News » Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-20

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-20

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-20
When Paul Westphal was introduced as the Kings' new coach on June 12, the comparisons to former Kings coach Rick Adelman began almost immediately.

Westphal, like Adelman, is known as an offensive-minded coach. Westphal, like Adelman, is known to opt for tact over toughness almost every time when dealing with his players. And Westphal, like Adelman, entered Sacramento with plenty of doubters who wondered if he could succeed in the later stages of his coaching career.

Just as Adelman had had wild success at his first stop (Portland) before enduring a conflict-filled in his second (Golden State), such is the story of Westphal. The former five-time All-Star who spent last season as the executive vice president of basketball operations for the Dallas Mavericks had his glory years in Phoenix, leading the Suns to the NBA Finals in his first season (1992-93) and winning 62, 56, and 59 games, respectively in his first three seasons before he was fired in his fourth. But from 1998 to 2000, it was a much different situation in Seattle, where Westphal constantly battled with SuperSonics star Gary Payton and his good friend, Vin Baker, before he was fired early on in the 2000-01 campaign.

The Kings, of course, hope Westphal can have a revival much like Adelman did. He led them to eight straight playoff berths before he left town in 2006, and the team hasn't been back to the postseason since.

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 20, 2009


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