kings?

I haven't paid any attention to the draft to tell you the truth; it's really not my focus right now. But Whiteside tweaked his knee the other day in practice and he's out indefinitely, so it's not looking good for him at this moment. But hopefully he'll be well soon and we'll be able to evaluate it depending on whatever the situation is at the time.

Where do you see Whiteside fitting in to the current rotation?

He's still learning; he has a long way to go to learn what you need to do to be successful out on the floor. He's got great shot-blocking instincts, he's been blessed with a really athletic body, he's working on getting stronger, he's just got to learn about the NBA game. He's working hard, but he's not immediately penciled in for major playing time.

Jarrad Hicks via Facebook: After the choke sign incident (involving Cousins on Dec. 21), you mentioned going to a more veteran starting lineup with less experienced players learning like an apprentices. Where does that stand now and with a team not in playoff contention, is it more important to play the younger guys in a more starring role?

We're trying to win every game, we're trying to play the players that will contribute to winning games and we're developing players at the same time. I think you look at the improvement of Omri (Casspi) and DeMarcus; you know Tyreke (Evans) now that he is feeling healthy, how well he is playing. You know, the young guys are improving and earning more playing time, but nobody is given playing time, they earn it.

londonfog via Kings Corner blog: What can be done to stop Cousins from his theatrics on every call that doesn't go his way?

DeMarcus, I think he's getting more and more focused all he time. He's a passionate player and sometimes you can read his thoughts easier than you can read other people's thoughts, but I think he's doing a good job of improving in that area.

What have you said to him about it?

The same thing every coach has ever said to him: "Leave the officials alone and concentrate on the next play."

vonhulland via Kings Corner blog: Why is Evans the one you choose to have the ball late in games?

We don't always do that, but he's certainly a very explosive, creative attacker and he's been very effective when he picks his spots correctly and attacking at the end of the game or throughout the game.

Ken Horn via Facebook: Do you call plays for Carl Landry in crunch time?

Of course. He's a good, clutch player and a lot of times we'll try to play through him.

Ken Horn (continued): It seems too many times that Landry couldn't get the ball in the clutch when the other team couldn't guard him (for example the Golden State game in when (Vladimir) Radmonovic was holding and pushing Landry out of bounds in the fourth quarter).

Plays don't always work, no matter who you call them for, but you know Carl is a good, clutch player and he's delivered a lot of big baskets for us and he probably will a lot more.

Findaway2win via Bleed Black and Purple blog: Have you or anyone else ever shared any of your NBA video highlights with the team (like your late game steal vs. the Celtics in the playoffs or the "H.O.R.S.E" competition)?

(Laughs) No, this is the time for these players, you know, it's not really relevant - any highs or lows the coaches had as players - we're just trying to help these guys have the best highs that they can have."

Findaway2win (continued): I grew up in SoCal and heard that you used to have some serious hops. Is that true, legend, or both?

(Laughs) Well, they did have video tape when I played so I can prove it. Yeah, I could get up above the square. It's hard to believe, I know, but I could really jump high.

mjbeernut via Kings Corner blog: We don't seem to have much movement or get many open looks in our half-court set -- why don't you let these kids run?

Well, I don't agree with that. We love to run as much as we see an opportunity, and I think we have a lot of movement in our half-court set. We have very few isolations and plays where people are supposed to stand in the corner. We try to cut, and move, and swing the ball, and set screens and attack.

AnimalLegend via Kings Corner blog: Why do players' minutes fluctuate so much from night to night? Is a stable rotation impossible with this current roster?

Well, I guess I don't agree with that one either. I think that our rotation is fairly stable; we have been pretty much playing nine guys lately. We had a few injuries, but I don't think anything is ever going to be exactly by the numbers on any team, but I think it's fairly stable.

Ken Horn via Facebook: What would you think of starting Samuel Dalembert at center w/DMC at (power forward) every night?

I don't think that's a bad idea. We did it (against Boston on Tuesday), of course, and we expect to do it against San Antonio (tonight). We'll look at that as a possibility. I think they (Cousins and Dalembert) are both playing much better for various reasons than they were earlier in the year and it's a viable option for us.

Blake Ellington is the author of the Bleed Black and Purple blog. Photo of Paul Westphal by Randall Benton/rbenton@sacbee.com

Previous "Ask a King" interviews:
DeMarcus Cousins - Nov. 24, 2010
Carl Landry - Dec. 15, 2010

January 20, 2011
Ask a King: Submit your question for Paul Westphal

westphalcelebrates.JPGGot a question for Paul Westphal? We're taking questions for the Kings coach in our next "Ask a King" interview. Blake Ellington, author of the Bleed Black and Purple blog, will sit down with Westphal for the interview.

