Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 14 – Paul Maslin of FM3 Research on Sacramento region’s attitude toward new arena

Findings from a recent survey suggest broad-based support for a new entertainment-and-sports complex in Sacramento.  Paul Maslin of Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin, Metz & Associates, the company that conducted the survey, joined us to discuss the results. Highlights
  • FM3 has conducted 20 or more surveys through the years in a variety of locations on public opinion regarding sports venues.  Recently, they've done work in Los Angeles amidst the city's effort to build a new football stadium.
  • More than ever, political agendas are met with public skepticism.  So is it surprising to find such support for a project with political backing?  "In that context, to have this kind of support for this arena is striking.  I said last night striking is the word I used and I'll repeat it.  It is significant, it is striking, it the midst of what has been a tougher climate in general..."
  • On Think Big Sacramento's execution so far: "I give them credit because they have created the notion of a balanced approach, which people want.  They have clearly gotten people interested and aware of the entire issue, 90 percent.  The fundamentals of the site they've picked and what it means economically clearly have tremendous support.  And they're exploring, with the understanding the Maloofs and other private developers and private interests are going to be part of this deal and part of where the funding is coming from, some interesting ways to solve the public piece.  People get it that this can't be all public and can't be all private."
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Tyreke Evans goes to camp

Our friend Ryan Yamamoto of News 10, was able to grab a few minutes with Tyreke Evans early today from his youth basketball camp at Hardwood Palace in Rocklin, California.  Thanks to Ryan and the News 10 crew who were nice enough to share their raw footage. Here are some of the highlights... More

Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 13 – Rob McAllister of NewsTalk 1530 KFBK

After a one-week reprieve, we're back! Think Big Sacramento announced some new developments this week on the on-going arena project.  KFBK's Rob McAllister joins us on the Cowbell Kingdom podcast to share his thoughts on the entertainment-and-sports complex committee's latest findings. Follow Rob on Twitter. Highlights
  • Ideas for publicly financing the arena are beginning to take shape.  But what about private funding?  According to McAllister, involving private entities like an AEG and also the Kings will mainly serve the purpose of showing creditors the project is worthy of a loan.  "There isn't going to be, let's say, a multi-millionaire (or) billionaire that's willing to throw $50 to 100 million on an arena.  That's really not feasible and that really does not make any sense for anyone to do that."
  • Fall-out from the lockout? "I don't think it's going to help in the matter of public opinion if the team is locked out in November and you're trying to push for an arena.  People are going to be upset if they can't watch the Kings.  On the other end, I think it also slows up the Anaheim deal where they can't just move in the middle of a lockout."  He adds that the lockout doesn't really help or hurt the process.
  • Yesterday's Public Synergies Report revealed some unorthodox means of funding, including selling parcels of city-owned land to raise anywhere from $30 to 60 million dollars for the project.  McAllister believes the land the city could bargain would be from Natomas.
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Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 12 – James Ham from the American Century Championship

Photo by James Ham

Cowbell Kingdom's James Ham is on location in South Lake Tahoe, taking in the action at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. Highlights
  • Jimmer Fredette tee'd off just before noon and is grouped with ESPN football analyst Herm Edwards and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
  • According to James, Charles Barkley's swing has shockingly improved.  "He is swinging right-handed and he does not have the hitch in his swing."
  • Michael Jordan faces a stiff fine from the league if he's caught fraternizing with any current players and their families.  "When I was talking to Jimmer's girlfriend, they were told that they could not talk to Jordan because of the lockout."
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Audio: Jimmer Fredette American Century Championship Conference Call

Jimmer Fredette just wrapped up a media conference call, talking about playing in this week's American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.  He made the call from Los Angeles, where he is attending the 2011 ESPYs. Highlights Would Jimmer play overseas? - "No, I haven't actually ... More

Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 11: Isaiah Thomas, Kings rookie guard

