Training camp update: Day 14

The screen stayed down for most of practice today and when it came up, we were only able to see the waning seconds of a full-court scrimmage. The good news is, Beno, Tyreke and Francisco were all practicing. The bad news is, DeMarcus Cousins was sitting in a chair next to Dalembert and Whiteside with no shoe on his right foot. I have posted an injury report here.

Today was the first day I have really been able to see Donté Greene interact with his teammates after the end of a formal practice session. He spent a good amount of time shooting three’s with Garcia and Evans. Garcia was in rare form, talking a lot of trash and really pushing his young teammates. The announcement of Greene as a starter seems to have lifted the dark cloud hanging over his head. It was good to see him out laughing and having a good time with the Kings on-court leader in Evans and off-court leader in Garcia.

Notes and quotes from Coach Westphal:

  • On the practice itself, “We worked a lot of defensive sets and we added some late game situations that we haven’t been able to put in yet.”
  • On Tyreke, “He made it through practice, but he wasn’t quite sure he was full-bore yet.

I had a chance to catch up with Jason Thompson for a quick Q & A.

Truck Robinson and Jason Thompson.

TPP: You’re close to Donté and he just won the starting job, and I see him out here today and he’s a totally different person than the one I have seen at camp. Do you think he’s over the emotional hump?

JT: Yeah, it’s something that obviously from his rookie year he has been looking to do so he achieved his goal. In this league it’s a business so you know that he’s not going to be complacent, he’s not going to be satisfied. He’s going to want to keep it and keep it for years to come.

TPP: You really fought hard all through camp and it seems like almost out of necessity due to the injuries to Dalembert and Whiteside that you are no longer in the running for a starting spot.

JT: I’ve seen both sides of it in a way. I came off the bench in my first game and had a double-double and then had the starting spot so I think that only time will tell. It depends on how you play and the rhythm of the game. I think sometimes it’s great to be a starter but it comes down to who’s in the game in the last five minutes or the last ten minutes and I think that if I have a rhythm, Coach has faith in knowing that I’ve done well as a starter and well off the bench that I can help this team regardless.

TPP: You’re going to get plenty of minutes with the injury to Dalembert and the youth of Cousins, how do you prepare each game to play both the four and the five?

JT: I can use my versatility and I can read how defenses are playing me. If it’s a stronger guy, I’m strong too and I can still post up and go in the paint. If it’s a smaller guy, I can step out and use my quickness and shoot jumpers as well. I can just read the defenses and it gives me more opportunity to be on the court.

TPP: With how everything played out with Carl and Marcus Landry yesterday, what is it like to have a brother in the league trying to make his way and make a team?

JT: He had more of an opportunity where he’s at. It looks like he’s been doing pretty well and taking advantage of that opportunity. I get to see him when we play in pre-season so that should be fun to see him in an NBA jersey and hopefully he makes the team.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".