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Kings: Purple and Black, and in the Pink
By CHRIS BROUSSARD

Published: February 1, 2004

Mike Bibby needs rest after having surgery on his left foot? No problem. Chris Webber has to sit out while rehabilitating his left knee? We will be fine. Keon Clark and Jim Jackson depart via free agency? They can be replaced.

It is almost as if it does not matter who the Sacramento Kings send onto the court. As long as the players wear purple and black and execute their intricate offense, they will win and win big.

Last season, when Bibby, fresh off his coming-out party in the 2002 playoffs, missed the first 27 games of the season, the Kings went 21-6. But that accomplishment pales in comparison with what they have done this season without Webber, who had arthroscopic knee surgery last June.

Moving on as if Webber were a role player instead of their best player, the Kings entered this weekend with a 32-12 record, the best in the league.

Sacramento, which averaged a league-high 104.5 points a game through Friday, has been so good that there is talk of Webber's merely fitting in rather than taking over when he returns, supposedly soon after the All-Star Game break later this month.

"I think when Webber gets back, it's going to be up to him," Joe Maloof, one of the Kings' owners, said. "He's a professional, he's been around for years, and he understands that right now we've developed a certain look for our team, or a certain chemistry, that's really been successful.

"When he gets back, he'll have to adjust his game a little bit to what we've been able to accomplish so far."

Edit: Read more here

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/01/sports/basketball/01HOOP.html

edited: Please do not post entire articles. There are copyright issues that you're infringing upon when you do so. :)
 
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