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What History Tells Us About Reggie Theus and Eddie Jordan

by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am

Dec 15th 2008 6:15PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Kings, WizardsThe Kings sacked Reggie Theus this morning, landing somewhere between surprise and “duh” on the Richter scale. For most people who know, Sacramento’s performance and the general ferver surrounding the coaching guillotine sent Theus toward the gallows of expected dismissal. But closer to the scene, Geoff Petrie’s history left many of us sure Theus would survive until April.

Petrie has only fired a head coach once in his near 20 seasons as a basketball executive. In four years in Portland, Petrie stayed with Rick Adelman; Petrie left when Adelman did. Upon arriving in Sacramento in 1995, Petrie kept atrocious incumbent coach Garry St. Jean for nearly two full years. However, in March of 1996 with 15 games remaining, Petrie canned St. Jean. Since then, the Kings have gone through four coaches; only Theus saw his end come during a campaign.
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Reggie Theus Does Himself No Favors

by @ 12:00 am

Dec 14th 2008 3:17PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Grizzlies, Kings, NBA GossipYour standard “who’s next?” list of endangered NBA head coaches now includes Sacramento’s Reggie Theus and Memphis’ Marc Iavaroni. Actually, both men have been on the hot seat most of the season — Iavaroni was reportedly under fire last April, and Theus almost lost his job in early November before getting a win over (irony) Memphis.

Both seemingly solidified their jobs this week. The Grizzlies have won three straight. The Kings almost swept a pair against the Lakers. But all beautiful things die sometime. For Theus, the premature death came Saturday night, as the Knicks waltzed into ARCO Arena and simply destroyed the Kings. Sacramento trailed by 30 in the first half, and it hardly got prettier.

I mentioned Saturday that the Lakers win on Tuesday likely saved Reggie’s job this year, barring a basketball apocalypse. Losing to the Knicks by 24 at home, showing little to no defensive effort from the starters and a languid, boring offense — that’s basically basketball apocalypse. Earlier today, I discussed a wrinkle in Theus’ job security: Eddie Jordan, believed to be a top preference of Kings GM Geoff Petrie, is getting interest from Philadelphia. Petrie isn’t one to rush into action, but after losing Stan Van Gundy two years ago I wouldn’t be surprised if he went rash all of a sudden.

The logistics of a Theus sacking remain difficult, as it appears the team won’t make a move today. The Kings play Minnesota at home Monday before leaving for a road trip which will take us to Christmas. The team has a spell of four games in five nights between the holidays. On paper, Theus survives another few weeks. But I find it hard to believe Petrie (who has the call on the coach’s tenure; the Maloofs have OKed it, apparently) can stand to watch basketball like this much longer.

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Candace Parker, Shelden Williams Elope in Tahoe

by @ 12:00 am

Dec 10th 2008 11:15AM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Kings, WNBA(And now, for my best Billy Bush impersonation.) Beyond Landlord status at Duke and becoming Atlanta’s fifth overall pick in 2006 draft, Shelden Williams’ basketball career has been in a malaise. Al Horford rendered Shelden superfluous in the ATL, and Williams became the supposed sweetener in Sacramento’s Mike Bibby sell-off. Here in Sactown, Williams has never grasped the rapt attention of the Kings coaches nor the fans. He has been mired on the bench, seeing the scraps cast aside by Sacramento’s more cherished youngsters.

On the other hand, his personal life seems to be going swimmingly. He has been engaged to former Tennessee superstar Candace Parker, without question the best women’s basketball player in the world. In the WNBA offseason, Parker stays with Williams in Sacramento. Inseparable, the pair.

The pair had apparently been planning a big wedding, but according to Melody Gutierrez of the , they couldn’t wait any longer and decided to elope in Lake Tahoe last month.

At least Donte Greene can return that crock pot he got on sale in preparation of the wedding. No word on whether the pair will put together a big reception. If so, I hope Candace doesn’t invite fellow L.A. icon Kobe Bryant, because he and Francisco Garcia do not get along.

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Recently Benched Mikki Moore Wonders if the Kings are Tanking

by @ 12:00 am

Dec 9th 2008 3:25PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: KingsMikki Moore has a lot to offer the hotblooded fan: his story is one of incredible perseverance and self-sacrifice, his body is electric with passion, and he’s generally hilarious — from the soundbite to the guttural yelps of glee to the fantastic “Double M” celebration after a big play. (For months, local fans thought the hand signal to be a gang sign.)

But Mikki Moore is not an incredible basketball player at the NBA level. He runs well in transition, has a sharp 18-foot set shot and knows how to take a charge. And that’s about it. Consistently, he ranks among the worst power forwards/centers in rebound rate. Moore had 46 blocks in 2,400 minutes last season. Spencer Hawes has nearly that many this season in a quarter of the minutes. Moore also has turnover problems (a lobster would catch the ball more frequently near the rim) and scores only on a rare putback or when he is ridiculously open at the elbow or baseline. Basically, he’s Eddy Curry without the post presence or the bowl full of jelly.

Sacramento struggled mightily with Moore at the starting power forward position. Hawes has played amazing basketball, given expectations. Reggie Theus fears for his job, and his bosses have made youth development a priority. Moore is 33 years old. Hawes is 20. Theus benched Moore last week.Continue Reading

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Kings to Retire Vlade Divac’s and Chris Webber’s Jerseys

by @ 12:00 am

Dec 8th 2008 2:39PM by Nate Jones (author feed)
Filed under: Kings, NBA VideosWith the Sacramento Kings hitting rock bottom this season, many of their fans are reminiscing about times when the team was actually one of the best in the NBA. Fittingly, the Kings organization has decided to reminisce a bit and retire the jerseys of Vlade Divac and Chris Webber.

