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- Hield frustrated with the Bubble, role with Kings
Buddy Hield is never shy about expressing his opinions, and Thursday afternoon was no exception. Following the Sacramento Kings 136-122 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers to wrap up the 8-game Bubble league and the 2019-20 season, Hield was very brief with the media during his post-game Zoom session. He looked like a man ready to get the hell out of Disney. While the fourth-year sharp-shooter did not come right out and explicitly say it, he responded to questions about his feelings regarding being content with his role with the team as a sixth man very clearly. “Ya’ll know me. Ya’ll know how I talk. Ya’ll know how I feel…I will let Ya’ll answer that for yourselves”, snapped Hield. The truth is, Buddy is about to enter a four-year extension with the Kings that will pay him a reported $86 million, with individual and team performance incentives worth an additional $20 million. He does not have much leverage at this point. He can mope and whine, but in the end, he will have to play for a chance to get those$5 million in first-year incentives. Vlade Divac and the front office will likely need to consider Hield’s attitudes this summer when they make their decision on whether to bring back starting shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic. They have several options. Let Bogi go and start Buddy. Sign Bogi and trade Buddy. Or sign Bogi and keep Buddy, and one of them will need to come off the bench next year. Whatever they choose, someone will be unhappy. But this is the NBA, it is a business, and no one is ever truly happy when the game they love is turned into a business. I honestly believe this is just another case of Buddy being Buddy. Sure, his ego tells him that he is a starter in the NBA, but his defense says otherwise. Once Hield can stop being the weak link on defense in the opponent’s scouting report, he can earn that starting role back. He should look at this as a challenge to be better, not as a right that was taken away from him. But do not get me wrong. I love Buddy, and look forward to him bombing three-pointers for the Kings next season. Whenever that is.
- Kings ground Pelicans again in the Bubble 112-106
In a game that was originally touted as the probable showdown for a chance at the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 112-106 Tuesday night in Orlando. Despite the victory, the contest was anything but the pinnacle of the 8-game bubble restart. Two days earlier both squads were officially eliminated from playoff contention after rather lackluster showings during the first half of the NBA restart. New Orleans was labeled the media darlings with rookie sensation Zion Williamson posed to take the Bubble by storm and rise the Pelicans to an anticipated first-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers. Well, that did not even come close to happening and Williamson had already been shut down for the season prior to Tuesday’s game. The Kings had much lower expectations from the national brass, but locally, fans had hoped that the team that went 13-7 to close out the end of the regular season before it was cut short by the Covid-19 outbreak, could maintain their hot play and keep rolling in the Bubble. That did not happen either. So, there you have it, two teams more interested in going home to their families than playing a meaningless game on TNT in front of an empty arena. The excitement was palpable. Sort of. Harrison Barnes led Sacramento with 25 points, eight rebounds, and two steals, while Bogdan Bogdanovic continued his hot play of late with 16 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, and Kent Bazemore did not suit up due to various ailments and are not expected to see any more action this year. Check out the game highlights and interviews with coach Luke Walton and swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic for all the action and postgame insights.
- Kings to shut down De’Aaron Fox
With two games remaining in the Orlando Bubble and the Sacramento Kings officially eliminated from playoff contention, it looks like De’Aaron Fox’s season is now over. The third-year guard was listed as OUT for the team’s contest against the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night due to shoulder soreness and it is unlikely he will make some sort of miraculous recovery in time for the team’s Thursday finale against the Los Angeles Lakers. In six Bubble games, Fox averaged a team-high 26.1 points, 7.3 assists, and 1.7 steals, while shooting a blistering 50.4% from the field. That was after he missed a week due to yet another sprained ankle. But seriously, we all know what is going on here. With nothing to play for, De’Aaron’s thoughts have now turned to his impending max deal contract extension expected to be offered by the Kings later this summer. He padded his stats nicely and now does not want to risk a major injury that could threaten his pay day. We will just have to wait and see if he stays as hungry next season once he is locked up through the 2025-26 season, or will he pull a Buddy Hield and just cruise.
- Fox discusses the good, the bad, and the ugly about Kings Bubble season
Sacramento Kings starting point guard De’Aaron Fox spoke with the media Sunday morning prior to the team’s game against the Houston Rockets. He discussed life in the bubble, Buddy Hield’s struggles, and what he felt the team had done well so far and what they needed to improve on. A very candid discussion by a player knowing his season is likely over in just a few days.
