Find out how Robinson showcased his all-around game and how excited Fredette was to get back on-court. Plus, Coach Smart shares his goals for mini camp and more.
It’s an exciting time of the offseason at Kings Practice Facility, as heralded rookie Thomas Robinson hit the court for the first time with teammates Jimmer Fredette, Hassan Whiteside and the many new faces that comprise the 2012 Kings Mini Camp roster.
Though it was the team’s first official practice, Fredette and Robinson looked liked veterans among their mini camp teammates.
Robinson displayed skills he admitted after the scrimmage weren’t among those he often showcased at University of Kansas – handling the ball in the open court, dishing a no-look pass in stride to a teammate. Sacramento’s 2012 No. 5 pick also looked poised with his mid-range jumper, hitting several during the practice scrimmages.
Fredette also showcased his well-documented range but for much of the scrimmages focused his efforts on initiating the offense and running the point guard position. While No. 7 directed the offense, he connected with an array of teammates to set up easy jumpers, layups and explosive transition finishes.
Following the Monday go-round, Kings.com caught up with Robinson, Fredette and Kings Head Coach Keith Smart to see what the trio had to say about Day 1 of Kings Mini Camp.
How excited are you to have the first practice under your belt?
“I’m happy. I feel good! I’m a little tired but I’m really happy to be out here. I wore this (Sacramento Kings practice) jersey today, and then actually practiced in it, so now I’m officially a pro.”
What do you hope to get out of mini camp practices?
“(I’m just trying) to get comfortable on this level. I know all of the (Sacramento Kings players) aren’t here but these are still some of the top guys in the country, (so) I just want to get out here and show that I’m more of an all-around-type player than what I showed in college.”
What was the tone you wanted to set for yourself and with your teammates today?
“That we need to be the aggressors. We need to be the ones attacking at all times.”
Is passing an underrated aspect of your game?
“I think now that I have more spacing with the League I will be able to showcase more of my game. I mentioned that before, in previous interviews, but there is a lot more that I haven’t shown yet because of spacing. Nobody is going to triple-team me in the NBA.”
How comfortable are you with your shooting range right now?
“I feel comfortable from anywhere. I put a lot of reps up, so right now, my confidence is pretty high.”
How did it feel to get back on the practice facility court?
“It felt great to come in here – Summer League is a big thing – and I’m really excited to play. I think it will be a great experience for me and everyone on this (Kings Summer League) team to get to know each other – I’m excited to get started.”
What are your first impressions of Thomas Robinson?
“He’s just a good guy. You come right in and get along with him right away. He’s a hard worker who wants to win and competes really hard on every play, and that’s the type of guy you want to play with, so we got along great.”
What are your goals for mini camp?
“(My goals are) to continue to get in better condition and to get better, to put the things I’ve been working on the past couple of months into play and see how they work. Things went well the first day, so I’m excited to get a couple more practices in and begin to play some games.”
What have you been working on since the 2011-12 season ended?
“A lot of things – floaters, coming off of screen-and-rolls, getting my hands up on defense, lateral quickness and things like that.”
What are your goals for the team during mini camp and Vegas Summer League?
“What you do is try to bring guys in who our scouts have seen throughout the year that could fit your program, and you want to look at them in a game setting. If one guy stands out, then you can bring him into our veteran camp (in the fall). Also, you want your young players to have a chance (to practice in a game setting), so Summer League will be for them (as well).”
“Also, you have your coaching staff, and the assistant coaches will become the Head Coaches for the Summer League team. So they will manage the practices and run the entire operation. I was very fortunate the coaches I (previously) worked for allowed me to coach the Summer League teams. It’s all part of the training for our coaching staff as well as our players.”
Mini Camp Day 1 Gallery: http://on.nba.com/OTrZfT
Stay current with Offseason Central July 13-19, as Kings.com goes all access to provide complete coverage of the Kings participation in Vegas Summer League.