Jason Ross filled in for Grant today on the Grant Napear Show. Jason talked about the Sacramento Kings, Thomas Robinson, NBA free agency, USA Olympic basketball and college football’s new playoff format. Jason took calls about Thomas Robinson’s rally on Saturday and about what fans want the Kings to do in free agency. Jason interviewed Scott Moak, Matt Tait, Sam Amick and Charles Davis.
Kings PA announcer Scott Moak joined Jason today to talk about the Thomas Robinson rally at Arden Fair Mall on Saturday. Scott said that Kings fans are genuinely excited about having Thomas Robinson, especially since nobody thought Robinson would fall to the Kings at the fifth overall pick. He said that the rally for Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas was huge, but the rally for Robinson was even bigger. The rally was bigger than anyone with the Kings expected, and even Robinson was surprised by the amount of support he received. Scott said that when the crowd began a “T-Rob” chant, that sent Robinson over the edge and seemed to overwhelm him. Scott said that Robinson had to acclimate to the amount of support, because he didn’t have the same amount of pre-draft hype as a person like Fredette.
Finally, Jason asked how Scott would announce Robinson’s name on the PA system. Scott said that he’s playing with it a little bit, and wants to incorporate Rock Chalk Jayhawk into the Kansas University alum’s intro. Scott also discussed doing USA Olympic Basketball events and the possibility of DeMarcus Cousins being on the USA Olympic team after the injury to Anthony Davis.
Matt Tait from kusports.com and the Lawrence Journal World was on with Jason today to talk about former Jayhawk, Thomas Robinson. In Kansas, the fans knew Robinson wouldn’t be back for his senior season, and were excited for him to be drafted in the top five. Matt also discussed how Robinson had a great connection with the fan base.
Matt also talked about how Robinson is ready for the NBA. He said that Robinson will get a double-double every night just by being on the floor and being active. Especially with DeMarcus Cousins in the post to take some pressure off, Robinson will flourish. Matt said that Robinson has taken time to focus on his offensive game, despite the fact that Robinson will make his money with his motor and rebounding ability. Robinson holds himself to high standards and is a relentless worker.
Matt and Jason also discussed Thomas Robinson off the court. Matt said that Robinson is very tight with his inner circle, and with the tragedies that have fallen upon Robinson, his inner circle is like his family. He is loyal, a good friend and an equally good teammate. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but still plays with a lot of emotion on the court.
Matt sat near Robinson at the draft, and watched him as he fell down the draft board. He said that Robinson loves having a chip on his shoulder, and could just see Robinson’s production climbing as every team passed on him.
The Morris twins, Markieff and Marcus, and their mom played a big part in Robinson’s life. Robinson’s mom told Angel Morris to look after Thomas. After Robinson’s mother passed, Angel took care of Robinson and has a great relationship with Bill Self and Kansas basketball. Matt also talked about the Family Over Everything mantra that Kansas has adopted. The Morris’ brought that to Kansas and Robinson embodies that phrase.
Next, Matt discussed how Robinson will fit in Sacramento. He said that Sacramento is a good place for Robinson because it lacks the distractions of a New York or Los Angeles. Sacramento has good pieces for Robinson to play with, and in Sacramento, basketball will be his number one priority. That will allow him to come in and be productive right away.
Finally, Jason asked Matt what Robinson needs to improve on. Matt said that Robinson needs to play defense. At Kansas, Robinson had a safety net with Big 12 blocks leader Jeff Withey playing next to him. Robinson has the ability to play defense and won’t have a problem doing it, but he needs to commit to it.
Sam Amick from SI.com was on with Jason today to discuss NBA free agency. The Dwight Howard saga continues as free agency begins and Sam said there are several places Howard could end up. Howard looked to be going to Brooklyn, but Brooklyn’s trade for Joe Johnson may have taken the Nets out of the running. Howard might also go to the Dallas Mavericks or the Atlanta Hawks. Danny Ferry has been very active in the offseason and has opened up room for a potential Howard deal.
Jason also asked about the new CBA’s effectiveness in keeping contracts down. Sam said that the Rockets are offering Asik $8 million per year, which isn’t a lot for a starting center. However, the numbers in general are being driven down, and Roy Hibbert getting a max contract doesn’t equate to as huge of a number as it used to. Sam also noted that the luxury tax will kick in next year which will force many teams to slash payroll.
Next, Sam talked about the Kings possibly signing Jason Thompson or Ryan Anderson. Sam said he isn’t sure what the market is for Thompson, and Anderson is a restricted free agent which means Orlando can match any deal that Sacramento offers. Both guys can fit for the Kings, with Thompson helping build a tenacious front court, and Anderson would help the Kings’ shooting problems.
With the Olympics just around the corner, Jason asked about the possibility that DeMarcus Cousins makes the US Olympic team. The team currently has Tyson Chandler, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love in the front court, and Sam said that Cousins likely won’t make the roster. Cousins would replace Anthony Davis who went down with an injury, but Davis wasn’t going to play a big role. Sam said that Cousins may be upset with lack of playing time and become a distraction. With Lamar Odom opting to not play in the Olympics though, Cousins might be the only guy on the team’s radar.
Finally, Sam discussed what it’s like to have a fake twitter account of him out there. He said that it was frustrating at first, but he’s learned to find humor in some of it.
Charles Davis from Fox Sports and NFL Network joined Jason today to discuss college football. They discussed the new four team playoff format. Charles said that it is better than the BCS but it still isn’t perfect. Some people also have a ‘wait and see’ attitude about it, and want to see how it works out. The playoff system will make it difficult for the smaller schools to get into the top four. There may also be issues with one conference sending three teams, and finding a fourth team could prove to be a difficult task.
Jason asked about the playoff’s effect on the integrity of the bowl system. Charles said he’s waiting to see what the full structure of the playoff system is because the system has been announced without rules. The bowl system helped create popularity of college football, so the playoff system will hopefully maintain the bowl system integrity. Charles said that 4 teams is too few and 16 would be his ceiling for the amount of teams in a college football playoff.
Finally, Jason and Charles talked about the new high profile coaching changes in college football. Charles talked about how Mike Leach’s pass-happy system will help Washington State get back to prominence. He also said that Jim Mora Jr. will help make UCLA a tougher team, and Rich Rodriguez is a very good coach that just didn’t fit well in Michigan. Charles also discussed Erin Andrews’ move from ESPN to Fox.