Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Donte Greene and Kings have much to prove

Say what you will regarding Tyreke Evans, last season's NBA Rookie of the Year, and 2010 first-round draft choice DeMarcus Cousins.

The Kings are third-year small forward Donte Greene.

Greene is a physical specimen at 6-foot-11, 251 pounds. He's 22 years old, can jump out of the gym and possesses the agility and foot speed to at least deter the offensive prowess of Los Angeles Lakers' star Kobe Bryant.

Greene has the potential to one day grow into one of the NBA's best players just as the Kings this season have the capability to grow into one of the league's most improved squads.

However, for both Greene and the Kings, wanting to do it and doing it are completely different animals.

Folks, we're talking Yorkshire Terriers and Gorillas.

Greene is entering his third NBA season and is contending with Omri Casspi for the team's starting small forward position. Establishing consistency in shooting, rebounding, decision-making and playing solid defense will be the keys to winning the battle with Omri Casspi.

Greene certainly would like to establish himself as the team's starter, yet he says filling the team's needs for role players is what he's about.

"A lot of guys can’t accept their role," he said. "With me being traded here (from Houston in August 2008) and really not knowing what to expect and last year being my first year playing, I came out and wanted to be a defensive guy.

"I knew we needed a defensive guy – especially after John Salmons got traded in my rookie year – I tried to fill that role. Scoring, I have my nights, but mostly I was just worrying about defending."

Greene started 50 games last season and played small forward, power forward and shooting guard.

Since the Kings have re-arranged their frontline with the additions of Samuel Dalembert, Cousins and fellow rookie Hassan Whiteside, Greene likely will see more playing opportunities at small forward and shooting guard.

There are match ups that could play out where his quickness and agility could prove valuable at power forward.

Greene's 251 pounds mark quite a change from the 215 to 220 pounds at which he began his NBA career. He said he put on 15 pounds during the off-season by eating and lifting weight.

" I loved (playing four)," Greene said. "I was looking forward to it (again this season). KG (Kevin Garnett) talked trash to me last year. Amare (Stoudamire) talked trash to me. I was going to have something for them, but what ever it takes to get on the floor. (I'll play) 1-2-3-4-5 ... it doesn’t matter."

The spirit is appreciated, but seeing Greene at point guard is not something to which I look forward.

As a starter last season, Greene shot 43.5 percent overall from the field and 36.5 percent from three-point range. Both those marks should improve with a higher comfort level that comes from experience.

Greene is too good a shooter to repeat 64 percent from the free-throw line and he should accept nothing lower than 75 percent. His improvement will come through increased concentration and focus. Those factors often are the most difficult for young players to grasp.

Not much is expected nationally of the Kings or Greene. Like Denver's Carmelo Anthony, who has been the subject of many recent trade rumors, Greene hails from Baltimore after being born in Munich, Germany and spending some of his childhood in Japan.

Greene was asked what he knew about those 'Melo rumors and what it would be like for his friend to become a teammate.

Greene smiled and joked (I think), "If 'Melo comes here, send me to Denver. With him and Tyreke, it would be a wrap here."

Yes, the opportunities to score surely would be diminished, but since Greene freely believes he can become a role player, that scenario might not be all bad.

Petrie without a plan?

Kings President Geoff Petrie said he hadn't read a recent ESPN assessment that noted he nor the Kings had a plan for development.

Personally, it's difficult for me to believe Petrie had not read the analysis, but I guess it's possible.

However, he unveiled his sharp tongue when responding to the attack.

"We still go into the season with a tremendous amount of salary cap room and all our future picks and all that. So there’s always the potential to be involved in things other teams are trying to do."

Said Petrie with an ultimate sarcasm, "I’ve always been a plan-less guy. Sometimes you have to consider the source."

Over the past 18 years, I venture to guess no media member has spoken with Petrie more than I. No wonder he looked me dead in my face while issuing the 'plan-less guy' comment.

Petrie always has plans. They haven't always worked, but he's got a drawer full of them.

Said Petrie regarding the team's unsuccessful quest to nail down a new arena, "I'm not really the guy to ask about that. It’s clear that Arco (Arena) is getting near the end of its useful life and at some point, the community and the city and the team need a new facility."


  1. reaally miss your articles on the Kings on a daily basis. Any chance you coming back (to join Jason) ?

  2. What it is Bill? Thanks for the comment. I've not heard anything about coming back to the bee. So, I'd say no. At this point, this is the forum and I'll be trying to post here as often as possible. Thanks again, peace.

  3. You probably don't agree but you alone are better than all of the Bee.

  4. You're dead on about Donte...made huge improvement last season and if he and Omri improve again this team will be really good.

  5. I totally think donte could be a star, even maybe our starting two guard. Imagine the size we would have with reke, donte, casspi, landry and DMC.