Kings new arena: Local businessman donates 25K to keep subsidy question on ballot

 by Ken Gimblin

SACRAMENTO–Local business tycoon Chris Rufer has put up $25,000 in donated money to the campaign to stop the Sacramento Kings downtown arena which would place a subsidy question on the June 2014 Sacramento ballot. While the City, local government, and many supporters of the Kings proposed new downtown arena at Westfield Mall is under plans the opposition could turn out to be a wild card as they’re fund raising is starting to take on a life of it’s on.

Rufer whose business is in Sacramento is taking the opposing view. In addition to Rufer’s donation there are two groups working to oppose the arena build in downtown and they both have raised tens of thousands of dollars in their campaign to oppose it.

The groups are fighting to keep an intiative on the ballot that questions if public sudsidies should finance any new proposed sports or entertainment facilities in Sacramento. So far the group STOP Sacramento Taxpayers opposed to Pork and Voters for a Fair Arena Deal have stepped up raising nearly $40,000.

A group who is in favor of the subsidy has delivered collecting cash and checks in the amount of $26,000 and this group is fighting to keep the question of public subsidies being used off the ballot. The price tag for a new Sacramento downtown arena subsidy is $258 million.

The Voters for a Fair Arena Deal have raised $8,500 and STOP has raised $31,473 both groups who are pushing for the opposition to the new arena and putting the question about public funds being spent towards any new such subsidies need 22,000 signatures on the petition to get the queston on the ballot. The 22,000 signatures needed are due by mid December.

The campaign’s credibilty was in question over  the summer when Chris Hansen who wanted to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle funded the signature gathering effort to get the question on the ballot spending $100,000 and having a Los Angeles law firm manage the campaign. STOP said they had no idea that Hansen funded the campaign and Hansen later ended up having to pay a $50,000 fine for violating California campaign disclosure laws.

Rufer is the founder of a company group called Morning Star which is a tamato producer which profits $350 million annually. Rufer’s company now controls 40 percent of the tamato processing in America. Rufer had issues in his company when a former Morning Star executive Fredrick Scott Salyer was sentenced to six years in prison for rackateering and price fixing charges. Rufer said in court papers that alledgedly Salyer cheated the company by bribing executives from competing companies at Kraft foods and Frito Lay, Salyer also alledgedly bribed Rufer’s personal assistant to steal confidential company data.

Ken Gimblin is covering the Sacramento Kings new arena build for Sportstalk Radio

Kings lose to Thunder, 97-95

By George Devine, Sr.

The Kings found out tonight how much DeMarcus Cousins has meant to their offense, by going without him against Oklahoma City. Cousins, who sprained his ankle in a game against the Warriors two days earlier, watched as the Thunder eclipsed Sacramento, 97-95.

Isaiah Thomas took the leadership role for the home team, scoring 24 points; 21 of them were in the final period and it looked as though the Kings would come through, but it was not to be. At one point late in the game, between the third and fourth periods, the Thunder went on an 18-0 run. The Kings were scoreless for the last three minutes of the game; Thomas could not make the final shot to neutralize the visitors’ advantage, and was outscored by OKC’s Kevin Durant, who had 27 points and also contributed 11 boards. Also leading for Oklahoma City were Russell Westbrook with 15 points, 7 assists and 8 rebounds, Jeremy Lamb with 14 points and both Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka with a baker’s dozen apiece. Ibaka also accounted for 9 rebounds.
For Sacramento, Ben McLemore tallied 14, followed by Derrick Williams with 13, Greivis Vasquez with a dozen and Jason Thompson with 10; Thompson also had 10 boards.

Kings vs Clippers Preview

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings have not played a game since their loss last Sunday to the LA Lakers 100-86. The team looked tired in the second half of the Lakers game after losing a heartbreaker to the Cippers 103-102 on Saturday night.

The Clippers defeated the Knicks 93-80 on Wednesday night even with Chris Paul having to leave the game with a strained hamstring.

After the Knicks game, the Clippers seemed very pleased with their defense that held NYK to just 80 points. The Clippers have primarily been defeating teams with their offense. They have not lost a game this season when the team has scored 100 points or more in the contest.

The Kings will need to concentrate on controlling the defensive boards tonight. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can dominate the rebounding situation and kill a team with easy put back shots off the rebound. The Kings will need more than just Cousins to battle under the bucket to keep the Clippers from having multiple opportunities on offense.

The Kings must also play better defense on Friday. The Clippers are shooting 47.9% as a team. The Kings need to bring that percentage down into the low 40’s in order to post a victory.

The Kings will also need to show improved shooting versus the Clippers. Sacramento is averaging just 42.7% shooting from the field. That shooting percentage will not get it done against the Clippers.

