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    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Snipets and More from SacBee

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    Brad on Ron:
    ============

    Kings notes: Miller offers some insight into Pacer's world
    The Kings' center recalls a visit to the hometown of Artest and says his former teammate is 'a great guy.'
    By Sam Amick -- Bee Staff Writer
    Published 2:15 am PST Sunday, January 8, 2006
    Story appeared in Sports section, Page C7
    Long before the sports world went searching for ways to understand Ron Artest, Brad Miller was already on the mission.

    It was late April of 2002, and the two Indiana Pacers teammates were in New Jersey to face the Nets in the first round. With Queensbridge, N.Y., not too far away, Miller decided to join Artest on a trip to his hometown.

    "I went to Queensbridge with him ... to get a feel of where he's coming from," said Miller, who played with Artest in Chicago before being traded with him to Indiana two months before the visit. "I always like to learn a lot about people's background, to see what they've been through."

    Did the day-trip help him understand Artest?

    "I don't think it did," said Miller, traded from the Pacers to the Kings before the 2003-04 season. "Pretty much as long as you didn't get shot there, it wasn't too bad. You've got like 10 playground sets on each little block. Definitely, when the sun started to go down, it was time to leave."

    One season after playing a major role in the Detroit brawl between fans and players, Artest's request to be traded from Indiana on Dec. 10 has created quite another headache for the Pacers. In every city along the way, there are questions and speculation about where Artest might go and how his teammates are coping. Miller said it's an unfortunate scenario for all involved.

    "It's hard with Ron, because he is such a great guy," Miller said. "It's hard to watch a guy that's that talented. All he really cares about is basketball, in and out. That's all he lives and dies for."

    Jaws, Part I - The wires are orange, wrapped tightly around his teeth as if the worst kind of dentist did a patchwork braces job.

    Somehow, though, Shareef Abdur-Rahim was smiling through the hardware.

    The Kings' forward, whose broken jaw has mandated such torturous rehabilitation, was at practice Saturday, retrieving rebounds in casual clothes for teammate Jason Hart. There had been earlier Abdur-Rahim sightings within the practice facility, with beads of sweat on his brow from light workouts. But before he considers a return date, Abdur-Rahim's focusing on keeping his sanity.

    So far, so good.

    "It is what you make it," Abdur-Rahim said in a mumbled voice. "I eat through a straw. My wife (prepares the food). It's fruit, potatoes, chicken. I can't really eat to enjoy food. I just eat the necessities."

    For now, a quick return isn't one of the necessities. The Kings are 3-1 without Abdur-Rahim, using their full cupboard of forwards with new starter Kenny Thomas and Corliss Williamson playing well. While coach Rick Adelman said Thursday that he expects Abdur-Rahim to miss at least six more weeks, the medical professionals will weigh in Wednesday, when Abdur-Rahim is to be reevaluated.

    "It is what it is," Abdur-Rahim said. "If you make it miserable, it'll be miserable."

    More Miller memories - Miller arrived in Indiana right about the time Jermaine O'Neal began his ascension to stardom.

    The Pacers' forward became a late bloomer during the 2001-02 season, his scoring average jumping from 12.9 points per game the season prior all the way up to 19.0. O'Neal, who was drafted by Portland out of high school, had four quiet seasons with the Trail Blazers before he was traded to Indiana on Aug. 31, 2000.

    Joe Kleine, O'Neal's teammate in Portland and the Kings' 1985 first-round pick, was included in the trade to the Pacers. But Kleine's 15-year career ended before he could play for Indiana.

    As for O'Neal, he's still on the rise.

    "He's a stud down there," Miller said. "His post game is one of those that a lot of young players can look at and model off of. He's really become fundamentally sound."

    O'Neal, battling pneumonia, is averaging 22.3 points and 10 rebounds per game this season.