- Game, set, season? Kings fall to Nets
Tired, short-handed, and a little too nonchalant on defense, the Sacramento Kings were roughed up by the Brooklyn Nets 119-106 Friday afternoon at The Arena in Orlando. The loss put the Kings on the brink of official elimination from playoff contention in the 8-game Bubble League. This was not much of a game to watch. Sacramento was clearly outmatched by Brooklyn in nearly every aspect of the game, but most importantly effort and the desire to win. I will admit, during multiple stretches of the game, I found myself focusing on my day job rather than the early afternoon broadcast on NBA League Pass. Bogdan Bogdanovic had another solid offensive outing with 27 points and six rebounds, but he was a team-worse -20 on the +/-. De’Aaron Fox added 21 points and seven assists, while Harrison Barnes contributed 16 points and six rebounds. Richaun Holmes left the game after just 11 minutes of action with hip soreness that had been bothering him prior to the game. Kent Bazemore missed the contest with right calf soreness. The game was Sacramento's third in the last four days.
- Injuries piling up for Kings
The Sacramento Kings are not only facing an uphill battle to stay alive in the Bubble, but now they may have to do it without two of their key role players. Richaun Holmes had to exit the Kings’ 106-119 loss to the Brooklyn nets after just 11 minutes of action with a sore right hip. He is not expected to be available for Sunday’s game against the Houston Rockets. Kent Bazemore missed the Nets’ game with left calf soreness but may possibly be available for the Houston game. The injuries should allow an opportunity for centers Alex Len and Harry Giles to show what they can provide to the team as both are free-agents this summer and need to prove to the front office that they are worth bringing back next season. Rookie DaQuan Jeffries will likely get some more run at the forward position in his quest for making the parent squad next year. We will probably see more Corey Brewer at the small forward spot as well if Bazemore is not able to go in the next few games. If the Kings do get officially eliminated from playoff contention, expect more minutes for those players the coaching staff would like to see to evaluate their future worth with the team. That would include rookies Justin James and Kyle Guy. Jabari Parker may also see some significant run at times now that he is healthy. We may be shifting into talent evaluation mode soon.
- Kings take down Pelicans to stay afloat in the Bubble
Bogdan Bogdanovic exploded for a career-high 35 points Thursday afternoon as the Sacramento Kings blew out the New Orleans Pelicans 140-125 at the HP Fieldhouse in Orlando. The Kings scored a Sacramento-era record 49 points in the first quarter and held a 77-70 lead at the half. The Pelicans stayed close during the third, but Sacramento pulled away for good in the final quarter. De’Aaron Fox had another impressive outing with 30 points, 10 assists, and three steals for the day. Harrison Barnes contributed 22 points and six rebounds as the third member of the Kings 20+ club. The victory was the Kings first during the bubble restart and pulls them even with the Pelicans in the standings. However, both teams still trail Memphis, Portland, San Antonio, and Phoenix for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. At this point, its win or go home for the Kings with four games left in the season.
- Alex Len makes his Bubble debut
Center Alex Len made his long-awaited Bubble appearance Tuesday afternoon in the Sacramento Kings’ 110-114 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The 7-foot big man saw three minutes of action and scored a quick three points in his return. His size and defensive presence will be a much-needed factor if the Kings expect to make any noise during their five remaining games in Orlando. Len missed nearly all the team’s training camp sessions after it was announced on June 24 that he had tested positive for the Coronavirus. Unlike teammates Buddy Hield, Jabari Parker, and Harrison Barnes, Alex was hit hard and could not maintain a consistent level of activity while he awaited to rejoin the team in Orlando. As a result, the Kings have chosen to bring him back slowly to ensure he is ready for action. Assuming he experienced no setbacks following his activity today, he should be ready for Thursday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
- Go figure, the Kings just keep beating the Clippers
The Sacramento Kings wrapped up their brief 3-game scrimmage season in the Orlando Bubble with a come-from-behind 106—102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Monday afternoon at The Arena. The game marked the return of Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes, who had been away from the team for various chicken wing and Coronavirus reasons. Both looked good, finishing with six points and five rebounds, and 12 points and six rebounds, respectively. Both should be ready to go with no limitations on Friday when the Kings kickoff their 8-game restart against the San Antonio Spurs. De’Aaron Fox played in his second scrimmage and is looking more comfortable on the floor, as he contributed 12 points, six assists, and four rebounds in 27 minutes of action. He too will be fully ready for Friday’s game As for the contest itself, Sacramento was again outplayed by the opponent’s starters and fell behind early. But the Kings are one of the league’s deepest teams and the reserves stabilized things and eventually pulled ahead of the Clippers’ reserves in the final minutes with a little help from Mr. Big Shots Nemanja Bjelica who delivered the long-distance dagger once again to seal the win. But, enough talk, check out the highlights and see it all for yourself.
- Kings Orlando training camp interviews – July 26, 2020
Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton talks about his team’s health, including updates on Richaun Holmes, Harrison Barnes, and De’Aaron Fox during a Sunday morning Zoom call with the media. Also hear from rookie Kyle Guy and Harry Giles as they discuss the opportunities the NBA restart is providing them.