Divac and Webber came to the Kings in 1999 and helped completely turn around the Kings franchise. Both were versatile big men with passing ability and mobility that made the Kings one of the most exciting teams to watch during the first half of this decade. If not for “Big Shot” Robert Horry’s heroics in Game 4 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals or Chris Webber’s horrible knee injury against the Mavs in the 2003 playoffs, that Vlade + C-Webb combination probably would have secured at least one ring for the Kings.

According to the SacBee, Vlade’s jersey will be retired on March 31st when former teammate Peja Stojakovic comes to town with his New Orleans Hornets. The team is still trying to figure out a date for Webber’s ceremony, as he has obligations as an announcer for TNT and NBA TV.

Anyhow, if the Kings are looking for entertainment suggestions for Vlade’s ceremony, I think I might just have the answer for them:Continue Reading

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Spencer Hawes Is the King of Michael Phelps Lookalikes

by @ 12:00 am

Dec 4th 2008 5:29PM by Elie Seckbach (author feed)
Filed under: Kings, NBA Videos, Interviews

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is one of the most famous faces in the world of sports, so because of his resemblance to the gold-medal winner, Sacramento Kings big man Spencer Hawes is getting lots of attention these days as well. In this video we talk to Hawes and his teammate Bobby Brown about what it’s like to get celebrity notoriety due to looking like, or sharing the same name as, another star.

Check out the video after the jump.Continue Reading

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NBA’s Stephen Jackson, Al Thornton and Others Talk About Obama

by @ 12:00 am

Nov 28th 2008 8:13AM by Elie Seckbach (author feed)
Filed under: Clippers, Kings, Knicks, Mavericks, Warriors, NBA Videos, Interviews

Millions of Americans were very excited about the victory of President-elect Barack Obama, and that included many of the NBA’s players. In this video we hear from the players about what the victory means to them. Al Thornton tells us the results brought him to tears, while Stephen Jackson says he is excited, but regrets his great-grandparents aren’t alive to see this day. We also hear from Tim Thomas, James Singleton and more, while another player says he is now interested in visiting the “Black House”.

Check out the full video after the jump.Continue Reading

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The Laker Kool-Aid is Strong, Ubiquitous

by @ 12:00 am

Nov 24th 2008 2:20PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Kings, Lakers, NBA Media WatchThe Los Angeles Lakers, 11-1, eeked out a 10-point home victory over the now 5-10 Sacramento Kings, still missing talisman Kevin Martin and sixth man Francisco Garcia. The Lakers led by 19 early in the fourth, but the Kings stormed back against L.A.’s second string to pull with four points before Phil Jackson reinserted Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher to finish the game. All of this caused Kevin Ding of the to … argue that the Lakers’ second unit is better than the Kings’ first team.

There’s plenty to guffaw, but Ding’s description of a hypothetical Sasha Vujacic-John Salmons face-off shows the most promise.Continue Reading

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Kevin Martin’s Agent, Jason Levien, in Line to Take Over Kings

by @ 12:00 am

Nov 21st 2008 2:05PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: KingsLongtime Kings GM Geoff Petrie has added a potential successor to Sacramento’s front office: Jason Levien. That slice might only be interesting to the most devoted NBA heads or Kings fans. But here’s the key: Levien is a player agent.

More specifically, he’s . Levien actually has a long history with Petrie. The reports that when the Kings drafted Hedo Turkoglu in 2000, Levien accompanied Petrie to Istanbul to negotiate Hedo’s release from European club and Turkish national team obligations. Levien clients Orien Greene and Loren Woods have also had short stints in Sacramento.

Levien will soon join the Kings as an assistant GM alongside Wayne Cooper, who has been with Sacramento for 15 years, the last 12 of which have been served as Petrie’s deputy. The writing on the wall is legible: Levien was brought in by Petrie and the Maloofs to add some expertise now and later have at least a shot at the team’s top job when Petrie retires or moves on.Continue Reading

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What’s the Matter With the Hornets?

by @ 12:00 am

Nov 20th 2008 6:55PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Hornets, Kings, NBA VideosAs we wait for four of the league’s best to pair off tonight, it’s worth wondering about one of the teams we didn’t expect down at 5-5: New Orleans. The Hornets ended a long rest with a bad, bad home loss to Sacramento on Wednesday. But Chris Paul played spectacular basketball, per usual. What gives?

Ryan Schawn of the always excellent Hornets 24/7 considered the matter before the Kings loss. The team’s defense has performed as well as last year’s version, but not as well if you count for league average. The offense has slipped rather noticeably, with a slide from Peja Stojakovic held accountable. (Peja has shot 40% from three on his career; he’s down to a human 37% this season.)

But what stood out to me Wednesday was a lack of urgency around the rim. David West (who finished with one rebound) let his responsibilities slip by frequently and allowed Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes to muscle in for rebounds they didn’t hold claim to. Tyson Chandler’s number thus far are a ghost compared to last season’s effective-if-unspectacular tally. Chandler rarely shoots, of course, but he still looked the opposite of aggressive. For instance, consider this play in which Hawes blocks a Chandler half-hook. (!)

This team has never needed Chandler to score a lot. But New Orleans needs a far more aggressive frontline to repeat as Western contenders. Paul can do a lot, but he needs West and Chandler to provide some semblance of roster balance.

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