Andre Iguodala: I almost signed with Kings, but they gave me a deadline

Andre IguodalaThe Sacramento Kings were seemingly hours away from making a major splash in free agency earlier this month, but their deal with Andre Iguodala fell through. Actually, most reports indicate they took the offer off the table.

Though he denied it, Iguodala seemed to express his frustration with the Kings on Twitter after they decided to go in a different direction. In a recent interview with NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, the former Denver Nuggets point guard said Sacramento gave him a deadline, which rubbed him the wrong way.

“When you’re dealing with deadlines as a player, it’s not really a positive thing to say, ‘All right, they’re giving me a deadline,’” Iguodala said, via Pro Basketball Talk. “You don’t want to really get into deadlines. We had really good conversations and I was close. After the first day, they were in the top three teams, top two teams.

“I think with (new owner) Vivek (Ranadive) coming from (the Warriors) ownership group and going out on his own and getting a team, he has a really good vision of what he wants to build in Sacramento. That vision was really attractive. I was almost close to going there.”

What likely happened is that the Kings got the impression Iguodala was using their offer as leverage to to drive up his offer from Denver. They felt like a pawn in a game he was playing, so they decided to pull the plug. Iguodala then turned around and signed with the Golden State Warriors, which probably gives him a better chance to win anyway.

As we said before, the Kings’ new ownership group was making a statement with the way it dealt with Iguodala. Now, the question is whether it will come back to haunt them.

Andre Iguodala did not seem happy about Sacramento Kings pulling their offer

Andre-Iguodala-NuggetsOn Tuesday, reports surfaced that the Sacramento Kings were aggressively pursuing Andre Iguodala and had offered him a generous four-year, $52 million deal. The offer was not on the table very long.

The Kings pulled the offer either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. A team source reportedly told USA Today Sports that Sacramento wanted a fast answer from the 29-year-old veteran, who was reportedly considering returning to the Denver Nuggets in addition to exploring his options with other teams. Just before word surfaced that the offer was pulled, Iguodala tweeted the following:

ESPN’s Chris Broussard said on Wednesday that the Kings felt as though Iguodala was trying to use them to leverage his position with Denver, which rubbed them the wrong way.

As you know, the Kings are under new ownership. They seemingly decided to go in a different from Tyreke Evans after the point guard was offered a lucrative deal from the New Orleans Pelicans — one that was hefty enough to illicit this reaction from Reggie Miller. Perhaps Sacramento’s new owners are trying to prove that they won’t be pushed around.

Lakers fans sit in Maloofs’ seats at Sacramento Kings home game (Picture)

Maloofs Lakers fans seats

The Maloofs are the majority owners of the Sacramento Kings, so you would figure they would be supporting their team. Instead, they have tried to move the team out of Sacramento to make up for their financial empire crumbling in recent years, and now they’re allowing rival fans to sit in their courtside seats for a home game.

Aaron Bruski of NBC Sports/Rotoworld pointed out that there were Lakers fans sitting in the Maloofs’ courtside seats for the team’s game Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena. Bruski also noted that the Maloofs pulled the same stunt two years ago on a “Fan Appreciation Night.”

I don’t care who the fans are or how close they are to the Maloofs, that is just a horrible look for a team’s owners. The message to the team’s fans is that they are more concerned with selling tickets and making money than supporting their team, which is actually quite consistent with their actions in recent years.

UPDATE: A few minutes after Bruski and Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears tweeted about the Lakers fans in the Maloofs’ seats, someone, who looked like a team employee, came over to talk to the Lakers fans. Later in the first half the Lakers fans were replaced by two fans wearing Kings jerseys:

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DeMarcus Cousins takes shot at Keith Smart

DeMarcus CousinsThe Sacramento Kings are a mess. The team’s majority owners reached an agreement to sell the team to a Seattle-based group, meaning the franchise will be moving. The team is one of the worst in the Western Conference and trying to wade through the season, but that’s never easy when DeMarcus Cousins is your top player.

Cousins is known for being a head case, but he’s also talented. He clashed with head coach Keith Smart earlier this season, and he’s unhappy with his coach again. Following an embarrassing 120-81 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday, the third-year center took a shot at Smart.

According to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee, Cousins said in a sarcastic tone that the solution to the Kings’ problem is to listen to Smart. Jones says Cousins also said he’s sacrificing his game by going along with Smart’s plan.

