Tell it to the Boston Celtics, whom King blowtorched for 37—raising his average to 31.2—in the Bullets' 116-99 win last Saturday night. Tell it to Butler, who would like to lock up at Bowie State, but who can't get King off the treadmill.
Tell it to King's younger brother Albert, now with the CBA's Albany Patroons, and he'll tell you about his and Bernard's five-hours-daily, seven-days-weekly workout routine this past off-season. "I've always believed that this is what has separated me from other players," Bernard says of his work habits.
And if it doesn't separate him from Albert, it is because they are both the children of their parents. "I watched how my father went out every day and worked at his job," says Bernard. "He worked in a housing development in Brooklyn, and I watched him work whether there was snow, whether there was rain, whether he was sick. He gave everything he had, and he wanted to be the best at what he did, which was keeping the buildings clean and maintaining them. My mother cooked a meal every single day, seven days a week. We didn't have a microwave, and we didn't eat frozen foods. She took care of the apartment, made sure that our clothes were clean, that they were sewn. That is hard work when you have six kids. So I emulated my parents. I work as hard at basketball as I saw them work."
King was still sweating. Butler had long since wheeled the ball rack away, but King was standing in the empty gym. "The ultimate for me would be to make the All-Star team," he said. "For two years I dedicated myself to dream. To play in an All-Star Game without an anterior cruciate ligament, when really no one thought that was possible, is something that pushed me. That's what I'm waiting on."