John Salmons

Change agrees with Salmons

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Though he played his first four NBA years with the 76ers, his hometown team, John Salmons knew he needed a change after a final season in Philadelphia that included a fractured relationship with Allen Iverson.

Salmons got that change in July when he signed a five-year, $25.5 million contract with the Sacramento Kings. He called his 2005-06 season with the Sixers "a roller-coaster ride."

That included a disagreement with Iverson after a game Dec. 23, 2005, in Atlanta in which Iverson scored 53 points and Salmons missed three shots in the final 2 minutes, 21 seconds of a 111-108 loss.

"For three and a half years, [our relationship] was great," Salmons said last night before his new team faced his old team at Arco Arena. "That's what I regret most from last year, that I didn't handle that situation the right way. I could have handled it a little bit better.

Ex-Sixer Salmons finds it's good to be a King

SACRAMENTO - The food at Chris Webber's "Center Court" restaurant, two visitors from Philadelphia learned yesterday, is good. It's the 76ers games that have provided the indigestion.

The Sixers blew into Sacramento to face the Kings last night. It is not true that the 50- to 60-mph gusts in the San Francisco area were created by the Golden State Warriors' blowout victory Tuesday night in Oakland.

The visitors from the East didn't get blown out as much this time as they were simply held at bay in a 101-76 loss, their 14th in the last 16 games, their 12th in 13 games on the road and their 13th straight under 100.

"This was one of the few times we didn't play as hard as the other team, as hard as I would've liked, for sure," coach Maurice Cheeks said after the Sixers finished with a season-low point total and were able to muster only two points off eight Kings turnovers.

A cold reality - Frustrated Kings lose to Mavs

John Salmons sat at his locker in one corner, his shirt half off and his smile all the way gone.

This was, he said in hushed tones after the Kings' 109-91 loss to Dallas on Monday night at Arco Arena, as bad as it gets.

"Frustration," the Kings swingman said when asked what was going through his mind. "We're losing these games. I can't get used to losing. We've done hit rock bottom."

Except that, as Salmons noted a moment later, ugliness can always get uglier.

"I mean, I guess it's not rock bottom," he said. "I know the guys want to win. We've got the desire. We've just got to bring that desire out and get it done."

Salmons surprised by friend's fight role

The news of the brawl was surprising enough, with 10 players ejected after the Knicks-Denver melee broke out in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

But when reporters told John Salmons about the player at the center of it all, the Kings swingman was taken aback in a personal way.

"Mardy Collins?" he said with exasperation after the Kings' loss to Phoenix on Saturday night at Arco Arena. "Mardy Collins?"

Salmons held his arm at his side as if he was patting a child on the head, or a little brother, then said, "That's, like, my guy."

Salmons settles in as sixth man

You could call it a "role" of the dice.

If the Kings' high-stakes week ahead were optional, you wonder if they wouldn't RSVP for a few months from now, say maybe when all their pieces are not only healthy, but better acquainted for such a challenge.

But willing or not, today's game in Dallas begins a three-game stretch in which the Kings' opponents boast a collective record of 34-13. It begins with the torturous two-step at Dallas and San Antonio on Saturday, and ends with Monday's homecoming against a surging Orlando Magic squad.

Salmons finding comfort zone in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - John Salmons was in his element in Philadelphia, but Sacramento has hardly felt like home sweet home in his first two months in town.

Signed as a free agent by the Kings in the offseason, the Philadelphia-bornand -raised Salmons has lived in a hotel room, driven various rental cars - and, perhaps worst of all, was separated from his new bride and college sweetheart, Taniesha.

"That's life in the NBA," said Salmons, who was drafted by his beloved 76ers in 2002 and played four seasons in Philadelphia. "Deciding to leave was tough. When I was a rookie, I thought I would be a 76er my whole career."

Raptors claim no bitterness over Salmons

No hard feelings, John. The Toronto Raptors finally got to see John Salmons in person last night but there was no lingering bitterness over his decision to spurn the team and its huge contract offer.

''The good thing is, we're glad he was honest and told us,'' coach Sam Mitchell said. In July, Salmons reneged on an agreement to take a five-year contract worth $25 million US.

Toronto wasn't a fit for new King Salmons - The swingman was all set to join the Raptors but backed out of the deal.

As long as the Toronto Raptors were headed this way, John Salmons knew the question wasn't too far behind.

"I knew that one was coming," the Kings swingman says with a shrug and a smile. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about it."

It was, Salmons says, the hardest thing he ever went through, an admission that won't spark sympathy from the Raptors or -- for that matter -- the Phoenix Suns.


Salmons finds his role for the Kings

Like Tony La Russa, Kings coach Eric Musselman can appreciate a good utility player.

Sacramento has found one early on this season in John Salmons. The Kings signed the 6-foot-6 Salmons to a free agent deal in July and he has made general manager Geoff Petrie look good through the first five games of the season.

Salmons' versatility has been a godsend to Musselman. The Kings are without center Brad Miller for at least the rest of November and point guard Mike Bibby is hurting with a wrist injury.

Former 76er Salmons welcomes more diversity with Kings

DALLAS - He does not like talking about his summer because he finds that people don't really understand his thinking, and it's not something that's easy to explain. So he keeps it to himself.

"It was more of a spiritual thing than anything," John Salmons says now about the off-season that took him from the 76ers to Phoenix to Toronto . . . and then to Sacramento. All he was looking for was the right fit, a place where he would feel comfortable in body, in mind, and in his soul.

Who knew that would be showering next to Ron Artest?

Salmons, Kings Hold Off Lakers in Las Vegas

Salmons put the Kings ahead for good with a three-point play and Mike Bibby scored 16 points as Sacramento posted a 96-91 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Last season, Salmons averaged only 7.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the Kings, expecting him to be an emerging talent, signed him to a five-year, $25.5 million contract in the offseason

On Tuesday, the 26-year-old Salmons proved he can score down the stretch. With 2:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, the 6-7 swingman converted a conventional three-point play to snap an 89-89 tie.

Ailene Voisin: Right now, Salmons is swimming upstream

No, John Salmons is no Bonzi Wells. Different role. Different skills. Different physique. Different personality. Very different expectations.

In fact, the Kings' major offseason signee doesn't replace Bonzi Wells as much as he creates an opening and enhances the depth on an evolving roster.

Young shooting guard Kevin Martin earned the starting job during Wells' injury absence last season, his second-half emergence -- more of an eruption than incremental improvement -- coinciding with the arrival of Ron Artest and the squad's sudden, aggressive style.