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Sactown Inquisition: Angela Tsai, New Kings Sideline Reporter

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The Kings broadcast team saw a minor switch this season -- Angela Tsai has taken over sideline duties for Jim Kozimor. I'd introduce Tsai, but she does a pretty good job in this email interview conducted last week. Enjoy.

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Sactown Royalty: So... how you'd come to get involved with the Kings? Have you done any NBA work beyond NBA TV and NBA Timeout on AZN Television?

Angela Tsai: My road to the NBA was very unique. I've always loved college basketball -- not only for the technical aspects of the game, the athleticism of the players, and the breakneck pace of the sport, but also for the drama, excitement and passion that fans feed on. As a former Duke Blue Devil, I knew first-hand the frenzy of basketball culture and how exhilirating it was to feel part of a team.  

Before the Kings, I hosted NBA Timeout. It was a fun, hip, behind-the-scenes look at the  League.  Remembering how thrilling it was to be once involved with basketball, I applied for the position, and NBA Entertainment brought me in for an interview. My first season of the show was well-received, and while "NBA Timeout" signed on for a second season, NBA TV hired me to anchor "NBA TV News" as well as do correspondence work. I was interviewing real Legends of the game -- Dr. J, Patrick Ewing, Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler -- you name 'em, I got to talk to them one-on-one. Everyone had a  story and it was a blast getting to know them and sharing their stories with NBA fans.

All-Star Weekend in Vegas rolled around, and I sat down with the Maloofs for an episode of "NBA Timeout".  We had a most excellent time talking about their passion -- the Kings.  So when this courtside reporter opportunity came up, they remembered me from our shoot, and I was brought in to interview.

StR: You have comedy in your background, too -- even some sketch comedy. A lot of sideline reporters come from a journalism background; how much do you think your comedy experience will factor into your role with the Kings?

Angela: I actually do have a background in journalism;  I've worked and written for a variety of media organizations, including CBS News. I just don't have a heavy sports journalism background. I'm hoping to bring the fun factor to the Kings fans and show the inside stuff about the team!  

StR: On the flip side, without a sports journalism background, do you feel any extra pressure in 'catching up' so to speak? Obviously you know basketball, but is there some anxiety in stepping into a completely new role?

Angela: I definitely feel a lot of pressure. This is LIVE television. I'm learning a new format and enjoying learning from and working with Grant and Jerry.  

StR: Are you moving to Sacramento from New York? We have fantastic winters; the town only floods like every other year.

Angela: Yes, I just moved from Brooklyn.  I grew up in New Jersey, went to North Carolina for college, and have been in New York for a while.  I'll miss the change in seasons, but I won't miss the bitter cold or sweltering humidity!

StR: What's your dream job? Should Craig Sager watch his back?

Angela: Hah! I love that man's outfits.  He's great at his job. I am still getting to know the ins and outs of sideline reporting, so ask me in year if I want his job!!  But aside from sideline, I love sports feature pieces.  Reporting on  people and issues.  Humanizing topics that are otherwise unrelatable.   A good sideline reporter manages to tell the game story as it's happening in a compelling, yet informative way.  So yes, I aim for that!

StR: How well have you gotten to know your 'teammates' so far? Jerry Reynolds is just about the jolliest fellow in the world, isn't he?

Angela: Everyone on the Kings Broadcasting Team, from Jerry Reynolds to Grant Napear to my producers and directors have been nothing but supportive and wonderful. They really are the best in the business. The basketball team and coaching staff have also been great to me -- accessible and approachable. And everyone is just plain ole nice. The Maloofs really know how to put together a solid group of people. I'll be bringing all you fans the behind-the-scenes action, from silly dares Brad Miller accepts from his teammates, to the places that Francisco Garcia eats at to remind him of home, to hobbies that Reggie Theus enjoys when he's not coaching. It's gonna be a fun year.

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Thanks for talking with us, Angela! (And be sure to check out our previous inquisitions: Sam Amick, The Revenge of Sam Amick, and Bee sports editor Bill Bradley.)