Photo: Jonathan Santiago/Cowbell Kingdom

The NBA shut down all basketball-related communication from league front offices during the lockout.  Yesterday afternoon, Geoff Petrie broke his silence, addressing media for the first time since June.   After the jump are a few bullet-point takeaways from Wednesday’s media session with the Kings President of Basketball Operations.

  • Petrie said a lot of phone calls to teams and agents were made yesterday.  Two key priorities for the Kings are to reach out first to their own free agents, Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Thornton.    He also noted that the Kings front office is still learning the rules of the new CBA while it’s currently being developed.  Teams can’t officially sign or trade players until the new deal is ratified by December 9th.
  • The practice facility is open for players to use beginning today.  However because the lockout is still technically in effect, they must work out independently without the guidance of the coaching staff.  With the exception of training staff, Kings officials, including Petrie, aren’t allowed contact or conversation with players.  Petrie said he thinks most of them “will be drifting in here the rest of this week and into the middle of next week”.  Media will be allowed to watch workouts.
  • Petrie was asked for his take on having another season of Kings basketball in Sacramento considering all the relocation drama of last spring.  Petrie said he’s thrilled and added: “The fact that at least this level of uncertainty is gone, and we know we’re going to play, and we have a general idea of when we’re going to start…all that is good news for everybody…”
  • Pete Carril won’t be back as a full-time assistant, but there’s hope he remains in advisory role.  Petrie said “wear-and-tear” from travel factored in the decision for Coachie to leave the staff, but added mentally he’s “still as good as ever.”  As far as any additions to Paul Westphal’s staff, Petrie said “it’s possible, but nothing’s eminent.”  The Kings look to be entering this year with a staff of four (Bobby Jackson, Jim Eyen, Keith Smart and Westphal) as opposed last year’s staff of six (Otis Hughley, Truck Robinson, Mario Elie, Eyen, Coachie and Westphal).
  • How does preparing for this season compare to preparing for the lockout-shortened 1999 season? “It’s similar in the sense that the amount of time you have to get your team ready is compressed.  (But) back then, we didn’t know if Chris (Webber) was going to show up right away and we were dealing with that.  We had more roster spots open than we do now.  With our three rookies signed, we have 11-players already under contract.  I think we had only five or six back in 98-99.”
Watch the entire press conference below.  Video courtesy of Kings.com.