From Husky to King, and still rocking the purple.  We share a conversation James had with Kings new rookie Isaiah Thomas. Highlights
  • James also spoke at-length with Isaiah's father.  In the first part of the podcast, James recaps some of what they discussed.
  • Thomas talks about working out with other Seattle-bred NBA players.
  • Thomas on being a team player: "Any role the Kings need me to do, I'm going to work my hardest to accomplish."
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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

Coach Westphal Summer Interview Part II: John Salmons and Samuel Dalembert

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

  Welcome to part II of the Cowbell Kingdom summer interview series with Coach Paul Westphal.  The Sacramento Kings dropped a bombshell on their fan base just hours before the 2011 NBA draft when they reacquired journeyman small forward John Salmons.  Confusion, anger, utter disbelief reigned as fans lined up single file on the Tower Bridge and jumped to their deaths in the icy water below.  Not really, but between the Salmons trade and rumors that Sam Dalembert has very little interest in returning to the Sacramento Kings, a lot of fans lost sleep.  Thankfully, fans don't get to make the hard decisions, men with years of NBA experience do. James Ham: You just brought in Salmons and that gives you five small forwards (pre-Omri Casspi trade), how is that situation going to settle out?  Is there going to be some movement there? Coach Westphal: Like I said, we're not through with our roster yet.  You can never know what move you can make, particularly now because we don't know what the collective bargaining rules are going to be.  But there will be moves made with our roster, I don't think we'll go in with five small forwards with a twelve man roster, but several of those players are flexible and can play multiple positions.  A lot of this will be addressed when it's possible to address it. Read more after the jump. ... More

Coach Westphal Summer Interview Part 1: Jimmer Fredette

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

Over the next few days, we will be filtering in a new interview series with Coach Paul Westphal.  Before heading home to Southern California for what is shaping up to be a very long summer, Westphal took some time out of his busy schedule to hang out with us here at Cowbell Kingdom.  We will kick off the discussion with a little Jimmer chatter, which seems to be everyone's favorite topic at the moment.   James Ham: Coach, you just moved from pick no. 7 to pick no. 10, you picked up John Salmons and you picked up Jimmer Fredette - how do you see Jimmer fitting in right away?  Is he a role player?  Can he compete for a starting job from day one? Coach Westphal: I really can't envision him taking a spot ahead of Tyreke Evans or Marcus Thornton, assuming we re-sign Marcus.  But if he can, he'll start.  I do think that we can rely on him to play significant minutes.  I'd be really surprised if it doesn't unfold like that and I think he's a point guard.  I think he is a point guard who has great leadership skills, great maturity, great fundamentals.  I don't think there is much concern about him not being a good player.  How great he will become over a period of time, nobody can tell you that either, but there is nothing that leads me to think he can't be a solid contributor right away. Read more after the jump. ... More

Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 10: Larry Coon, Author of the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQ

The lockout is upon us.  At 12:01 am EST this morning, the NBA imposed a work stoppage on its players for the first time since 1998.  NBA Salary Cap expert Larry Coon joins us on the CK Podcast to discuss where negotiations go from here and more. Highlights
  • Coon on the owners' assertion that they're losing money: "The financial statements for a couple of teams have seen the light of day and they paint a picture that's somewhere in the middle."
  • Coon on policing the mandated zero-contact between players and team officials: "You can't be everywhere.  You can't have spies following every player, every front office member.  It's just not possible.  So, what I've heard is that the league has set a $1-million fine for any team that makes contact with players.  And I think that they're hoping that that's going to be enough of a deterrent that that kind of contact won't happen."
  • Coon on Michael Jordan's perspective: "I'm hearing he's one of the more hard-lined guys in this whole thing.  I think he's one of the quote-unquote newer breed of owner.  He's not one of the guys who bought the team three decades ago for a couple of million bucks.  He's one of the guys who are part of a major financing operation to acquire a team for hundreds of millions of dollars and who really needs to see a fundamental turn-around in the way the league works."
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