- Holmes to play against Clippers, Barnes might
Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton revealed on Sunday morning that center Richaun Holmes would see action Monday afternoon when the Kings take on the Los Angeles Clippers in their final tune-up before the NBA restart kicks off for real. Holmes was sidelined for 10 days after being caught leaving the perimeter of the Orlando bubble to get some chicken wings. He has been practicing with the team for the past few days and should provide some much-needed size down low for the Kings who have been rotating Harry Giles and Nemanja Bjelica at the 5 spot. Harrison Barnes may also see some court action after a lengthy quarantine back in Sacramento. He has participated in just one practice but has stayed in shape during his layoff as he never developed any symptoms of the virus during his isolation from the team according to Walton. Center Alex Len is still working himself back into shape and is unlikely to see action on Monday but is expected to participate in the 8-game restart.
- Kings lose to Bucks 123-131, but that wasn’t the story
The Sacramento Kings made a game of it late, but still fell to the Milwaukee Bucks 131-123 Saturday afternoon in Orlando. But if you caught the game, you would have said it was never close. Milwaukee’s size, strength, athleticism, and outside shooting dominated Sacramento’s patchwork lineup throughout the first half of the contest as they dropped 80 on the Kings to lead by 20 at the break. With Harry Giles being their only one true center on the active roster, the Kings looked like boys against men out there. The Bucks would attack the paint, the Kings would collapse to help the not-so-big bigs, and the ball would be kicked outside for a wide open three. By the end, Milwaukee splashed 20 three-pointers, including six by the Lopez brothers. When 7-footers are doing that to your team, its game over. But this was a scrimmage, and the outcome was not really the priority for Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox made his Orlando debut and appeared rusty at times, but there were no signs of his ankle slowing him down. In 19 minutes of action, he finished with seven points and six assists, and most importantly showed the speed this team needs to be successful. Afterwards, he told the media that he felt good and expected to play in the team’s final scrimmage on Monday. Buddy Hield had another solid game with 19 points off the bench, while Corey Brewer added 12 on an efficient 5-6 shooting, including 2-2 from deep. Probably the most noticeable improvement over their last game was how they took care of the ball. After committing 16 turnovers in a 40-minute game three days earlier, the Kings had just ten in today’s regulation contest. The only better news that could trump that is no one got hurt, and Richaun Holmes is expected to participate in Monday’s scrimmage finale against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings are slowly getting back to full strength. Will it be enough? Post-game Interviews Pre-game Interview
- Kings Orlando training camp interviews – July 24, 2020
Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox makes his first appearance in more than a week following the left ankle sprain that kept him out of practices and the team’s first scrimmage. He talks about the injury and his hopes for the team’s success in the upcoming 8-game sprint to the playoffs. Rookie Justin James and head coach Luke Walton also spoke with the media via a Zoom call Friday morning.
- And just like that, Fox is back
Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox is a fast healer. Less than ten days after going down with a moderate left ankle sprain, the speedy third-year guard is ready to go, and is expected to see time on the court during one or both of the team’s last two scrimmages before the July 31 kickoff of the 8-game Bubble season. On Friday, Fox participated in full-contact practice and felt good afterwards. How his ankle reacts later in the day will determine if he is ready for the July 25 early morning scrimmage against the Milwaukee Bucks. The ankle was the same one he injured back in November, prompting the cautious initial timeline by the team. But once again, De’Aaron’s timeline is not your normal weekend warrior’s timeline.
- Harrison Barnes to the rescue?
Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes has been cleared by the NBA protocol and is on his way to Orlando Friday to join his teammates in the Bubble. Barnes originally tested positive for the Coronavirus back on July 5, prompting the immediate shutdown of the team’s practice facility in Sacramento. However, he was not identified as the fourth member of the team to test positive until July 14. According to head coach Luke Walton, Harrison is expected to be ready for the squad’s opener on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs. He originally came into the team’s mini-camp back in Sacramento in great shape and is expected to have a quick ramp up before the 8-game restart. He must first clear a two-day quarantine once he arrives in Orlando but can be present for the team’s final scrimmage on July 27 vs the Los Angeles Clippers. It is unlikely he will participate in that contest though. All in all, this is great news for the Kings as Barnes brings a skilled veteran presence to the forward spots and allows the team to utilize a whole new set of dynamic lineups in their push for the final playoff berth.
