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Keith Smart's amazing defensive statistic

It'll be hard to top this one. Plus, some insight into the coach's incredible work ethic.

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Bee's Jason Jones tweeted a pretty remarkable anecdote from Keith Smart on Monday. An excerpt:

[Smart] said in approximately 7,000 defensive possessions for the Kings there were only about 30 where all five players were in a defensive stance at the same time.

0.4 percent. That's insane. Just insane.

In today's paper, Ailene Voisin digs in on the sort of work that Smart did over the summer (in addition to apparently charting 7,000 defensive possessions from last season). An excerpt:

Smart spent much of the offseason hunkered down either at the Kings' practice facility or on the living room couch at his family's home in Danville. He half-jokingly says he wore out his laptop and the big-screen TV in both places. Perusing the Internet, he found footage of games dating back more than 60 years, and with little hesitation, pulled out a credit card.

When large boxes of old DVDs and videotapes started arriving at the house, his puzzled wife, Carol, shot him a look.

Let it never be said that Smart isn't dedicated to his craft.

I think there are many differences between Smart and previous Kings coaches, and I'm not going to get back into disparaging them. But often the knock on younger "players' coaches" like Smart is that they don't have the Xs and Os knowledge or the thirst to acquire encyclopedic knowledge on basketball systems. And the knock on Xs and Os guys is that they can't relate to players. On the surface, which is admittedly superficial, because we're only getting what our beat reporters and columnists can get, which at this point is going to be coming from the coach himself and his players and bosses, all of whom seem to be pleased with him at this point, but on that superficial surface, Smart seems to combine the two. That's promising. That makes me feel good about having this young, potential-ridden team in his hands.

But results will soon unseat talk in our judgments, and if all of that research and all of that camaraderie don't turn into improvement, we'll forget all about this very, very soon. Those are the breaks in pro sports.