The Clippers must contain DeMarcus Cousins if they are to win. Cousins scored 23 points and pulled down 19 rebounds versus LAC last Saturday. Cousins may have some help on the front line tonight with Derrick Williams starting at small forward. This will be Williams’ first game as a King.

The Clippers have two players with health issues coming into the game. Paul’s hamstring is questionable, but he has said he will be ready to play Friday night. Blake Griffin is nursing a tender elbow that had to have fluid drained off it earlier this week.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PST. The game can be seen on CSNCA and heard on the Kings Radio Network.

 Ray McCallum Returns from Reno

 The Kings have recalled rookie guard Ray McCallum from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League. McCallum joined the Bighorns on November 21.

McCallum averaged a team high 22 points (45.5 FG%, 30.8 3pt%, 66.7 FT%), 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.33 steals and a team high 38.0 minutes of playing time in three games with Reno.

McCallum should probably buy some tire chains as he may well be making the trip between Sacramento and Reno several times this season. The Kings want him to get playing time. If the PT does not come in Sacramento, he will be sent to Reno to get some game experience.

Kings Trade for Power Forward Derrick Williams

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

If you thought the Sacramento Kings new ownership and management were just going to struggle through the season until the draft, you were wrong. The Kings have sent Luc Mbah a Moute to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Power Forward Derrick Williams.

“We’re excited to acquire a player with Derrick’s skillset,” said D’Alessandro. “He will add size, length and serve as a scoring threat in our frontcourt. We also want to thank Luc for his contributions during the short time he was a King. We wish him the best.”

Williams was the second overall draft pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Much had been expected of Williams, but he was never able to settle in at one spot long enough to thrive. The Timberwolves tried him at Small Forward, but that did not pan out. He was moved back to Power Forward, but that put Williams up against Kevin Love for playing time.

Williams did show he can be a force at the four spot when Love was out due to injury. His point production and rebound totals went up exponentially with his increased playing time. Williams wanted out of Minnesota in order to go to a team that would up his time on the floor.

Williams is 6-8, 240 pound forward. He is averaging 4.9 points (35.2 FG%, 13.3 3PT%, 87.5 FT%), 2.4 rebounds and 14.7 minutes of playing time per game. His playing time should increase rapidly as the Kings look for answers at the Power Forward position.

Mbah a Moute was a real key in executing this trade. The Timberwolves are looking for a greater defensive presence on the floor. Mbah a Moute is capable of defending the small forward and the guards. He was making an impact on defense for the Kings, but Sacramento needs additional scoring up front to take some of the pressure off of DeMarcus Cousins.

Kings fans should get their first look at Williams on Friday night when the LA Clippers come to Sleep Train Arena.

Lakers cruise past the Kings 100-86

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

No one likes to play the LA Lakers at Staples Center. The crowd, the stars and “show time” make for major distractions. If you have to play the Lakers at home, an opposing team would like LA to have a losing record and be without Kobe Bryant (Achilles) and Steve Nash (nerve irritation). That was the scenario for the Sacramento Kings to take advantage of on Sunday night in SoCal.

In order to have good showing versus the Lakers, the Kings needed to break the cycle of falling 15 to 20 points behind in the first quarter then fighting their way back into the game. This would be even more important against a Lakers team that loves to run.

The tempo was fast and furious in the first period as the teams traded scoring. The Kings were led by Greivis Vasquez with 13 points and DeMarcus Cousins who scored eight points as the team put up 24 points. Sacramento shot 45.5% (10/22) in the quarter. After one period of play, the Lakers led the Kings 29-24 as Sacramento showed much improved play in the first quarter.

The second quarter started off with the Lakers being on fire. They were running and gunning as they hit 3-pointer after 3-pointer in transition and quickly took a 13 point lead. The Kings rather than lying down and blaming their play on it being the second game of a back-to-back fought their way back into contention trailing by just seven – 55-48 – at halftime.

The Kings shot 50.0% (21/42) for the half. Most those points came inside the arc as they shot just 25.0% (3/7) from 3-point land. Vazquez led all Kings scorers with 15 points.

The Lakers shot 46.7% (21/45) from the field. They shot just 31.2% (5/16) from beyond the 3-point line. The Lakers have averaged 41.0% for 3-pointers on the season. Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 14 points in the half.

The third quarter was not a picture of perfection. Both teams struggled early. The Kings closed the Laker lead to two points but could contain LA. The Kings did not hit the outside shots and scored just 13 points in the quarter. The Lakers scored just 18 points. After three quarters, the Lakers led 73-61.

