Friday, April 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

After frustrating season, uncertainty awaits Kings

Clippers Kings Basketball

Adriana Ortiz, center, holds up a sign expressing her hopes that the team won't move after the Kings 112-108 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, April 17, 2013. With the pending sale of the team and possible move to Seattle, Wednesday's game might be the last in Sacramento.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — After three stints as an interim coach, this season was supposed to be Keith Smart’s first real chance to show what he could do on the NBA sidelines with a full summer and training camp to prepare.

Instead, the pending sale and relocation of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group became a daily distraction for Smart’s squad. The Kings finished 28-54, missed the playoffs for the seventh straight year and head into another offseason with the roster the same as the franchise’s future off the court — uncertain.

“Sometimes you don’t reach that goal the first time. Sometimes there’s pain and frustration,” Smart said. “And that’s what we had this year — pain and frustration. Now you’ve got to try and do it all again.”

Maybe.

The Maloof family has had a signed agreement since January to sell the Kings to a group that wants to move them to Seattle and rebrand them the SuperSonics — who left the Pacific Northwest for Oklahoma City in 2008. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has streamlined a new arena financing plan and put together a competing investor group to buy the team and keep it California’s capital city.

NBA Commissioner David Stern has said expansion is not an option right now and a decision between the two bids is unlikely until at least May.

Since players first learned of the pending purchase agreement on their smartphones three months ago, they’ve been peppered with questions before every game — at home and on the road — and from family and friends wondering what will happen. Sometimes even players would ask reporters in the locker room about developments.

With that disruptive backdrop, they still had to play and practice like pros. Most kept quiet about how much the possible relocation really affected the team’s focus until after a 112-108 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the regular-season finale Wednesday night.

“Since I’ve been here, it’s been the same thing, every year the same thing,” said center DeMarcus Cousins, drafted fifth overall by Sacramento in 2010. “I’m tired of it and I know the fans are tired of it.”

The Kings have some big roster decisions to make this summer — but can’t until an ownership group is stabilized.

Cousins is eligible for a contract extension. Tyreke Evans, the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year, will be a restricted free agent. Even the man charged with making those decisions, general manager Geoff Petrie, has a contract about to expire.

Smart’s status also is uncertain. In August, he signed a contract extension through the 2013-14 season. As of now, he’s heading into an all-too familiar — and for him, unfortunate — situation as a lame duck coach.

Smart took over for the fired Paul Westphal in January 2012 after the Kings started 2-5. Before that, the Golden State Warriors decided not to extend Smart’s contract after the 2010-11 season, when the long-time assistant hastily replaced Don Nelson. He also had a stint as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ interim coach for the final 40 games in 2003 after taking over for John Lucas.

Smart still planned to hold exit interviews with players, assistants and front-office staff this week. He also hopes to stay in touch with players in the offseason and develop a new strategy for training camp, sticking with that live-for-today mentality that kept him balanced through a season that was anything but steady.

“I’ve always understood the dynamics of life, and that’s why I can focus on every day as a new beginning and not focus on where things will be in the future,” Smart said. “And I think that’s why I was able to come every single day and focus on that day and not so much on what’s going to happen, to keep the players’ minds from wandering, to keep everybody’s minds from wandering.”

What tomorrow could hold is still impossible to ignore.

Everywhere players and coaches go they are asked about the team’s future. Even on the court, the Kings can’t truly start preparing for next season until NBA owners vote on the franchise’s fate.

Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas, a Tacoma, Wash., native who starred at the University of Washington, has been in an awkward spot all season — torn between the fans he has grown to love in Sacramento and his roots back home as a Sonics fan. He said he planned to stick around Sacramento until a decision had been made, but the vote keeps getting pushed back.

“It’s very weird because you just don’t know,” Thomas said. “I might have shot my last basketball at Sleep Train Pavilion. So you just never know, that’s the scary thing about it. You might not see these fans. I might not be in this community anymore, you never know. A lot of things are up in the air and that’s what stinks right now.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

‘Same Time, Next Year’ opens in Benicia

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Man to stand trial in rural Vacaville killing

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 11 Comments | Gallery

‘We Got Next’ Comedy Tour stops at Dimitri’s

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Puppies to take part in Vallejo dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Afisivalu announces run for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Tonnesen seeks Fairfield City Council seat

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Family matriarch celebrates 100th birthday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Barbecue brings big crowd, progress to Parkway Gardens

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 18 Comments | Gallery

Assist-A-Grad wraps up interviews

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Napa County bridge to close for work

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Town hall on crime set in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 9 Comments

 
Crash shuts I-80 offramp to Highway 12

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 5 Comments | Gallery

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Putin’s choice of words shed light on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Who gained, and what, at Ukraine talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Salmon released in California river restoration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
1 dead, 1 injured in California boating accident

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

BART fined $210,000 for worker deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Military shell prompted evacuation of hundreds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California health care sign-ups exceed projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3 1/2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Holder: Hate crimes ‘an affront to who we are’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

Spate of Mideast virus infections raises concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Samples collected from oil slick not from plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

S. Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Peru volcano prompts evacuation of 4,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Nigeria: Fate of 115 abducted girls unknown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Food brings back fond memories

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Internationally out of touch

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

 
Watch out for grandson scam

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 20 Comments

Why so much spent to find a plane?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for April 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My husband tells our sons that they don’t need to listen to me

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B13

 
Horoscopes for April 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B13

.

Entertainment

 
Week in preview April 18-24, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Review: ‘Heaven Is for Real’ heartfelt but dull

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lost radio program featuring Hank Williams found

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
‘Real Housewives’ TV star faces battery charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Ill, hospitalized Miley Cyrus postpones more shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Badminton update: Rodriguez, Armijo head toward post season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
MEL boys roll to easy win over SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Short-handed SCAC girls ‘gut out’ all-star win over MEL

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Dodgers get to Bumgarner early for win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Miguel Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Sponsorship woes put Swan Racing future in doubt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in Arizona jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Season wrapup: Sacramento Kings’ ‘new era’ off to slow start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Clippers-Warriors series billed as must-see TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Kuchar builds on Masters momentum, shares Heritage lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

War of words in Northwestern-athletes’ union fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Shumenov gets big chance in ring against ageless Hopkins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Montreal team sign Chad Johnson to 2-year contract

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Seattle 1B Choi banned 50 games for positive test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Dodgers’ Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stanford takes lead at LPGA LOTTE tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Boston Marathon makes room for more runners

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Vanden clinches at least share of SCAC boys tennis title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Toyota Camry gets a top-to-bottom makeover

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Judge won’t order recalled GM cars to be parked

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Walmart jumps into the money transfer biz, loudly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13