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Kings begin first season under Musselman

Nov 1, 2006 - 4:09 PM Sacramento (44-38) at Minnesota (33-49) 8:00 pm EST

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - Eric Musselman begins his second stint as an NBA coach when the Sacramento Kings open the 2006-07 campaign against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

Prior to being hired by the Kings, Musselman, 41, spent the past two seasons as an assistant in Memphis after recording a 75-89 record in two campaigns with the Golden State Warriors (2002-04). He replaces Rick Adelman, who called the shots during the previous eight campaigns and coached Sacramento above the .500 mark each year.

During the preseason, Musselman tarnished his image as well the franchise's when he was stopped in Sacramento during the early morning hours of October 21 for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was not fined by the Kings' organization.

Sacramento got more bad news no more than a day later when guard Mike Bibby injured his right thumb in a preseason game, forcing him to miss the first two weeks of the season.

Bibby averaged a career high in points (21.1) and assists (5.4) last year, helping the Kings secure the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoffs and a first-round matchup with the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs.

Sacramento was eliminated after six games.

In the offseason, the Kings selected Quincy Douby with the 19th pick overall and signed John Salmons to replace some of the offense provided by the departed Bonzi Wells. They also brought in free-agent forward Maurice Taylor.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves ended last season with three straight losses and missed the postseason for the third consecutive year. Superstar Kevin Garnett continued to lead a bad team, scoring 21.8 points per game and grabbing a league-best 12.7 rebounds a contest.

The Wolves signed Mike James, who averaged career highs in points (20.3), assists (5.8) and minutes (37.0) in 79 games for Toronto last year. Minnesota also acquired seventh overall selection Randy Foye from Portland in a draft-day deal.

The Wolves have won six straight season openers, including their last 11 home openers.

The Kings, who are beginning a three-game road trip, dropped two of their three outings last season with the Wolves.

Both teams finished with 5-3 records during the preseason.

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