News » Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-03

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-03

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-03
After a season in which the Kings lost a franchise-record 65 games, the losing has only continued for this embattled franchise.

On May 19 at the NBA's Draft Lottery, their hopes that they would land the No. 1 pick went unfulfilled as they were stuck with the fourth pick. It was the worst possible scenario for the Kings, a team that not only needed the right to add the best talent available but also could have used the injection of excitement that would have come with either the No. 1 or No. 2 pick.

Co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof remained upbeat despite the unwelcome news, reminding the media and their fans that this would still be the Kings' highest pick in 18 years (Billy Owens was taken third in 1991 out of Syracuse). And true to form, Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie was preaching patience.

"Whatever level of disappointment there is, even if you were going in with the best chance (at picking first), you've got to put that behind you," Petrie told the Sacramento Bee. "You continue to build on all of the work you've already done in the draft and continue to prepare."

With the No. 23 and No. 31 picks also at their disposal, the Kings could have ample opportunity to get creative on draft day. Their most pressing needs are at the point guard spot and small forward, with starting point man Beno Udrih underperforming last season and small forward Andres Nocioni widely seen as a quality reserve on a competitive team.

Petrie spent much of the last month focusing on one particular point guard -- he took two trips to Spain to see 18-year-old Ricky Rubio.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: As has often been the case when it comes to the Kings, their status was defined by their ability to perform against the Lakers.

If only for a night.

Their 113-101 win over the Lakers at Arco Arena on Dec. 9 came as a huge surprise and thrilled a crowd of 16,068 that saw their team improve to 6-16 against the Western Conference juggernaut. The win came without injured shooting guard Kevin Martin (sprained left ankle). John Salmons and Francisco had 21 points apiece. It wasn't enough to save the job of Reggie Theus, though, as the coach was fired six days later.

TURNING POINT: The Kings' season was off to a rough start even before it began, when center Brad Miller received a five-game suspension last summer for violating the league's drug policy. Already down a starter, the Kings' start became even harder when shooting guard Kevin Martin went down with a sprained left ankle on Nov. 9. While Martin would return for two games (Dec. 2 and Dec. 6), he wouldn't return in earnest until Dec. 30. By that time, Martin had missed a combined 22 games, the Kings were 7-24 and coach Reggie Theus had already been fired.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: June 3, 2009


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