Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Another night, another baffling story about the Sacramento Kings. After their 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers, Rajon Rondo complained to reporters about how only “3 or 4” players showed up to an optional shootaround in the morning.


A few minutes later, SB Nation and Sports Illustrated reporter Jake Fischer tweeted out that Rondo, Omri Casspi, and Seth Curry were the players to show up.

There are two different ways of looking at this. One is that in the middle of an East Coast road trip, the day after a game against the Celtics and a flight to Cleveland, sleeping in instead of attending an optional shootaround is a totally reasonable decision. The other is that for a professional in the NBA nothing is really optional, and having lost seven of their last eight games Kings players really should’ve been there to get some shots up.

But before even getting into a discussion about rights and responsibilities and the meaning of the word “optional,” it turns out that we’re not even sure of the basic facts of the situation. Twenty minutes later Rondo’s teammate Quincy Acy disputed Fischer’s report:


And twenty minutes after that Rondo’s other teammate, Caron Butler, disputed Rondo’s on the record quote that only three or four guys showed up.


The only thing I feel positive about is that Rajon Rondo actually said that only a few players showed up to an optional morning shootaround. Jason Jones is a good, experienced beat writer, and there is no way he messed that quote up. Besides, AP reporter Steve Herrick has Rondo quoted saying the same thing.

So what is going on? Is Rondo wrong about how many people showed up to shootaround? Does Fischer have a bad source? Did Rondo, Curry, and Casspi show up to a super-early shootaround, but other players attended a later one? Was the shootaround optional? Are Butler and Acy complaining about the media, or about Rondo and/or the Kings? If the issue was a morning shootaround, why did we only hear about it after the game? And perhaps most importantly, when is DeMarcus Cousins going to send out a biting emoji tweet about the situation?


The good news for Sacramento Kings fans is that—barring a Boogie Cousins disaster—we have to be close to rock bottom here. I mean, this team can’t even schedule a run-of-the-mill shootaround without it devolving into farce. Things can’t get any dumber, right?

Photo via AP


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