In the second installment of Kingdom Interviews, Zach Harper of the ESPN TrueHoop Network affiliate blog, Cowbell Kingdom, stops by to answer a dozen questions about anything and everything Sacramento. Mr. Harper's terrific NBA coverage can also be found on Talkhoops.net.
What are some of the differences that you've noticed between writing about the NBA in general on Talkhoops.net and covering the Kings on Cowbell Kingdom? Are there any obvious shifts in tone or emphasis?
This may sound stupid and obvious, but the weird thing about starting a team blog after running a general NBA blog is everything is so centralized and focused. With a general NBA blog, I pretty much have news or something to BS about whenever I need it. There's always an angle to cover about something. But with Cowbell Kingdom, my field of topics went from 450 to about 15. It's hard to come up with something relevant, note-worthy, or entertaining with a team blog in the dead moments of the season (week between the NBA Finals and when the draft really gears up) but it's a nice challenge. I think it's made me more creative and analytical thus far with what I have to figure out to write. I have a rabid fanbase as my readership and their knowledge of the team and everyday workings of the franchise leave me very little room for error, which creates a fun kind of pressure.
You've followed the franchise since the (dreadful) days of Rory Sparrow and Duane Causwell in the early '90s. Who have been your favorite players to watch during this time, and what are some of your best and worst Kings memories?
My absolute favorite player to watch, like many, was Jason Williams. He was never given the proper credit for galvanizing this franchise. Sure, he was part of the perfect storm of players coming together with a coach who maximized their abilities and strengths, but he brought a certain attitude and demeanor to the team that allowed them to entertain. It wasn't just that he was the original posterboy for YouTube -- he was the player that changed the viewpoint of the basketball universe to put focus and attention on Sacramento. I also loved to watch guys like Walt Williams and Sarunas Marciulionis. I loved those tough-nosed wing players that could knock down the outside shot.