Sacramento Kings Mini Camp Notebook: Jimmer showing improved poise, Darnell Jackson mentors Thomas Robinson
- A few changes have been made to the Kings’ mini camp/summer league roster. Isaiah Thomas and Tyler Honeycutt are now listed , though neither were present during today’s mini camp session. It’s unlikely we’ll see Honeycutt in action because of the stress fracture he suffered in his right foot, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s with the team in Las Vegas. As far as Thomas is concerned, his status is up in the air. “I don’t know what is happening with Isaiah as far as whether he’s going to play or not,” said assistant coach Alex English of Thomas. “I know he’s getting his college degree and that’s a great thing.”
- Former Louisville standout Edgar Sosa is no longer listed on the Kings’ mini-camp roster. Along with Kings swingman Francisco Garcia, Sosa is a member of the Domincan Republic National Team, which failed to qualify for the Olympics after losing to Team Nigeria on Sunday. Though eliminated from the summer games, the Domincan Republic will suit up Thursday in an exhibition game against Team USA.
- English thinks Jimmer has been playing more confident and looks more sure of himself on the court. Jimmer did appear a bit more poised on the court, running plays more effectively as his team’s point guard. From the portion of the scrimmage I watched, he dished a few passes and didn’t leave his feet, like he would’ve done last year.
- English on Hassan Whiteside’s progress: “Hassan is working. He’s still got a lot of improvement. I think what we’d like to see from him is him be more aggressive, him be more of a (defensive) force in the paint for us. We don’t need him to score – we need him rebounding and blocking shots. And I’m sure all of the coaches would like to see him do all of that a lot more.”
- Darnell Jackson has embraced a leadership role on this mini camp roster. “My goal for summer league (and) mini camp is just come in here and stay on with the young guys,” Jackson told reporters. “Show them the ropes a little bit and just tell these guys what’s really important. You’re not just auditioning for (this) organization, for the Kings, you’re auditioning for every organization in the NBA, especially when you go to Vegas.” Jackson’s last stint in the NBA was with the Kings during the 2010-11 season.
- As expected, Jackson is also personally mentoring Kings rookie big man Thomas Robinson. Both men are Jayhawk alums and share similar personal backgrounds. “He mentored me at Kansas and he’s doing the same now,” Robinson said of Jackson. “So, he’s definitely a big help for me right now.” While playing in the Ukraine last season, Jackson says he texted Robinson to check on him and his little sister Jayla from time-to-time.
Reminder: Kings begin summer league play on Friday against the Charlotte Bobcats. Games will be televised on NBA TV. You can view the complete Kings’ summer league schedule here.