Coach Westphal Summer Interview Part III: Hassan Whiteside and the Rookies

Editors Note: This interview took place on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 before the NBA locked out their players.

This is the third and final edition of the Cowbell Kingdom summer interview series with Coach Paul Westphal.  In today's edition, we talk about last year's second round pick, Hassan Whiteside, as well as new comers Tyler Honeycutt and Isaiah Thomas.  Loaded with potential, a bum knee wiped out almost the entirety of Whiteside's training camp last season.  After playing four minutes in the season opener, the young seven footer out of Marshall never saw the floor again at the NBA level and later admitted to being more injured than originally thought. Honeycutt and Thomas both fell hard on draft night, slipping into the second round where the Kings gladly scooped them up.  With so many young players on the roster, Westphal answers how this group fits into the Kings' rebuilding blue print. James Ham: Hassan Whiteside is a similar player to Samuel Dalembert on the defensive end - a shot blocking defensive specialist.  How is he progressing?  How is his recovery from last season's knee surgery? Coach Westphal: Well, his recovery is coming along well, but it takes a long time.  He's just starting to shoot baskets and move around a little bit.  He can run on a treadmill like a champ.  He's been working hard.  He's an intriguing player, but it's hard to even say what his progress is because there is no measurement of him competing in basketball to define progress.  He's been around watching and trying to pick up as much as you can by watching.  He's been working on his body.  So much of what's going to happen with him is going to depend on how completely his knee heals and how much he can pick up what the NBA is all about. Defensively, it's funny, he can be compared to Dalembert in some ways because they are similar size and shot blockers.  But Dalembert usually blocks his own man's shot.  Hassan is a weakside shot blocker.  Their style is very different even though they have similar body types.  It will be interesting to see how Hassan is able to bring his skills to the NBA. Read more after the jump. ... More

Video: Isaiah Thomas’ Road to the NBA

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yewS7BduuOk Jimmer Fredette isn't the only Kings rookie to have a documentary filmed about his journey to the NBA.  The Kings other new point guard, Isaiah Thomas is the subject of his own movie as well.  From SLAM: From training in Las Vegas at IMPACT Basketball ... More

Three Kings: Jimmer and friends arrive in Sacramento

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)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC0kTMGtY-w

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. ... More

Photo: The New King James

From the rally at Arden Fair Mall. Not really in focus, but I think you get the picture.  And yes, this really happened. More

Video: Tyreke Evans on Jimmer Fredette and the aftermath of the 2011 NBA Draft

Tyreke Evans wrapped up the second day of his two-day basketball camp at the Dr. Ephraim Williams Family Life Center in Oak Park.  If you recall, we were unable to get Evans' comments on the trade to move down from the seventh pick and reacquire forward John Salmons yesterday, as the trade wasn't ... More

It’s time to give in folks and embrace the Jimmer

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqX_b_Bu4hI&feature=related Jimmer Fredette will be arriving at the Sacramento airport Friday at 4pm. It's time for Kings fan to open their arms and embrace the Jimmer. Let's give this young man a Kings welcome folks. More

Petrie and Westphal on 2011 NBA Draft, Jimmer Fredette, John Salmons and beyond

After the final pick of the NBA Draft was made tonight, Kings Vice President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie and Head Coach Paul Westphal addressed the local media at the Kings Practice Facility.  Updated (12:45 am) with video. Geoff Petrie httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtjek5KN0Xo ... More

2011 NBA Draft: Tyler Honeycutt Conference Call

We just got off the phone with 35th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft and newest Sacramento King, Tyler Honeycutt.  As far as his new teammates go, he said he's most excited to play with Tyreke Evans.  And though he was unhappy to slip out of the second-round, he said the wait was harder on his mom. ... More

Kings take Tyler Honeycutt at no. 35.

With the 35th pick in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select sophomore small forward Tyler Honeycutt out of UCLA.  Expected to go in the first round, Honeycutt slipped on draft day and was unexpectedly available when the Kings picked the first of their two ... More

Jimmer-mania comes to Sacramento.

With the tenth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings (via the Milwaukee Bucks) select point guard Jimmer Fredette out of Brigham Young University.  The senior guard averaged an incredible 28.9 points per game in his final college season, shooting nearly 40% from three point ... More