Most Kings are gassed after conditioning drills(bee article)
Kings notes: Most Kings are gassed after conditioning drills
By Joe Davidson - Bee Staff Writer
Last Updated 6:32 am PDT Friday, October 6, 2006
Story appeared in SPORTS section, Page C5
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Eric Musselman is a fitness guy.
The Kings' coach appears to have no body fat, and he looks as if he could hammer out a sub-four-minute mile (OK, maybe a sub-six-minute mile running downhill).
Regardless, he sent notice to everyone on his roster this summer that players had to report to training camp this week ready for a conditioning test.
Players had to run four full-court sprints -- from one baseline to the other -- in a certain amount of time (post players were allowed a few extra seconds per sprint compared to the more mobile guards and small forwards).
Players were required to keep running them until they met the time requirement. Center Brad Miller admitted Thursday he needed a second try before passing. Veteran Corliss Williamson, a bull of a forward, exhaled when he succeeded and longed to touch a basketball for a refreshing change of pace.
Swingman John Salmons? He still needs to pass his test.
"I've got to take it every day until I pass," Salmons said. "I never had to run like that. It's the most sprints I ran since college. I think it'll pay off, as long as I pass it sooner than later."
Kenny Thomas, as swift a power forward as there is in the NBA, said the "bigs" were allowed 62 seconds to complete the four-set drills. He peeled off his sprints in 56 seconds.
Ron Artest, who said he "barely passed," remarked that the athlete who impressed him most was rookie free-agent forward Louis Amundson.
Musselman said he has been delighted to see the overall conditioning of the team.
And no one gets a free pass.
Incoming forward Maurice Taylor is rounding into shape by using a Stairmaster, and rookie forward Justin Williams "must have done 6,000 situps today," Musselman said.
"Whatever limb that's not hurt, we'll be working on the others," the coach said.
Handling the rock -- First-round pick Quincy Douby is a scorer, sure, but the Kings want him to handle the ball some, too. Or at least be comfortable with it. The roster has several swingmen who can run the point duty in Salmons, Kevin Martin and Francisco García, but there's room for one more. Douby said he hasn't handled the ball since his second year at Rutgers, but he's up for the challenge.
"They tell me they want me to be a combo guard, and I like that," he said. "My handle has gotten a lot better."
Douby averaged 13.3 points for the Kings in summer league, though he wants to improve his shooting from the summer when he made 43 percent of his shots.
More rookies -- Artest is a sudden fan of Amundson, who at 6-foot-9 can run the floor and score in a number of ways. He's a long shot whom Artest hopes lands on the final roster.
Now if only Artest can pronounce the kid's name.
"I call him Louie A," Artest said. "He's a rookie, so I don't have to learn how to pronounce his name until next year. He's going to be a good player. I love Lou. I hope he makes it."
Double duty? -- The NBA training camp rosters released Thursday had a curious name listed as the lead assistant for the Memphis Grizzlies -- Eric Musselman. Whoops. Either someone forgot to update the data banks or Musselman is secretly pulling double duty with the team he worked for the previous two campaigns -- a certain collective-bargaining agreement violation.
"I'm listed on the Sacramento roster (as the coach) -- I checked that one," Musselman said, laughing.