Kings look to bounce back in Toronto


Kings look to bounce back in Toronto

KINGS (3-7) vs.

The Sacramento Kings are still seeking their first road win of the season.Toronto may not be the easiest place for them to get it.The Kings attempt to bounce back from one of their worst performances of the season and beat the Raptors on the road for the first time in nearly eight years Wednesday night.Sacramento (3-7) has lost all four of its road games, averaging 85.8 points while surrendering 109.0 per game. It was more of the same for the Kings in the opener of their five-game trip Tuesday at Philadelphia, as they shot 39.5 percent from the floor en route to a 112-85 rout.
REWIND: Kings routed by 76ers 112-85
A visit to Toronto (4-6) wouldn't appear to be the ideal way to end the road skid since Sacramento hasn't won there since Feb. 22, 2004. The Kings have dropped seven straight at Air Canada Centre since, giving up a whopping average of 111.9 points.They lost 118-112 in their last visit to Canada on Jan. 9, 2011.Making the task tougher for Sacramento, leading scorer Marcus Thornton (18.7 ppg) may miss a second consecutive game due to a thigh injury. Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette got his first career start Tuesday in Thornton's place, finishing with seven points, three assists and three turnovers."We didn't have our regular rotation so the other guys had to make adjustments," coach Keith Smart said.Sacramento may have at least some reason for optimism after the Raptors fell 93-78 at Washington on Tuesday, losing to what had been the last remaining winless team in the NBA.They missed 16 of 20 3-point attempts against the Wizards and committed a season-high 23 turnovers - nine more than their previous average."Our disposition wasn't good coming out of the locker room to begin the game," said Toronto coach Dwane Casey, whose team must now play its third game in as many days. "You start turning the ball over and you can't recover from that and you can't get set up in your defense."
Andrea Bargnani led the Raptors with 22 points and continues to be one of the few bright spots for Toronto, averaging a team-high 23.5 points - nearly nine more than DeMar DeRozan - the team's second-highest scorer.
Bargnani has come up big in the Raptors; two home victories, scoring 31 points each time while totaling 16 boards.He's averaging 25.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in Toronto's last three home meetings with the Kings, including 30 points while shooting 12 of 19 in last season's victory.DeRozan had 28 points in that contest. He's totaled just 31 in his last four games after scoring 11 and missing 12 of 16 shots Tuesday.

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'


DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

Some professional athletes take a stand by kneeling on the sidelines or raising a fist into the air. Some write succinct tweets expressing their dismay with the current political climate in the United States of America. Others just get right to the point with a poignant off the cuff statement to a waiting camera.

Former Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins has certainly mastered the art of the cryptic tweet, but he’s also never been one to shy away from a direct question when asked. When an inquiry was thrown his direction about confederate statues in New Orleans and his home state of Alabama, Cousins was brief with his words, but very clear.

"Take all them mother****ers down," Cousins told TMZ while navigating a security line at the airport. "Take 'em all down.”

Cousins may not have chosen the most eloquent words, but his point of view is shared by plenty of others. He isn’t the first athlete to take a stand with regards to race in America over the last week as racial tensions have spilled out into the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia. Social media is filled with professional athletes adding their thoughts to the conversation.

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant has made it clear that he will not visit the White House and President Donald Trump, a visit most teams make following an NBA championship.

"Nah, I won't do that," the 8-time All-Star told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now.”

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant continued. “That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Garrett Temple has used Twitter to make his thoughts known as well. Recently named the Kings’ Players Voice Teammate of the Year by the National Basketball Players Association, Temple has used his position as an NBA player to speak out multiple times.

Over the last week, he’s fielded questions and had plenty of discussions through social media on the issues of race and equality. His Twitter timeline is littered with thoughtful replies and some not so thoughtful ideas as well. Plenty of fans thanking him for using his position to further the conversation and of course, there is the occasional, “stick to sports” comment.

Agree or disagree, today’s athletes have huge platforms to share their opinions. From Cousins to Temple, there are varying degrees of engagement, but the time of players staying out of the discussion is long gone.

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act


The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

Gavin and Joe Maloof have gambled plenty in their lives, which is in part how they ended up losing the Sacramento Kings. They ran big, they hit a dry well, and they ended up selling the works.

So their decision to bet $880,000 on Floyd Mayweather in his “thing” with Conor McGregor for a $160,000 payout seemed the perfectly daft idea for two guys who were painted as perfectly daft when they were running the Kings and their other businesses into a freeway abutment on I-80.

In fairness, they are planning to donate their winnings to a number of charities in the name of their hangover drink (Never Too Hungover, although I might have gone with the more lyrical HurlNoMore), so it’s not like their hearts aren’t a place close to the mythical “right place.”

But it does beg the question, “Why don’t they just give $160,000 and skip the scam?” Because it wasn’t about charity, it was about promotion, and while there’s nothing wrong with promotion, attaching it to one of the seediest carnival events of the modern era makes it seem, well, kind of creepy.

Or maybe “creepy” is too strong. Maybe’s it’s just opportunism, which is more, well, Vegas-y.

Kings fans will remember the Maloofs as the family that saved the foundering team from the clutches of owner Jim Thomas, and then remember them as the family whose clutches Vivek Ranadive had to save the team from 15 years later. It’s the nature of most ownerships – you do good to eliminate a prior evil, and eventually become evil yourselves when the fans turn on you.

But the Maloofs aren’t evil – even their most strident critics will say that. They just saw an opportunity to scratch a bunch of itches at once – good-heartedness, advertising, gambling and Vegas’ most important product – selling you things you could never imagine wanting.

It almost makes you wonder if they harbor a secret itch to take the $160,000 and double down on behalf of the charities for another of their pet projects – the Vegas Golden Knights. If they put it on the Knights to win the Stanley Cup at 200-1, that’s $32,000,000. Then if they took that and . . .

. . . and before you know it, they’re trapped in the fantasyland of Las Vegas at its weirdest. Maybe it’s just performance art with more money than most of us can eat.