I have spent almost an entire season hanging out with the Sacramento Kings, be it at the practice facility or in the locker room in the bowels of Power Balance Pavilion. I have tried my best to provide a glimpse into the Sacramento Kings players that you can’t find elsewhere. For the most part, I think I have been able to accomplish this goal, but there has always been one lone holdout. Veteran swing man Francisco Garcia is a tough nut to crack. What’s worse is that Cisco is the unequivocal leader of this group, someone who you would really like to dig deeper with and get to know. Have I spoken to him? Yes, of course. Have I gotten anything of substance from the longest tenured King? No, but I still have eight more home games to try and break through.
I want to be clear, Garcia is approachable and extremely intelligent, he just doesn’t seem comfortable with the media. It doesn’t help that I was the guy who tossed a pass to him while he wasn’t looking early in the season during a practice and hit him in the face, but that is a story for another day.
Following the Kings’ loss to Orlando on Wednesday night, I caught up with Cisco to ask him a few quick questions about his health and the Kings possible relocation. Although his answers are short, they are always on point.
JH: You’ve been back for three games now, how are your legs feeling?
Cisco: I feel better, I feel better. I’m still getting my timing and into game shape, but my legs feel good.
JH: You just missed 21 games with the calf injury, and this isn’t the first time you have had a freak injury keep you out for a while. How much would you like to play a whole season and get a little bit of luck with the injuries?
Cisco: Well, you know you can’t really control injuries. I wish I could play the whole season all the time, but with the way I play so hard… Next year, I’m going to try and stay as healthy as I can just like every year.
JH: You’ve been in Sacramento for a long time now (six years), how much does the city of Sacramento and the fans mean to you and how much is all of this (relocation talk) hitting you personally, as the longest tenured player?
Cisco: I love Sac. I love Sac. I’ve been here for my whole career so it’s going to be tough if we leave, but that’s the job. It’s a business and if we leave, we’ve got to do what we have to do.
When the Kings have been at their best this season, it is with a healthy Francisco Garcia on the floor, stretching the defense with his long range shooting. Unfortunately, Garcia has been a hard luck case when it comes to injuries, not only this season but the last three. Some guys are talkers. Cisco is not one of those guys, but he is thoughtful, and as the lone hold-over from the Kings’ last playoff team in 2006, he has the respect of the players around him. I will keep trying to have that breakthrough moment with this true fan favorite, but until then I will try to steal little moments when I can.