Live from the locker room: Kings vs. Thunder

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Here is the latest news live from Sleep Train Arena:

  • The Sacramento Kings have double-duty tonight. Not only must they compete against the fully stocked Oklahoma City Thunder without DeMarcus Cousins for a tenth straight contest, but they must also juggle heavy emotions after head coach Michael Malone was fired on Sunday. “It’s a tough balance, man,” said interim head coach Tyrone Corbin. “Just trying to get them on the same page. We have to move forward. We love coach Malone. He did a great job with these guys, and I think these guys knew that he cared about them and they cared about him. But we are where we are. Like I said before, OKC is not going to feel sorry for us.”
  • Corbin is expected to implement a more up-tempo offense than was used by Malone, but the interim coach stressed the slow-moving process to morph the identity of the team. “We have to do a gradual change,” Corbin noted. “The guys are comfortable with what we’ve been running. We can tweak some things as we go forward. You can’t throw a bunch of stuff with not a lot of practice time. We have to acclimate to it on the floor.”
  •  The Kings will go with a new starting lineup tonight. Reggie Evans takes the place of Ryan Hollins and will start at power forward, with Jason Thompson at center.
  • Omri Casspi (knee) is officially out for tonight’s contest. The sixth-year forward will miss his fifth straight match.
  • Thunder head coach Scott Brooks, who served as an assistant and interim head coach with the Kings during the 2006-07 season, had this to say about Malone: “He’ll bounce back. He’s an excellent coach. He’ll be back in the mix fairly quickly.”
  • The Kings recalled Eric Moreland from the Reno Bighorns this afternoon. The rookie power forward will be available for tonight’s game.
  • Tonight is Peja Stojakovic’s jersey retirement ceremony. Vlade Divac, Brad Miller, Doug Christie, Bobby Jackson and Scot Pollard will all be in attendance.

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About: Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is a writer and reporter for Cowbell Kingdom. He previously covered the Sacramento Kings and the NBA for Sports Out West. He is published by Sports Illustrated’s Truth and Rumors and Yahoo Sports NFL among others.