Cousins is no doubt frustrated. Not only did the team get blown out Saturday, but they have also lost three in a row and seven of eight. Cousins’ numbers have been down in the past week, and he probably is upset that Smart singled him out this week.

Smart said one of the problems with Cousins is that he is not running the floor. As a result, Cousins faces double-teams when he gets the ball in the half-court offense.

“I’m shared with him sometimes you’re trailing,” Smart said, via The Bee. “You need to get down the floor right away. If you get down the floor right away you just created a post up game for us without me calling a play.

“You may run the floor 10 times and only get the ball once but you can’t stop running the next 10,” Smart said. “These things have to become habits to keep yourself involved in the basketball game. Because you can’t slow the game down too much where you’re calling the play 5-down, 5-down over and over again.”

The only good news here is that there are only 33 games left in the season for the Kings. You have to figure the new owners will consider changing coaches or moving Cousins once they assume control.

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Photo credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Why the NBA should stand up to Maloofs, keep Kings in Sacramento

The owners of the Sacramento Kings — the Maloof brothers — have been negotiating to move the team out of Sacramento. The family lost most of its fortune in the recession and, being short on funds, is shopping for sweeter deals from cities looking to lure the team away from SacTown.

Last year there was all the talk about moving the team to Anaheim. The latest negotiations involve Virginia Beach.

Our friend Aaron Bruski of Rotoworld and NBC Sports wrote an impassioned piece for Pro Basketball Talk about the situation. He is a huge Kings fan, and he advocates for the NBA to stand up to the Maloofs to keep the team in Sacramento. You should definitely click on that link.

Bruski compares the current situation involving the Kings to what Rachel Phelps was doing with the Indians in the movie “Major League.” It’s a really good read and we urge you to check it out. We also agree with the sentiment. The Sacramento Kings have an excellent fan base and support that team til death. The Maloofs are no longer suitable owners and should be forced to sell the team to someone who will keep the team in Sacramento. The Maloof family’s shortcomings as owners won’t be fixed in another city.

Chris Webber blows up on Sacramento radio host before hanging up (Audio)

Chris Webber jumped on The Grant Napear Show on KHTK in Sacramento on Friday to discuss the erroneous information Webber’s TNT crew reported about the team’s arena situation the night before during the Kings home win over the Thunder. And as Napear came to learn, Webber was in a pissy mood.

The former Kings star was given the opportunity to explain untrue remarks made during the broadcast by him and Cheryl Miller. Specifically, Miller was corrected by Sacramento Mayor and former NBA point guard Kevin Johnson during an interview when she said the city council rejected a proposal for a new arena. Later in the broadcast, Webber, who sported a Kings jersey during the game, made further comments about a stadium agreement not happening. But during Napear’s show Webber reacted as if he was being attacked.

“All I’ve done is keep Sacramento’s name out there, it’s a fact,” Webber said during a nearly three-minute rant. “Who got on TV last year and said we need people to call in and make sure Sacramento stays? Did I do that? Did I stop my professionalism and go to my one agenda, which is to keep the team there? Can you ever accuse me of being professional when it comes to the Kings? Because you can’t. I can’t be professional because that’s my home. So if we need to have a conversation, let’s have a conversation.”

Napear, who also serves as the Kings’ TV play-by-play announcer, attempted to interject several times to regain control of the interview and pleaded that Webber not end the call, but there was no stopping C-Webb.

“If I did anything wrong to the fans of Sacramento, I apologize, but I’m not going to give this guy a chance on this show to do that,” Webber went on. “I’ll give you the forum to talk to me, and I apologize if I did anything wrong, Sacramento.”

And then he hung up.

Hear the entire heated exchange here:

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Sacramento Kings Overpaid for J.J. Hickson by Giving up Omri Casspi, Pick

The Kings and Cavaliers snuck a trade in before the NBA lockout was announced Thursday, exchanging Omri Casspi and a lottery-protected 2012 first-round pick for J.J. Hickson.

Other than losing the support of Jewish fans everywhere, I thought it was a pretty good trade for the Kings. My initial reaction was sweet, Geoff Petrie finally managed to pull off a trade without getting reamed.

Considering he got killed in the Beno Udrih-John Salmons trade and has a track record of being on the losing end of one-sided deals, getting Hickson seemed like a major coup. Remember, Petrie is the guy who essentially traded Kevin Martin for 27 games of Marcus Thornton.

Looking more closely at Hickson’s numbers last season, though, I’m not so convinced. I’m beginning to think the Kings overpaid for him.

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