With all of the golf coverage from this last weekend, we got away from the morning cup o' Kings. Today, we are back and since it's his birthday, we will look into some old footage of Kings power forward/center Jason Thompson as a senior at Rider University.
Kings President of Basketball Operations, Geoff Petrie, became known for his ability to mine talent in Europe through the late 90's and early 2000's. Peja Stojakovic and Hedo Turkoglu became crucial pieces during the glory years of Kings basketball, both drafted as young European prospects by Petrie and his staff. Following the European invasion, Petrie turned to players from small U.S. colleges such as Western Carolina, Rutgers and Rider. Like his European picks, Petrie found success, first with Kevin Martin and most recently with Jason Thompson.
Thompson started out hot as a rookie, joining Spencer Hawes in a promising front line. But the hope that a Spencer Hawes/Jason Thompson front court could return the Kings to the playoffs dissipated quickly. Before last season, Hawes was traded to Philadelphia with Andres Nocion
i for center Samuel Dalembert, clearing minutes for rookie DeMarcus Cousins. Lost in a four man rotation of Dalembert, Cousins and Carl Landry, Thompson struggled in his transition to a role player. After starting 114 games his first two seasons, JT started only 39 games last season and saw his minutes drop from 31.4 in year two to just 23.3 in his third year as a pro.
More after the jump...