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Old 10-23-09, 11:06 AM
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Oklahoma City cheers for Mason

Oklahoma City cheers for Mason
By Jason Jones
[email protected]
Published: Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 - 12:00 am | Page 3C

OKLAHOMA CITY – Desmond Mason was the last Kings starter introduced Thursday night, and he received loud applause in a region that knows him well.

Mason played college basketball at Oklahoma State. He was with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008-09 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in late January.

Mason also played in Oklahoma City from 2005 to 2007 when the town became a second home for the displaced New Orleans Hornets after Hurricane Katrina.

So it was a nice time for Mason, who chatted with old teammates and friends before and after the Kings' 104-89 exhibition win at Ford Center.

Mason said the fans have always been great in Oklahoma City.

"We got great support with the Hornets and great support with the Thunder," Mason said. "The situations were different because of the circumstances. With the Hornets, we were displaced, and it was a little chaotic. When Seattle moved (to Oklahoma City last season), I think they had their ducks in a row for the most part. It was a business move."

Mason is still working his way back from the knee injury. It's not that his knee bothers him; it's just getting used to playing after a long layoff.

Mason is still working to find his timing on the floor. That's been evident on the offensive end, where Mason has made just 6 of 24 shots from the field after going 2 for 7 Thursday.

"It's rhythm," Mason said. "The shots that I'm missing are layups, and I don't miss layups. I usually jump up and dunk those."

Mason received advice from a player familiar with injury comebacks. Phoenix forward Grant Hill spent years battling injuries.

"He said the one thing he would suggest is to be patient with myself, because timing will come and the confidence will come in traffic," Mason said. "But he also said, 'Don't get satisfied.' I took that to heart."

Arena optimism - NBA Commissioner David Stern said in an interview that will air next week he believes there eventually will be a new arena in Sacramento for the Kings.

"My prediction is that there is a will for a public/private partnership for a new arena," Stern said in an interview on the $ports Take with Rick Horrow, the "Sports Professor," on the Versus network. "We have to figure out a way to get it done, hopefully without a vote because public financing votes go down because of the way it's constructed out there, and I understand it."

Part of Stern's optimism comes from team owners Joe and Gavin Maloof saying they plan to stay in Sacramento.

"That's why working with Cal Expo, which controls certain land, and working with developers who may be able to use that land profitably and their buying provides sufficient funding for an arena," Stern said. "The Maloofs have indicated they are committed to pursuing every effort, and they have been there now, doing it, for the better part of six or seven years. They said as recently as last week, 'We're committed to finding a way.' "

Oklahoma City cheers for Mason - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee
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Old 10-23-09, 02:06 PM
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The fans in OKC are very good. I have gone to cheer on the Thunder against other teams and to cheer for the Spurs when they visit, and the fans are passionate and loyal. If the Spurs had won in OKC when they were up big, or the Thunder had closed out the win against the Nuggets, both games I went to, we would have been the 2 seed last year and at least made it to the 2nd round.
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