The Kings came out in fourth quarter looking like a young team that was playing the second game of back-to-back road games. The defense just went away and the shooting percentage kept falling. Couple that with the Lakers improved 3-point shooting and it was a recipe for disaster. The Lakers went on to win the game 100-86.

Greivis Vasquez led the Kings in scoring with 20 points. He added seven assists. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. Ben McLemore posted 15 points for the game. McLemore tried to provide a spark for the Kings with his play in the fourth quarter. You can see the potential for the young rookie to become a game changer as he gains more experience.

The Kings shot 41.7% (35/84) from the field and 33.3% (8/24) for 3-pointers. The most glaring stat was the pitiful 53.3% (8/15) from the free throw line.

Pau Gasol finished with a double-double – 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers shot 46.0% from the field and 30.8% from beyond the 3-point line.

COMING UP: The Kings will be able to get some rest this week as they will not play again until the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Kings will play the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. You know the Kings will up for that game after the stinging 103-102 loss on Saturday to the Clippers. Then on Sunday, the Kings Northern California brethren the Golden State Warriors pay a call on Sleep Train Arena. It will be quite the way to cap off a Thanksgiving Weekend.

Kings beat Suns again, 113-106

By George Deviine, Sr.

The Kings went to Phoenix for the second game of a home-and-home series against the Suns and beat them again, this time by a score of 113-106. The key in this game was to score early and often. In the first frame the two teams tied at 27. In the second Sacramento outscored the home team by a 28-23 margin and in the third tallied 119 points against the Suns’ 12. But in the final period, Phoenix went on a run that had them scoring 44 points to the Kings’ 39, and it was the visitors’ early performance that kept them in the game.

Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 23 points. DeMarcus Cousins had 19 and a dozen rebounds despite a sore shoulder that developed after he was fouled in the previous night’s game at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Greivis Vasquez scored 13 points and had 6 assists. Goran Drajic led the Suns with 31 points and contributed 5 assists. Miles Plumlee had 7 rebounds.

Kings eclipse Suns, 107-104

Greivis Vasquez, Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas

By George Devine, Sr.

The Kings improved their record to 3-7 in the Pacific Division with a 107-104 win over the Phoenix Suns at Sacramento.

Leading the charge was DeMarcus Cousins with 27 points ad 19 boards. Ben McLemore had 19 as did Isaiah Thomas. Greivis Vasquez tallied 11 and Patrick Patterson 10.

The Kings led 33-26 after the first quarter but trailed at the half, 63-54. In the third, they barely led, 28-26. But the final period was decisive, 25-16 in favor of the home team which enjoyed a 10-point run toward the end, punctuated by three turnovers by the Suns. The key play before the buzzer took place when Marcus Morris of Phoenix missed a trey from the corner and Cousins got the rebound, subsequently making one of two from the line.

For the visitors, Gerald Green scored 23 and Morris had 19. Channing Frye had 17 with 9 rebounds and Archie Goodwin scored 16.

The two teams meet again at 6 p.m. PST on Wednesday, November 20 in Phoenix, to complete the home-and-home series.

Memphis able to hold off Sacramento surge

Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press –

By Pearl Allison Lo

The Grizzlies were able to overcome a second half surge by the Kings Sunday in a 97-86 win.

Memphis’s Zach Randolph had all 9 of his 22 points after a three by Travis Outlaw with 7:18 left to go in the game, put Sacramento within three.

Randolph was the only player to get a double-double, as he also got pulled down 10 rebounds.

Outlaw led the team with 18 points and 6 rebounds from the bench, with all his scoring done in the second half.

The Kings’ John Salmon, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Travis Outlaw all hit double digit points.

The Grizzlies led for the majority of the first quarter but there were five ties. Memphis pulled away to 25-18 with an 11-4 run after the last one. 7 of those points came from Jerryd Bayless who entered the game with 2:51 left in the first.  Bayless also had a rebound.

The first 3 minutes and 42 seconds of the second quarter were filled with fouls and free throws. At one point, the Grizzlies’ Mike Miller committed a foul and then turnover and Kosta Koufos was called for a foul immediately after. Memphis extended their lead to 17 points during the quarter, converting on five straight possessions. Koufos and Marc Gasol each scored 4 points then and Mike Conley, who had 9 assists in the game, assisted on 3 straight possessions. Gasol had 9 points in the quarter. The Grizzlies ended the first half with a 13 point lead, 47-34.

Memphis extended their lead to 20 several times during the third quarter. The Grizzlies’ Tony Allen started out early with steals on consecutive possessions, leading to points by Tayshaun Prince and himself. After a timeout with 7:37 left to go, coach put in reserves Salmon, Thomas, Thornton, Outlaw and Chuck Hayes into the game, leading to a 24-13 run. Outlaw and Thomas started out with three-pointers on consecutive possessions and combined for 17 of the 19 points scored after. Thomas’s layup with 2:33 left to go put within single digits at the time and Outlaw had 9 points during the quarter.

