Tonight, the Sacramento Kings (2-3) wrap up a three-game home stand against the visiting San Antonio Spurs (4-1). Last year’s runner-up in the Western Conference Finals are coming off their first loss of the season – a 106-84 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Kings can stay perfect at Sleep Train Arena after winning their previous two games this week.
Since 1997, the Spurs have won four titles and are widely regarded as one of the NBA’s gold standards of small market success. Kings big man Jason Thompson has extraordinary respect for what the Spurs have accomplished over the last decade-plus and believes their sustained success begins at the top.
You start with Gregg Popovich, the head of the snake, man. And (then) you go with Timmy (Duncan), the amount of the years he’s been in it and been doing it. Even though he has (seen) different faces other than Tony (Parker) and (Manu) Ginobili (throughout his career), they still find a way to get it done. That just tells you here man, if we can get some consistency and faces stay here for a long amount of time, then hopefully we can have a team like that.
For Kings head coach Keith Smart, he looks at the Spurs head man as the universal model for any aspiring sideline leader.
He’s one of the guys that I pay a lot of attention to and obviously talk to. But he’s a guy that I got a chance to know based on the relationship with Coach (Don) Nelson and him…(and) when I was in San Antonio, he was there. But (I admire) just everything about how he approaches the game, how his team is prepared to win a game, how he prepares for a basketball game. (He’s) just a huge mentor (by) just watching what he does and how he does it.
The Kings and Spurs tip off action tonight at “The Train” at 7 pm PT. Follow Cowbell Kingdom for continued pre and postgame coverage of tonight’s action.