On the Friday that free agency finally opened up for the NBA, transaction rumors were hot and all the teams were active, including the Kings. Sacramento retained Marcus Thornton and signed Chuck Hayes, while Grant promised that the team was in hot pursuit of another anonymous acquisition that would be sure to appease the fans. Amidst the speculation, Grant also had a full slate of guests to give some insight on all the news.
Mike Breen of ESPN on ABC checked in to put to rest any rumors that he would become a casualty to the amnesty clause, weighing in on the flurry of movement since the end of the lockout. Breen wasn’t convinced that the league-killed Chris Paul trade was as one-sided for the Lakers as the League Office seems to believe and that Mark Jackson will be missed in the broadcast booth but that he’s on his way to becoming a great coach.
Later in the first hour, Darren Rovell of CNBC said David Stern’s decision to veto the Chris Paul trade makes sense financially because the Hornets need Chris Paul to sell tickets. He also previewed his show “Sports Biz: Game On” on Versus Network.
Leading off hour two, Kings’ VP of Ticket Sales and Service Phil Horn answered questions about the team’s season ticket plans as well as individual-game tickets for the upcoming season.
After two open segments, Jim Nantz of CBS Sports masterfully performed a surprise drop-in as he prepares to broadcast the Raiders and Packers from Green Bay on Sunday. Nantz talked about the effect that Aaron Rodgers has on his teammates and how he’s keeping them all playing at a high level. He also broke down the Raiders’ chances of winning the game.
After the Rant, Jason Thompson of the Kings recapped how he kept himself busy during the lockout, including what he did to stay in shape. He cited Shawn Kemp’s weight problems during the last lockout as partial motivation to keep himself prepared for when training camps open and said he’s excited to get back out on the floor.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle later joined to tell Kings fans to expect a hard-nosed, hard-working, elite one-on-one defender in Chuck Hayes. He said the Rockets did want to retain Hayes, and had the potential salary flexibility to do so, but the Kings’ offer was too flattering to leave on the table after the Rockets asked him to wait. Jonathan also talked about the infamously-nixed Chris Paul trade that would have helped execute the Rockets’ long-term plan.
In the six o’clock hour, Tim Brando of CBS Sports broke down Robert Griffin III’s story that has led him to be the late favorite for the Heisman Trophy this season. Brando also talked about how Andrew Luck started the year as the front-runner but faded down the stretch, essentially because he was unable to capture the narrative. Brando explained the line of thinking that he applied when casting his vote for the Heisman, which will be handed out Saturday evening; he then discussed the BCS Championship Game matchup and how Oklahoma State would fare against either Alabama or LSU.