Thomas made at least two nice passes to teammates up front for points in the fourth. With the shot clock winding down with 9:55 left to go, Thomas was fouled and got a new clock.  After Outlaw put the game within three, he missed two shots and committed a foul and Sacramento went scoreless for over 3 minutes. The Grizzlies shaved a minute off the clock when on one possession, they consistently missed and got the rebound three times until Hamady Ndiaye blocked the ball, Randolph got the rebound and Memphis missed again.

Game notes: Regarding shooting percentage, rebounds and assists, they went in favor of the Grizzlies in the ratios of 55.6% to 37.9%, 49-35 and 30-21. Gasol had 19 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. When Randolph scores at least 15, Memphis is now 5-1, as the Grizzlies beat Sacramento for the sixth straight time. The Kings next play Tuesday versus the Phoenix Suns at 7pm.

Pistons nab first road win against “loudest” competition

Photo Credit: Ed Szczepanski, USA TODAY Sports

By Pearl Allison Lo

On a night when the Sacramento Kings’ fans set two Guinness world records, Detroit got their first win in five games in a 97-90 win Friday.

A well-rounded Josh Smith led the Pistons as the Kings’ supporters created the “Loudest Crowd Roar at an Indoor Sports Stadium.”

Smith had 21 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks.

Sacramento crushed the previous Guinness World Record of 106.6 decibels by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2008, soaring to a sound of 124.9 decibels in the first half, and then surpassing themselves in the second half with a record of 126 decibels.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with a double-double, scoring 26 points with 13 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks.  Detroit’s Andre Drummonds, whose sprained ankle put his status as uncertain before the game, was the only other player to have a double-double with 15 points and 18 rebounds.

The Pistons’ consistently strong three quarters set the pace for their win.

Detroit received the lead 16 seconds into the game with a two-pointer by Greg Monroe and held it throughout the first quarter until Ben McLemore tied the game at 34 with 8:41 left to go in the 2nd period.

Two turnovers and a foul gave the Pistons their largest lead (9 points) within that stretch, as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 5 points within less than 30 seconds.  A  three by John Salmons put the game within four, but McLemore missed a flying dunk and Cousins lost the ball out of bounds.

After Sacramento’s third tie, they got their first lead with 4:52 left in the first half, as Cousins made a consecutive shot.  However, it was also short-lived as Monroe followed up with a basket.  He then missed a free throw but also stole the ball, which eventually resulted in two points by Josh Smith and then a free throw. This was part of a 10-1 run since the tie right before the Kings short lead, which also featured Rodney Stuckey hitting two technicals and a three-pointer.

With 1:19 left in the first half, Sacramento got a 51-50 lead upon a three by Isaiah Thomas.  However, Jonas Jerebko then tied it with a free throw and Detroit got the lead back after two fouls and a turnover by the Kings.

Greivis Vasquez’s second three in a row put the Kings back ahead 64-62 with 5:05 left in the 3rd.  The teams then went back and forth until a three by Brandon Jennings with 4:18 left in the 3rd put the Pistons ahead for good.  As part of a 14-4 run, Detroit finished the 3rd with a 10 point, 80-70 lead.  Stuckey hit another technical, Drummonds had 6 points, Smith had 2 blocks and both Drummonds and Smith worked hard along the glass.

The closest Sacramento got afterwards was reflected in the final score, despite the Pistons going scoreless the last 2:28 of the game.

Game notes: Thomas, Stuckey and Detroit’s Kyle Singler contributed double-digit points off the bench.  Fast break points and points in the paint for the Pistons and the Kings were reflected as 24-16 and 46-34.  Sacramento next plays the Memphis Grizzlies at 3pm PST.

 

Kings sink Nets, 107-86

By George Devine, Sr.

The Brooklyn Nets came to Sacramento and were glad to leave, after losing 107-86 to the Kings. Stanford alumnus Brook Lopez led the visitors with 16 points and 9 assists, but otherwise the Nets were flat. Brooklyn tied Sacramento’s score with 27 points in the fourth quarter, but the game was over long before that. In the other three periods the home team dominated (25-19, 29-21 and 28-19). The Kings’ largest lead was 23 points; the Nets never led. This game was a welcome end to Sacramento’s five-game losing streak.

Moses Thornton came off the bench for the Kings to score 24 points, going 10 for 19. He was 4 for 9 on three-point shots. Grievis Vasquez had 17 points and 12 assists, and Isaiah Thomas had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.