Tisdale is crown jewel of Kings
BY RHETT MORGAN
Jul 17, 1990
8/05/08 at 11:57 PM
If the National Basketball Association were a piano,
last season's Sacramento Kings couldn't have managed chopsticks.
At 23-59, they finished with the fourth-poorest record in
the Western Conference. Worse, they ended up 40 games behind
the Pacific Division-champion Los Angeles Lakers.
"I remember nights when I didn't even want to go out on
the court," said Kings forward Wayman Tisdale, a former
All-American at the University of Oklahoma. "Back to back
to back to back. When you're losing, it draws it out."
Tisdale will conduct his basketball camp for boys and girls
ages 8-17 Wednesday through Friday at Edison High School.
"We have to improve step by step," he said of the Kings.
"Rome wasn't built in a day. . .Sapulpa wasn't even built
in a day."
Kings coach Dick Motta already is mixing the mortar for
Thanks to the cunning of the 58-year-old coach, Sacramento
got a record four first-round picks in June's college draft.
They were La Salle small forward Lionel Simmons, the third-leading
scorer in NCAA history; Texas shooting guard Travis Mays,
the all-time leading scorer in the Southwest Conference;
Temple center Duane Causwell, the premier shot-blocker available,
and St. Louis power forward Anthony Bonner, the nation's
top rebounder last season.
Sacramento also took Virginia Tech point guard Bimbo Coles
in the second round, then traded his rights to acquire veteran
point guard Rory Sparrow from Miami.
Add to that bunch 7-foot Eric Leckner and seasoned players
Bobby Hansen and Bill Wennington, each of whom the Kings
obtained through trades, and it would seem Sacramento has
the makings of a playoff team.
Still, Tisdale remains apprehensive.
"I think they are all good players, but the city of Sacramento
is getting a little antsy," said Tisdale, a Washington
High School alumnus. "They want to see some winners out
there. We had a pretty good nucleus, one we could build
on. But they have changed the chemistry, so we have to start
all over again.
"Hopefully, we can get it going and get it back as quickly
as possible. Coach Motta is a good coach and he is good
at getting us to that point."
Tisdale will do his share, to be sure.
The 6-foot-7 1/2 forward had the best season of his NBA career
in 1989-90, averaging 7.5 rebounds and a team-high 22.3
points. His scoring average was nearly a five-point improvement
over his previous high.
His field-goal percentage of .525 also was a career-best.
"This season kind of put me back into that mode where this
is what I worked hard for," said Tisdale, the second pick
overall in the 1985 draft. "I knew I could do it, and I
finally got the chance to do it."
For that, he owes a debt of gratitude to Motta, who replaced
Jerry Reynolds as coach in January.
"Motta came in and really started directing the traffic
toward me," said Tisdale, traded from the Indiana Pacers
in February of 1989 for La Salle Thompson and Randy Wittman.
"He's tough, but I like him because he's tough for all
of the right reasons. We need somebody like him to get some
order and get some direction."
Tisdale has provided direction for youth in Tulsa. This
marks the fourth year for his basketball camp, which continues
Assisting Tisdale this week will be Ron Anderson of the
Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, former OU standout Harvey
Grant of the Washington Bullets on Thursday and Antoine
Carr of Sacramento on Friday.
The camp will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
"The kids are getting NBA teaching, which is phenomenal,"
Tisdale said. "But we not only teach basketball at the
camp. We also teach education and success and preparation
for any situation that confronts you.
"That's the way I was raised, and that's what I try to
give back to those who may not be as fortunate as I was."