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Sacramento Kings’ Media Day 2012 – Coach Smart’s life system at work

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Buckle up, ladies and gents, as it’s that time of the year again!

The time to cheer like madmen and madwomen for your purple-and-black court warriors is just around the corner.

The Kings kicked off their 27th season in Sacramento with their annual Media Day on Monday afternoon. The event saw many new faces in the royal purple, black and white, along with the returning core from last year, as they get ready for their second season under the leadership of head coach Keith Smart.

With the influx of several new players — Thomas Robinson (first-round draft pick), along with Aaron Brooks and James Johnson (free-agent signees) — comes the chance to change up the starting rotation, or find a puzzle piece that fits better into what the team is trying to do in their style of play.

Combine that with the fact that Coach Smart understands that the Kings are still building, and nothing is locked down as far as the position battles are concerned.

It’s a problem that Smart welcomes with open arms.

“Having good players at multiple positions is only going to push the next player to grow and get better,” said Smart. “I look forward to a camp that can possibly be real productive, because it’s going to be competitive. I’m going to share that with them. That I want them to compete against each other. At the same time, when we finish training camp, however the chips fall, I want them to know that we are all in this together. That’s our goal for this team.”

The most telling thing, Smart said, related to how determined he is to not trying, but actually turning this team.

“Until we get that five or eight guys every night for the next five years, that I can say every year they are coming back and I know who the one is, know who the two is, the three and so forth, that’s the approach I’m going to take during training camp.”

For a new guy like James Johnson (6 feet 9 inches tall and 248 lbs.), Media Day signals a fresh beginning for a guy that got off to a nice start in Toronto, but after a couple of years of admittedly realizing that you have to work harder to be someone in the NBA than you do in getting here, it seems like the light has finally kicked on the high beams for Johnson.

“I’m not going into camp trying to show them anything different than what they already have seen,” said Johnson. “They know I’m a hard worker. I know they know my play from last season. That’s all it is. It’s competition. We’ve been doing that our whole lives. We’ve been playing basketball and competing for a spot and I feel like it’s no different now.”

Keep checking in over the next couple of weeks, as I’ll have more interviews with the players and coaches of your Sacramento Kings as they open the 2012-13 season and try to make a push for the playoffs.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF:

RON NABITY
http://nabityphotos.com/

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