Sports

Basketball: Hey Mikki, Kings like you

SACRAMENTO -- As a professional basketball player, Clinton Renard Moore has been many places and done many things.

The Kings big man is better known as Mikki because of his childhood affinity for eating Life cereal. In a 1960s commercial promoting the cereal, a young boy named "Mikey" with a picky appetite eagerly eats the grains when placed in front of him.

Though he looks as if he could still use a few bowls of Life himself, Moore says he eats prolifically, yet retaining weight always has been tough.

Moore, who says he weighed 210 pounds at the start his NBA career, 218 last season with New Jersey and 226 now with the Kings, claims he has gained 15 pounds since the start of training camp despite the "long, long practices that have a lot of running, a lot of running."

There are different ways one can perceive a player who now is with his ninth NBA team. He wasn't good enough to stick with one team or he was impressive enough for another team to want him. Clearly, the 7-foot Moore brings determination with his long, slim frame. He's made a long career despite being undrafted out of the Nebraska in 1997.

Moore is a high-jumping human reason for a transaction list. He's been to Minnesota (twice), Fort Wayne (Continental Basketball Association), Greece, Detroit, San Antonio, Roanoke (NBA Development League), Boston, Atlanta, Seattle (twice), New Jersey (twice), Utah and the Los Angeles (Clippers). He never made the regular-season roster with Minnesota, but there's little doubt he knows a couple of good places there to eat.

Moore, who signed a three-year, $18 million deal as a free-agent during the summer, has impressed his Kings teammates with hustle, a high-level of basketball IQ, a willingness to lead and teach as well as an ability to make 15-footers. Moore last season led the NBA in field-goal shooting at 60.9 percent and became the first undrafted player to accomplish that feat.

Moore says he believes Kings first-year coach Reggie Theus' style of play will benefit his skills.

"The offense we're going to play is perfect for me," Moore said after a 3½ hour workout Tuesday before the team left for Los Angeles to play the Clippers tonight. "We run and gun, baby. That's it."

Theus said Moore has to continue to improve his conditioning, but that he's not concerned about the veteran's ability to get it done.

And Moore says he already has a feeling about Theus, a rookie NBA coach, but a 13-year NBA player.

"Reggie is a good coach," Moore says. "He demands a lot of us because he expects a lot from us. After last year, this is a team that needed somebody to regulate and bring discipline. I respect him a lot."

Moore said his personal goals include becoming "an NBA All-Star and winning an NBA championship, but not in that order. I also want to be a team captain and a team leader."

It appears Moore already is working toward establishing himself as a leader.

Said John Salmons of Moore, "He's a good, good dude. Obviously, he can play. It's good to have him here. He's a good dude and he's going to help. He definitely can shoot the 15-footer and he knows how to play the game. He has a high basketball IQ and he knows where to be on the offensive and defensive end."

Theus said he also has much respect for Moore.

"He's had to work his way up to make some money," the coach said of Moore. "I knew he hustled and had a lot of intangibles and wasn't afraid to take charges. He was the recipient of a lot of open plays (with New Jersey) because (Richard) Jefferson, Vince (Carter) and (Jason) Kidd caused so much havoc. He was able to react and get it done. He's able to find what I call that short corner, and he can finish around the basket."

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WNBA

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