To ask your question, go to The Bee's Kings Corner page on Facebook, find the Ask a King post and leave a comment. We'll use the best questions for the interview; if you see a question you like, click "like" to increase the chances of the question being used. The person submitting the question with the most "likes" will receive an 8x10 photo of Westphal from The Bee.

We'll take questions through Thursday, Jan. 27.

Photo caption: Paul Westphal celebrates the Kings' 100-98 victory over Memphis on Dec. 29. (Randall Benton/rbenton@sacbee.com)

December 22, 2010
Ask a King: Submit your question for Francisco Garcia

franciscogarcia.jpgWe're taking questions for swingman Francisco Garcia in the latest installment of our season-long feature, "Ask a King." Blake Ellington, author of the Bleed Black and Purple blog, will sit down for the Q&A with Garcia, the Kings' first-round pick in 2005 who is the longest tenured member of the current roster.

To submit a question, go to The Bee's Kings Corner page on Facebook, find the "Ask a King" thread and leave a question in the comments field. Questions will be accepted through Thursday, Dec. 30.

Also, if you see a question you like, be sure to click "like" on the comment. The person submitting the question with the most "likes" will receive an 8x10 photo of Garcia from The Bee.

If you missed them, check out our previous Ask a King interviews:

DeMarcus Cousins - Nov. 24, 2010

Carl Landry - Dec. 15, 2010

(Photo of Garcia by Jose Luis Villegas/jvillegas@sacbee.com)

December 15, 2010
Ask a King: Carl Landry answers your questions

By Blake Ellington
Special to The Bee

carllandryblock.JPGIn the second installment of "Ask a King," forward Carl Landry took time to field questions submitted by fans on The Bee's Kings Corner Facebook page and on the Kings blog. Below are his answers.

Ken Horn asks: Are you planning to test free agency or do you think you will remain a King?

That's so far away right now, I'm just worried about getting out of this little slump I am in and helping my team win games, so that's really not on my mind right now. I am just trying to be a basketball player right now.

Jayson Francis asks: How do you like playing for the Maloofs?

It's cool, I like all the guys on the team, the organization the fans. I really don't get a chance to hang out or see the Maloofs much, but everything that we have here I'm grateful for the opportunity.

You haven't got the Vegas treatment yet?

One time this summer. It was cool, yeah. (laughs)

Elliott Lake asks: King fans know that you are multidimensional when it comes to scoring the ball and also know that you will take whatever the defense gives you, but where do you feel that you are the most effective in scoring -- down in the post or facing up and shooting the ball?

Anywhere; I think I can score 20-plus points a night. I haven't really had any games like that this year, but I feel like I can put the ball in the hoop from anywhere, so back to the basket or facing up.

You don't have a preference?

Probably facing up because I can use my quickness on bigger guys. ... If a smaller guy is on me, I will use my strength and back them down.

Elliott Lake asks: What part of your offensive game do you feel that you can make improvement?

(The) three-point shot and my ball handling and passing. I can hit the three, but I want to improve on creating for others. I know with the offensive ability that I have, that I am going to get double-teamed and things like that so I want to be able to break down the defense and hit the open guy.

Jhulz SkylitDrive asks: in your own opinion as a player how can you encourage us the fans to still continue watching you every game? Is this team moving forward or going downhill to yet another losing season?

I think we are a team that is moving forward. We lost seven in a row, but the guys come to practice with a lot of confidence every day and they are working hard. They are there early and staying late, so I think we are headed in the right direction. I know you hear coach say it all the time, but it takes a group of guys to be together for a year or two to become an elite team in this league. We're not there yet, but we're going to be there.

Steve Tuck asks: Seeing as there is a major logjam at forward would you welcome a trade back to the Rockets, as the rumors say?

I'm happy here right now. That's not on my mind - trades and everything like that - I'm just happy to be here and grateful for the opportunity, and I just want to make the best of it. Right now, I am not doing as well as I want to, but I am just trying to make the best of the opportunity that's given to me.

ColeyKo asks: As much as the losses hurt, I know this season is about development. That being said, what do you want the team to achieve this season?

I want this team to be a team that people respect. When teams come in here I don't want them to look at us like, "OK, this is an easy win." I want them to look at us like they are going to have their work cut out for them ... A team that somebody wants to watch.

dlittlef asks: I especially appreciate your patience, timing and finesse under the basket. Are the other young bigs recognizing this strength and do they show an interest in learning from you?

