Sports

Kings coach expects more in practice

Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus, center, shouts out instructions to his players during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007. The Kings won 111-87.
Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus, center, shouts out instructions to his players during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007. The Kings won 111-87. (Steve Yeater / The Associated Press)

It didn't take a long time or many words for coach Reggie Theus to sum up Monday morning's workout at the Kings' practice facility:

"It was (garbage)," Theus said before being asked what made it that way.

"I don't know. I think it happens. I think guys hope they get the next day off after playing the night before. But at the same time, since training camp started, I think there's maybe been three or two and a half days where I could say it's been like that. They were just unfocused.

"I don't know, maybe they were all saving it up for Fandemonium."

The Kings held their annual introduction of the team to the fans Monday evening at Arco Arena.

The event, intended to provide fans with a lot of interaction with the players and coaching staff, was attended by 4,000 to 5,000 fans.

Theus said following the workout that he didn't know much about the event, but he was happy to participate.

"I've gone through things I think are similar, but anything that has to do with the fans, you have to be sensitive to doing," he said.

"It's not about you, it's about them. It cuts into your day, but you know what, you didn't work a 9 to 5, either."

Theus repeatedly has said his most important job is attempting to change the team's mind-set.

"The team has to figure out how to win games, how to play hard, how to push the ball," he said.

"Anybody can come in and put in plays and a structure. But it's the mind-set that has to be changed; the team had structure last year. And I'm pleased with the effort."

Theus said he and his staff must constantly provide the impetus.

"I won't let down," he said. "I have to come in with the energy and effort every day and so does the staff."

Theus said Monday's practice left him ambivalent.

"The player side of me understood that it was just one of those days," said Theus, who played 13 NBA seasons.

"The coaching side of me almost sent them home. But I knew there still was stuff to do. I think vets know how on days like this to fight through it for 35 or 45 minutes and then coast."

Theus had one more veteran with which to work Monday with the return of power forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in late June.

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