- Kings basketball is back, I think
After a 133-day delay, we finally got some Sacramento kings basketball. Well, sort of. The Kings faced the Miami Heat Wednesday night at the HP Fieldhouse just outside Orlando and played a meaningless scrimmage that ultimately ended in a 104-98 defeat to the squad from South Florida. Buddy Hield came off the bench and after a slow start, heated up to finish with 19 points and five rebounds in the shortened 40-minute game. Kent Bazemore got the start at small forward and contributed 11 points and two steals, while DaQuan Jeffries had an impressive showing with 12 points on 5-6 from the field, including 2-2 from deep. Playing without De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Alex Len, and Marvin Bagley, the team struggled against the Miami starting 5. An amazing barrage of 3-pointers from the Heat buried the Kings early, but once the reserves took the court, Sacramento was able to close the gap. They were never able to quite get over the hump and take a lead but held tough throughout the game with their limited roster. The Kings played with more pace than expected with Fox not in the lineup, but defensive rotation lapses left Miami wide open way too often on the perimeter and they nailed 14 threes as a result. Notes: With no fans in the stands, the game had an eerie feeling about it. Large digital boards tried to make the scene feel more alive, but it was more of a distraction than an enhancement. The court wasn’t very well mic’d up and the announcers sounded like they were on the other side of the country. Oh yeah, Gary Gerould and Doug Christie were actually on the other side of the country in Sacramento calling the game. All in all, it is nice to see Kings basketball again, but this bubble season is going to be hard to get excited about if the real games are as dull as this one was. The NBA is all about the hype, and there was not much hype tonight. Postgame: Buddy Hield Postgame: DaQuan Jeffries Postgame: Luke Walton
- Kings Orlando training camp interviews -July 21
Nemanja Bjelica, Corey Brewer, and head coach Luke Walton speak with the media Tuesday morning via a Zoom call. Lots of injury updates and talk of the upcoming scrimmage with the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Nemanja Bjelica Corey Brewer Luke Walton
- Right foot sprain ends Bagley’s season
Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley will miss the entirety of the 2019-20 NBA restart as it was determined that he suffered a lateral sprain of his right foot during practice Sunday in Orlando according to the Kings. An MRI was taken shortly after the injury and a foot specialist was consulted, resulting in the delayed report by the team. He will remain in a walking boot for the next two weeks but is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2020-21 season. Whenever that starts. This setback is completely unrelated to the left foot injuries he suffered earlier in the 2019-20 season. As a result, Richaun Holmes, Nemanja Bjelica, Alex Len, and Harry Giles will likely manage the 4/5 spots during the Orlando restart. While it would have been great to see Marvin out on the floor after missing so much time during the season, the immediate impact to the squad is minimal, as he was not really an active participant in the team’s recent success.
- Kings Orlando Training Camp Interviews – July 20
Head coach Luke Walton provides an update on Marvin Bagley’s status, while Alex Len and Jabari Parker discuss their battles with Covid-19 and how they are looking forward to getting this season restarted. Alex Len Jabari Parker Luke Walton
- Kings Orlando Training Camp Interviews – July 19
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Yogi Ferrell, and head coach Luke Walton all spoke with the media Sunday afternoon via a Zoom call. Bogdan Bogdanovic Yogi Ferrell Luke Walton
- Kings Orlando Training Camp Interviews – July 17
Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton spoke with the media via a Zoom call Friday. He discussed the status of De’Aaron Fox, the versatility of Marvin Bagley, and how the team plans to handle Harrison Barnes absence from the Bubble. Luke Walton
- Kings Orlando Training Camp Interviews – July 16, 2020
Luke Walton speaks with the media via a Zoom call and answers questions about all the turnover within his team of late. Also hear from Kyle Guy and DaQuan Jeffries on their experiences in the NBA Bubble so far. Luke Walton Kyle Guy DaQuan Jeffries
- Kings just got a lot bigger, Alex Len is back
Sacramento Kings center Alex Len has been cleared by the NBA protocol to join his teammates in the Orlando Bubble. He originally announced his positive test result back on June 24 and has been quarantined in Sacramento ever since. He will bring much-needed size to the Kings frontcourt with center Richaun Holmes out until June 22 for violating the NBA’s campus perimeter rules. Len should be ready to hit the court this weekend.
- Down goes Fox, down goes Fox, down goes Fox
The Sacramento Kings snake-bit season continues in the NBA Bubble restart. Point guard De’Aaron Fox went down with a mild to moderate left ankle sprain during practice Wednesday afternoon. The team said he will be re-evaluated in 7 to 10days, but his actual return to the court is unknown. This is the same ankle he injured earlier in the season that caused him to miss significant time. It is still possible that he can return before the Kings first game against the San Antonio Spurs on July 31, but the lost practice time just further sets the team back in their hopes to somehow grab a playoff berth.
- Kings Orlando Training Camp Interviews - July 15
Swingman Kent Bazemore talks about his time in the NBA Bubble so far and head coach Luke Walton discusses the challenges he is facing with so many key players out. Kent Bazemore Luke Walton