Definitely, you know Jason (Thompson) and DeMarcus (Cousins) are very valuable to this team and they are players who listen and want to be better players and take advice from me and Samuel Dalembert. I think they are getting better and improving every day.

What about Hassan Whiteside?

He's in the D-League and the 'D' before 'League' stands for 'development.' He's developing and he'll be a great addition to this team in the near future.

bborzell asks: What does a quality player want his fan base to know about where things are and what's in store for the future?

We're not happy where things are. We won five games - that's unacceptable to me and everybody else in this locker room. So that's where things are, it's obvious everybody knows it, but where we're heading is a playoff team. We have our work cut our for us, and that's the goal.

Watch the Kings blog next week to find out who the next "Ask a King" interview subject will be.

Previous "Ask a King" interviews:
DeMarcus Cousins - Nov. 24, 2010

December 1, 2010
Ask a King: Submit your questions for Carl Landry

carllandry.jpgIn the second installment of "Ask a King," we're taking questions for forward Carl Landry, who was acquired by the Kings in a trade with Houston last season. Blake Ellington, author of the Bleed Black and Purple blog, will sit down with Landry for the Q&A.

To submit a question, go to The Bee's Kings Corner page on Facebook, find the "Ask a King" thread and leave a question in the comments field. Questions will be accepted through Monday, Dec. 6.

Also, if you see a question you like, be sure to click "like" on the comment. The person submitting the question with the most "likes" will receive an 8x10 photo of Landry from The Bee.

If you missed the first "Ask a King" Q&A with DeMarcus Cousins, read it here.

November 24, 2010
Ask a King: DeMarcus Cousins answers your questions

By Blake Ellington
Special to The Bee

RBKingsvHornets0003.standalone.prod_affiliate.4.JPGIn the first edition of "Ask a King," rookie center DeMarcus Cousins took time to field questions submitted by fans on The Bee's Kings Corner Facebook page. Below are his answers.

Wesley Wang asks: How has Otis Hughley (Cousins' former high school coach, now a Kings assistant) contributed to your role and experience as a Kings player thus far, and what does he contribute to the organization with his prior experience working with young players and maturing personalities?

He has contributed a lot. I mean, it is not just me. (He has been helping) a lot of players on the team. He has really been helping Tyreke (Evans) out with his jump shot and his dribble pull up, so it is not just me. He wasn't sent here for me, he was actually sent here to be a coach and that is what he is doing.

Mike Glazier asks: What do you feel your potential as a player in this league can be and what are your goals for your professional career?

I believe my ceiling is really high. I want to be one of the greatest big men to have played the game.

What about after basketball?

I am still thinking about that, I still have a long way to go.

Jhulz SilverDrive asks: When the Kings drafted you as the fifth pick overall, so much hype has been created and since the regular season, in your own opinion have you really put up the needed numbers, performance and level that will answer those doubters?

It really depends on whose expectations it is. I believe I am coming in and playing my role and as long as I am helping my team (then I am living up to expectations).

Christina M. Maes-Montano asks: I noticed you were at the Grant-Franklin (football) game (on Nov. 5). What do you think of the Pacers?

Grant is an incredible football team.

David Duran asks: Defensively, what are some of the biggest differences that have stood out for you in professional basketball vs. amateur and college?

You have to play everybody, everybody on the floor can play so it is a hard matchup every night.

Chris Chaussee asks: What's your best "Yo Mamma" joke?

I don't have one.

Watch the Kings Blog and the Kings Corner Facebook page next week to find out who the next "Ask a King" interview subject will be.

Photo by Randall Benton/rbenton@sacbee.com

November 10, 2010
"Ask a King": Submit your question for DeMarcus Cousins

demarcuspic.JPGGot a question for Kings rookie center DeMarcus Cousins? Here's your chance to ask.

In The Bee's new feature, "Ask a King," Kings players, coaches and other personnel will join Blake Ellington, author of the Bleed Black and Purple blog, for an interview consisting completely of questions from fans. Cousins will be the first interview subject.

To ask your question, go to The Bee's Kings Corner page on Facebook, find the "Ask a King" post and submit your query in the comments thread. If you haven't already, be sure to become a fan of the Kings Corner to have access to the thread.

Be creative! Your questions don't have to be limited to basketball. If you like a question submitted by someone else, be sure to hit the "like" button. We'll use the most popular and interesting questions in our interview. You will receive credit if your question is selected.

We'll take questions through Sunday, Nov. 14. The person submitting the question with the most "likes" will win an 8x10 photo of Cousins from The Bee.



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