With all the talk of a Kings possible move to the Seattle, the game of basketball has almost become secondary once again in Sacramento. With the Maloof family staying mum on the latest rumors, Kings players and coaches were left to answer questions about their team’s future in the capital city following practice today.
“Nothing surprises me anymore,” power forward Jason Thompson told the media this afternoon. “Every year you say we’re moving and this and that. At the end of the day, we love it here in this city and until you officially tell us that I have to move out of my house is when it’s official.”
Thompson is one of the Kings’ longest-tenured players. Unlike many of his teammates, Thompson owns a house in Sacramento and during the season, this is home.
“It’s not official until they tell me I’m not allowed to come into the practice facility and obviously I don’t want that,” Thompson said about the potential for relocation. “I love being here. This is the team that drafted me in this city and I want to be here for a while.”
While Thompson has the stress of home ownership hanging over his head, coach Keith Smart has to try and focus a group of young men who have a job to do on the court.
“It does have a little effect on you,” coach Smart said to a larger contingent of media than usual following practice. “But at the end of the day, you have to go out and practice, you have to play the game and get yourself mentally ready to go play.”
This isn’t Smart’s first rodeo. His last NBA stop was in Golden State, where he dealt with transition and uncertainty after the Warriors were sold to owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob.
Relocation is just another distraction for fans in a season filled with storylines that have very little to do with the game on the court and Smart knows that.
“With everything that has gone on with our team this year, the fans have come out and shown great, great energy in our building,” Smart said. ”(The fans) have booed us when we needed to be booed, but they have supported us when we’ve played exciting basketball.”
See their rest of reaction to the latest round of relocation rumors in the video below.