This is the last official day of camp and I have to be completely honest, I am sad. For the last four weeks, I have put my life on hold to chase the story here at the practice facility. A special thanks goes out to the Kings for the amazing access but also to everyone who watched my children in the middle of the day and made this possible. It has been a wild ride and I have loved every minute of it.
When they lifted the screen today, the team was in full scrimmage mode like Sunday’s practice. It was lively, active and again, Coach Westphal tried a bunch of different line-ups. The team looks hungry and ready to compete. There were a handful of crashes but everyone seemed to survive the day.
- Samuel Dalembert- (adductor) out. Dalembert practiced but did not partake in the 5 on 5 scrimmage. Although he would love for us to believe that he is almost ready, Coach Westphal set the story straight on whether Dalembert would play on the three game road trip to start the season:
Maybe in pre-game workouts he’ll get on the court. It’s going to be hard for him to get much scrimmage time. I hope he’s feeling well enough to play and we’ll do whatever the doctors say but he’s still got to get some basketball time in so we’ll see.
Here is Dalembert on the situation:
- On where he is at physically: “Ahead, way ahead of schedule. I’m excited.”
- On whether there is still a level of pain: “No, that’s why I’m trying to push it a little bit. Yesterday I did the cardio and after that I’m going to do some other stuff again. Try to push it so tomorrow I can see how I really feel. If tomorrow I feel good we keep going.”
- On his lateral movement: “I was impressed today from the first time I came back. My lateral movement was much better today. I didn’t feel no pain, nothing like that. You know I feel a little awkward, my timing was a little off today but other than that I feel great.”
Coaches Notes and Quotes:
- Westphal on the rookies about to embark on the new season: “Mainly I want them to take care of themselves and to eat right and get their rest and respect how much effort they have to bring to the game every night. And I’ll tell them that there is going to be some ups and downs but the only way they can really look back with no regrets is to play hard and play unafraid and keep trying to learn everyday.”
- On Dalembert as a mentor: “He’s very helpful. Samuel is a real verbal person who’s extremely interested in everybody and he’s got good experience. I think he’s somebody the players can really look up to and learn a lot from.”
- On whether he has seen Dalembert live up to the rap of not being a hard worker that has followed him from Philly: “No, not at all. I didn’t even know that was his rap. Anybody can say anything they want but anybody that we’ve talked to that’s known him, that hasn’t been an issue.”
- On why Antoine Wright was missing from practice: “Antoine was excused for personal reasons. He’ll be back tomorrow.”
- On Minnesota: “They were 6-2 in the pre-season. They’ve really shown that they are determined to play hard and to play together and pass some people in the standings. They have a great rebounding team. When you can play Beasley at the three and Kevin Love and Milicic, you’ve got a big team and all those guys can really hit the boards. They can hang there hat on the fact that they have great size and they’re really good rebounders and they’ve been shooting the ball extremely well from behind the arc. We’ve been defending behind the arc really well so somethings got to give in that respect. It’s important that we do a good job on the boards and defend their three point shooters and execute our offense. We’ve been moving the ball a lot better at practice the last couple of days and we need to bring that to Minnesota with us.”
- On the starting line-up for game one: “We are going to start with Beno, Cisco, Donté, Carl and DeMarcus.”
- On whether Whiteside will or will not play in the first week of the season: “He’ll be available to play. I think there is a good chance he’ll play. Were not going to determine in advance how many minutes he’ll get. We”ll more than likely use Jackson and JT at the 5 spot but there’s a good chance that we’ll put him in because he’s been doing really well in practice.”
We caught up with Kings rookie center DeMarcus Cousins after practice and here is the video of that exchange:
And yes, DeMarcus Cousins did say he was down to 280-pounds.
For those of you who are wondering, yes, I will continue with the work that I am doing here at The Purple Panjandrum throughout the season as long as the Kings allow access. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please feel free to either use the comment section below or e-mail me (which can be found in the “About” pull down).