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.
Tune-in after the jump.
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."
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."
Listen after the jump...
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."
Zach Harper and I were both at Tyreke Evans' basketball camp in Oak Park last week. I posted a few of Tyreke's thoughts before and after the 2011 NBA Draft, while Zach worked on a feature published today on TrueHoop. An excerpt:
But as he entered his sophomore NBA season, with high expectations for himself and the team he leads, Evans was already battling a dreaded plantar fasciitis injury to his left foot and trying to be tough for his team. “Just because I’m young, when I got hurt, I tried to play through it, “ Evans said as he reflects on his second season. Tyreke did try to play through it early on and struggled while doing so. He played in 46 of the first 53 games of the 2010-11 season. While it may be unfair to call his averages of 18.3 points, 5.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds in those first 46 games struggling, those were the types of expectations his rookie play brought about. He couldn’t explode to the basket in the same way he was used to, and with his struggling jump shot unable to fall, he was constantly left with a physical disadvantage. “It was pretty hard, “ Tyreke admits. “Just knowing that I like to get to the basket, I’ve got to use that leg to push off with.”Zach actually spent a good 12 minutes with Tyreke for that story. We have highlights from that conversation and the audio for your listening pleasure after the jump. ... More
A double-dip day for the Cowbell Kingdom podcast... Alec Burks - a real option for the Sacramento Kings at seven? We touched base with Coach Tom Abatemarco, formerly with the Kings, now an assistant at Colorado, for his take on the former Buffalo shooting guard. Highlights
- On Burks' shooting: "He has to get his base better on his feet. His feet are parallel, too close together. And we worked with him a little bit on changing that, but it's not going to happen overnight."
- On Burks' defense: "Sometimes Alec cruised and he was guilty of that. And as the year went on, he didn't cruise."
- On Burk's work ethic: "If you asked me this question earlier in the year, I would've said he really needed to improve. But as the year went on, his work ethic got better and better. He was in the office, seven in the morning watching tape with the coaches, he was doing extra work. I mean he really stepped it up and I think he has to step it up even more. I think there's still room for growth. "
With less than 48 hours to go until the 2011 NBA Draft, could the trade winds be picking up for the Sacramento Kings? We caught up last night with Kings beat writer Jason Jones to get his sense of what direction the Kings might take before the draft takes place Thursday. Highlights
- Jones on the Tony Parker trade rumor: "I know Tony Parker's not Chris Paul. But Tony Parker's still pretty good. And I'm thinking that (seven for Parker straight-up) may just be the starting point. But you have to assume that they're going to want to try to get a little more out of a deal than just the seventh pick, (and) who knows what that might be."
- And Raymond Felton: "People forget that when the New York Knicks were playing good earlier this year, Raymond Felton is being talked about as being an All-Star in the east. And he was playing some really good basketball and even when he got to Denver in the trade, I still felt like Raymond played well. He was coming off the bench, you know from starting to (becoming a) reserve, I thought he still played well."
- Alec Burks: genuine interest or smokescreen?
- Some discussion on his piece from Sunday's Bee about Hassan Whiteside.
Bringing us an inside-perspective of the draft process for the Sacramento Kings is Director of Player Personnel and long-time color analyst, Jerry Reynolds. Highlights
- Jerry shares his take on scouting today versus 20-plus years ago.
- On Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette: "I think they're all good prospects. I don't think any of them will fail in the NBA. Now, are they the best prospects? I'm not going to get into that. But I think they certainly all perform well."
- On the possibility of trading out of the pick: "I will say this, I don't see much interest in moving up, so to speak, considering this draft. I think it'd be more likely to even move down. But probably neither."
Draft Express is one of the premieminent, if not top go-to sites for scouting potential NBA players. So we were happy to welcome Jonathan Givony, president of DX, to the CK podcast and share his thoughts on this year's draft. Highlights
- "At the beginning of next week, we're going to see one or two major trades happen, with massive salaries exchanged in preparation for the lockout. You know, getting out of some long term agreements before the new collective bargaining agreement kicks in. And that's just going to throw a wrench in everything. And we're just going have to go back to the beginning and change the order of the draft and start thinking about team needs. And everything's just going to get blown to hell."
- Givony references Chad Ford's story about Jan Vesely's workout for a few teams, including the Kings, in New Jersey this Sunday.
- Givony believes Jimmer Fredette's best-case scenario is a former King.
With the NBA Draft just one week away, we're ramping up the podcast schedule. How will it all play out before the Kings make their selection with the seventh overall pick? To sort through all the draft chatter we're hearing, we welcomed Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick to the show. Highlights
- On Leonard: "The personality and the life story, that's part of why he's moving up the board because he's got an ego in a sense that he's confident about himself, but he's not a young guy that's going to come in saying that 'man I can't wait to get my 12, 13 shots.' He just wants to fit in, work hard and be a good NBA player."
- On Kings scouting: "I was told that three different members - Geoff Petrie, Wayne Cooper & Shareef Abdur-Rahim I think it was, had all made separate trips to see Jan Vesley, which I think tells you something (about their interest). But there's similar stories about Kawhi."
- And as far as Brandon Knight working out against JimmerFredette & Kemba Walker before next Thursday? Sam doesn't see it happening