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Kings say their house is in order

Bonzi Wells and Peja Stojakovic deny they were involved in a heated exchange.

There's no turmoil in Kings land.

At least among the Kings.

That was the message sent Thursday at the team's practice facility, where shooting guard Bonzi Wells and small forward Peja Stojakovic denied a Bee report claiming they were involved in a verbal incident before facing San Antonio on Monday.

According to two members of the Kings, Wells was upset that Stojakovic chose to sit out against the Spurs with his injured shooting hand. They said he hollered at Stojakovic upon learning that he would not play, with the exchange heated to the point that center Brad Miller had to intervene.

After practice Thursday, Stojakovic - who reinjured the pinky-side of his hand in the third quarter against Seattle and also missed the Kings' win over New Jersey on Wednesday night - said no confrontation occurred. Miller spoke to the media only long enough to say he broke up no such argument up.

"(The report) wasn't fair to either of us," Stojakovic said. "We all have a correct relationship here. I was surprised when Brad told me about it this morning. It's just nonsense. It's not fair for us. It's crazy."

Wells, who refused to speak with The Bee other than to voice his frustrations, told other reporters that he's not upset with Stojakovic.
"He has a sprained hand," Wells said. "He's a shooter. If he can't play, no problem, we're going to step up. We're going to still play. If I get hurt, I know somebody's going to step up for me. Y'all want to just stir up something, that's fine."

Wells, who has averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds in the last five games despite a mangled middle finger on his shooting hand, had been vocal regarding Stojakovic following the Nets game, saying, "Peja's different. Peja, if he feels like he can't play, and he don't want to hurt himself or hurt his career anymore, he's going to sit out. But I just met him, so I don't know exactly his pain tolerance. A guy like myself, I'm going to go out there and lay it on the line and worry about it tomorrow. It's no problem for me.
"... I'm not a doctor. I know his hand is sprained on the shooting hand, and that's all you've got to say. If he can't shoot, I don't know."
Wells was asked Thursday what he meant by those comments.

"I was speaking for me, but if you want to go run with stuff like (The Bee) did and get bad press on our part, go ahead," Wells said. "I've been knowing Peja for two months. So that's just the truth. I didn't lie. ... I just know about me. I don't know nothing about Peja when he leaves this gym."

Kings power forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim said he never saw Wells and Stojakovic arguing.

"I didn't see him yelling at him, or upset with him, or anything physical where he showed that he was upset about him not playing," Abdur-Rahim said. "I don't think anybody's questioning (Stojakovic) being hurt."

Kings coach Rick Adelman said he certainly isn't doubting his shooter.

"As a coach, I trust each guy that if they're hurt, they're hurt," Adelman said. "I'm not going to question that, and I don't think anybody should question that. I don't think there has to be some sort of controversy, where one guy sitting out with a sore hand and another guy's not."
Stojakovic hopes he's not sitting much longer. He said his status is "day-to-day" but wasn't sure whether he would play tonight against Toronto.

"It's getting better," he said. "I was able to get some shooting in today, do some offensive stuff with the starting five."

The Kings are trying to inch closer to a winning record, facing a Raptors team that's only won once at Arco Arena in nine tries.

"Let's just start talking about games and stop talking about all this drama," Wells said. "Golly."
www.sacbee.com
 
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