We have known this week was coming. Second-year point guard Isaiah Thomas, in a major show of leadership, called his teammates together for a mid-summer meeting in Sacramento. According to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, a total of ten players have arrived for a week of weightlifting, scrimmaging and bonding.
We’ve done our best to bring you something from this pow-wow, but to date, we have come up empty. The team has made it clear that this week is not about media or talk; it’s about building a team from the ground up – something coach Keith Smart has been preaching since he took over the Kings early last season.
According to Jones, Thomas is joined by fellow guards Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette and the newly-acquired Aaron Brooks. Travis Outlaw and Tyler Honeycutt are in town to represent the wings, while DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and rookie Thomas Robinson anchor the post.
The Kings lacked veteran leadership last season as Francisco Garcia, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes all suffered career-worst years. Unfortunately, none of these three are in town for the festivities. Garcia is in London for the Olympics, something planned well in advance when he thought he would be playing for the Dominican Republic National Team. As for Salmons and Hayes, they, along with newly-acquired James Johnson, make up the remaining missing players from the team’s 14-man roster. There has been no word on their absence.
Thomas will stick around town for a little while longer, hosting a youth basketball camp Aug. 6 to 9 at the Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. Plenty of the other guys have already committed to the second-annual Goon Squad Classic, put on by former Kings forward Donté Greene on Aug. 10 at Cosumnes River College, meaning we’ll have plenty opportunities to check in with many Kings players during the long month of August.