    About the writer:

    * The Bee's Sam Amick can be reached at (916) 326-5582 or samick@sacbee.com.
    ++++++++++++++++++


    x - close Recent Stories By Sam Amick




    Kings guard Francisco Garcia, right, makes a pass as Indiana center Scot Pollard defends in the third quarter of Sunday night's game.

    Sacramento Bee/ Andy Alfaro
    Pacers crush Kings 108-83
    By Sam Amick -- Bee Staff Writer
    Published 8:44 pm PST Sunday, January 8, 2006
    [Updated: 10:43 p.m. Sunday] Jermaine O'Neal wasn't quite himself, struck with a pneumonia bug that had taken him out of three games.

    Ron Artest, of course, is eternally missing, placed on Indiana's inactive list since his trade request in early December.

    But the Pacers didn't need much more than Stephen Jackson, whose 31 points in a 108-83 win over the Kings demoralized a team seemingly on the rise and brought the boo birds out at Arco Arena for the first time in weeks.

    Maybe the Kings fans knew the historical significance. With the loss, the Kings tied their number of home losses for last season, the 11th coming nearly three months earlier this time than the last (April 3, 2005). It took a late surge from the reserves to avoid even more history in defeat, as the Kings cut a late fourth-quarter, 35-point deficit to 25 by the time the buzzer sounded and nearly half the sellout crowd had headed for the exits.

    By the time Kings coach Rick Adelman arrived at his postgame news conference, with Kings employees and fans glumly leaving the building, there were more questions than answers.

    "I'm at a loss in that one, so ask your questions," Adelman began the session.

    They came inquiries about a blatant lack of passion; a sluggish offense that shot 39.5 percent and received five points from Mike Bibby (1 of 10 shooting), a combined 24 from Brad Miller and Peja Stojakovic; and two points in 21 minutes from Kevin Martin. Questions were posed about the defense that was two steps slow throughout, allowing the Pacers to set an opponents' season high for three-pointers (13) and losing the rebounding battle 51-37.

    "We didn't compete," Adelman said. "It's hard for me to understand. As the (second) half went on, they started losing their will, and we just backed down and moved out of the way. I don't know how you could do that."

    It was, Adelman had said, the same message afterward as it had been at halftime (the Kings down 60-39), with no response from his players.

    "Everybody in that room is going to have to look at themselves and try to figure out what's going on and think about why we're so up and down. This wasn't just being down this is about as bad as it gets."

    In conclusion, Adelman asked, "You guys got anything else? I got nothing else."

    Jackson had plenty.

    Early in the third quarter, as both teams scored at will in the opening three minutes, a Pacers player hollered to his defensive-minded colleagues, "Stop trading baskets. Let's go!" And there Jackson went, setting up his shots shop on the right side of the three-point arc. His first came with 8:37 left.

    The second came some 30 seconds later, then a third after less than another minute passed, and a fourth 20 seconds later to blow the lead open to 80-47. When his fifth came with 1:31 left to put the Pacers up 91-59, Jackson tied the Arco Arena and Kings' opponent record for threes in a quarter.

    All the while, Stojakovic couldn't fight around screens to contest, and a zone employed by Adelman didn't do much better. Adelman pulled Stojakovic and Bibby from the game before Jackson was done in the third, never to return.

    "We just have to be more focused on the guys who are hot, (and) talk on the defensive end," Stojakovic said. "It's disappointing. It's up to us."

    It was a night in which the adversity excuse would not cut it. No team has faced as much as the Pacers in the last season, distractions far greater than being short-handed as the Kings are without injured starters Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Bonzi Wells.

    "Look at teams like Charlotte," backup point guard Jason Hart said. "They're not even one of the top teams; they lose all their starters, and they beat good teams. Shareef and Bonzi have been hurt. It's not like they just got hurt. We just needed more energy, and that just goes with effort. We didn't give ourselves a chance."

    About the writer:

    * The Bee's Sam Amick can be reached at (916) 326-5582 or samick@sacbee.com.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

  2. #2
    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Snipets and More from SacBee

    I gotta admit, I expect to read this AM that Adleman had been fired.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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