Quite a 24-hour period for the newest members of the Sacramento Kings. Upon their arrival in California, rookies Tyler Honeycutt, Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette were greeted by hundreds of eager fans yesterday at Sacramento International Airport.
Video: Jimmer and company’s arrival at Sac Interntional (via Kings.com)
Then today, they were formally introduced to the local media and appeared at a rally at Arden Fair Mall.
Notes, more video and a photo gallery of today’s events after the jump.
Notes and observations
- During the press conference (which you can watch below), I asked two questions.
- To Jimmer: why’d he pick the number seven?
- And to all three of them (but only Jimmer answered, somewhat vaguely): are they ready to step up in the community and help build support toward the construction of a new arena?
- Introduced myself to Jimmer’s father, Al and had a pleasant conversation with him for several minutes.
- Mr. Fredette wasn’t too familiar with the relocation saga that ensued over the last few months. I gave him a quick a rundown of what’s happened recently (the formation of the Here We Build Committee and its role to figure out how to finance construction of a new arena). News from the capital city doesn’t make big headlines out on the east coast.
- On a related topic, I asked him if the organization had given them a tour of Power Balance Pavilion. He said they hadn’t yet. Then, I explained to him when they do, he’d see why a new arena is needed for his son’s new team.
- We also discussed Jimmer and his family’s plans to acclimate themselves to Sacramento. He told me they have a meeting tonight with some members of the LDS Church here in Sacramento who could advise Jimmer on how to best situate himself in Northern California.
- Jeff Austin, one of three members of Jimmer’s representation on hand today (and also head of Octagon’s entire basketball division) told me that Jimmer’s current stay in Sacramento would be short. They’re taking a red-eye flight tonight back to New York for a hall of fame ceremony that takes place tomorrow in Albany.
- Also met Honeycutt’s parents – his father, Darren and mother, Lisa Stazel.
- Both were ecstatic their son would be playing only an hour’s flight away from their homes in Southern California.
- Before taking part in a photo shoot with his son, Tyler’s father pulled me aside momentarily. He told me Tyler’s grandfather was quite a big Kings fan despite living in Southern California. He was rooting against the Lakers in the 2002 Western Conference Finals.
- And finally, touched base with Assistant Coach Jim Eyen for a bit after the press conference as well. We talked about the looming lockout and whether it factored into their decision-making process toward the NBA Draft. I asked him if they targeted players who they were confident would work fine without the guidance of Kings staff should a work stoppage occur. He said no.
Video: Introductory press conference for the rookies (via Kings.com)