Quick takeaways from Kings training camp day 1

John Salmons and Francisco Garcia take extra shots after practice, while assistants Jim Eyen and Jim Todd rebound.

We’ll have a more exhaustive look at today’s first day of training camp in a post to come.  But to satisfy your appetite for Kings hoops, here are a few takeaways from day one of camp in Natomas.

  • Head Coach Paul Westphal is pretty happy with the team’s conditioning.  “Better than I feared, but still with a long way to go.”  He complimented the conditioning of Jimmer Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt, Isaiah Thomas, J.J. Hickson, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins in particular.
  • Westphal also complimented John Salmons, saying he had the “best practice of anybody today.”
  • Before proclaiming himself this lockout’s Shawn Kemp, Cousins said he believes this incarnation of the Kings is “very talented this year.”  He added: “A lot of people aren’t really feeling us this year.  I kind of like that, so we going to surprise a lot of people this year.”
  • Evans was asked what excites him most about this year’s team.  “We got a lot of weapons we can use.  It’s going to help me out a lot with spacing.  Salmons can shoot.  We got Thornton back, so it’s going to help a lot.  We got a lot of threats coming off the bench, so we shouldn’t have a lot of problems scoring the ball.”
  • The rookie duties have begun for Fredette.  During cool-down, the Kings guard played waterboy and served teammates drinks before the end of practice.  “The rookies have to pay $100 for every bottle that’s on the floor, so I was going around and picking them up because I didn’t want to have to pay $100.
  • Salmons said returning to Sacramento is a “little weird”, but added his family always liked the city.  He also was asked how he would compare this Kings team to the previous Kings squad he played on. “When I got traded, we had a lot of talent.  Talent wasn’t really the issue, just couldn’t put it together.  Coming back, there’s still a lot of talent here.  So, hopefully we can put it all together.  If we do that, we can play against anybody with the talent we have.”

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