SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings hit the court Thursday night for their first home game since reports surfaced thatthe team could be sold to Seattle.
There was no sign of the team's owner, the Maloof family, at the game, which the Kingslost in overtime. Team spokesmen said the Maloofs were not expected at Sleep Train Arena Thursday night.
Before the game, head coach Keith Smartadmitted the reports and rumors can be a distraction.
We're pros, we have to figure out a way to seperate the two and then get ready to play, Smart said.
His locker room includes two players with Seattle-area ties: Aaron Brooks and Isaiah Thomas.
No distractions at all, Brooks, who played at Franklin High School,told KING 5. Got to play basketball. That's my job.
Thomas, who played at the University of Washington and Curtis High School in University Place, displayed a great deal of neutrality.
I've played in Seattle and they have a great fan base there and I've been to Sonics games so I've seen the support they give, Thomas said. Here is just one-of-a-kind also, I mean they've supported us 110 percent, and I love both fan bases.
Gary Campbell, a Kings season-ticket holder, hopes the off-court drama comes to an end soon.
We're willing to put up with one more fight, Campbell said. We think that this is going to be the last fight -- one way of the other -- we really do.
Attendance at Thursday night's game barely topped 14,000, which was about 1,000 higher than the team's average this year. Despite an overall losing record, the Kings have a winning record at home so farthis season.