Kings release schedule -- open with Lakers

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Kings release schedule -- open with Lakers

KINGS 2011-12 SCHEDULE

The Sacramento Kings released their 2011-12 schedule Tuesday, which opens with a visit from Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Monday, Dec. 26 and features a visit to NBA champion Dallas on Jan. 14.

Four of Sacramento's first five games are at home, with Chicago (Dec. 29), New York (Dec. 31) and New Orleans (Jan. 1) highlighting the early season calendar, giving fans in the state capital a chance to see rookie Jimmer Fredette join with teammates Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.

RELATED: Warriors release schedule 2011-12 schedule

Following a pair of preseason games with Northern California rival Golden State, the Kings and Warriors will meet for the first time in the regular season in Oakland on Jan. 31.

Some notable elements of the upcoming 66-game season for Sacramento:

- By month, the schedule breaks down as follows: December (3 home, 1 away = 4 total), January (5 home, 12 away = 17 total), February (5 home, 8 away = 13 total), March (12 home, 6 away = 18 total), April (8 home, 6 away = 14 total).

- By day, the schedule breaks down as follows: Monday (2 home, 5 away = 7 total), Tuesday (4 home, 9 away = 13 total), Wednesday (6 home, 5 away = 11 total), Thursday (8 home, 0 away = 8 total), Friday (3 home, 6 away = 9 total), Saturday (4 home, 5 away = 9 total), Sunday (6 home, 3 away = 9 total).

- The Kings longest homestand is nine games versus New Orleans (Wednesday, March 7), Dallas (Friday, March 9), Atlanta (Sunday, March 11), Golden State (Tuesday, March 13), Detroit (Wednesday, March 14), Boston (Friday, March 16), Minnesota (Sunday, March 18), Memphis (Tuesday, March 20) and Utah (Thursday, March 22) at Power Balance Pavilion.

- Sacramento embarks on five road trips of three or more games in length. The longest is a six-game journey with stops in Chicago (Tuesday, February 14), New York (Wednesday, February 15), Detroit (Friday, February 17), Cleveland (Sunday, February 19), Miami (Tuesday, Feb. 21) and Washington (Wednesday, Feb. 22).

- Of the 16 sets of back-to-back games, three are of the home-home contests, nine are of the away-away variety, two are away-home and two are of the home-away category.

- Sacramento has one back-to-back-to-back set at Memphis (Tuesday, Jan. 3) and Denver (Wednesday, Jan. 4) and home versus Milwaukee (Thursday, Jan. 5).

- The Kings will host three Sunday games with a start time of 3 pm versus Orlando (Jan. 8), Minnesota (March 18) and Portland (April 15).

- Sacramentos 33-game home schedule features 13 weekend contests at Power Balance Pavilion.

- The Kings handed the Toronto Raptors a 111-108 defeat in last seasons home opener at ARCO Arena. This season marks the first time Sacramento has faced the Los Angeles Lakers in their home opener.

- Sacramento recorded a 117-116 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in last years road opener at the Target Center. This season marks only the third time the Kings have played the Portland Trail Blazers in their road opener. Sacramento is 0-2 in such games, suffering losses to Portland at the beginning of the 1988-89 and 1989-90 campaigns by scores of 103-121 and 96-114, respectively.

- The Kings have opened the season on the road in each of the past seven campaigns, playing three or more games.

- The Kings will play on one national holiday when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 16th).

Source: Kings hire Perry as Executive VP of Basketball Operations

Source: Kings hire Perry as Executive VP of Basketball Operations

SACRAMENTO -- The changes keep coming in Sacramento. NBC Sports California has confirmed that the Kings have hired former Orlando Magic executive, Scott Perry, to fill the role of Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

Perry will report directly to Vlade Divac, who will retain final say in player personnel decisions.

Perry spent the last five seasons in Orlando as Vice President of Basketball Operations and Assistant General Manager. He was let go from the Magic last week following the dismissal of General Manager Rob Hennigan.

Perry, 53, began his career as an executive with the Detroit Pistons where he held the position of Director of Player Personnel from 2000-2007. He briefly left the Pistons, joining the Seattle Supersonics organization as an Assistant General Manager of the team for the 2007-08 season, before spending another four years as Detroit’s Vice President of Basketball Operations from 2008-2012.

Highly regarded around the league, Perry adds another experienced basketball mind to the Kings front office.

During his postseason media availability last week, Vlade Divac spoke openly about his willingness to accept additional help.

“We’re open always to improve - the team, the front office, everything is open for improvement,” Divac said. “I’m very happy and confident in what we have right now, but like I said, we should be open if something can you better.”

With the addition of Luke Bornn on Wednesday to head up the team’s analytics department, and Perry on Friday, the Kings appear to be building a stronger infrastructure as they move into a full youth movement.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical was first with the information.

Kings add new stat guru Luke Bornn to front office

Kings add new stat guru Luke Bornn to front office

SACRAMENTO -- Changes are coming to the Sacramento Kings. The team quietly made news on Monday evening when it was reported that Roland Beech, the Kings VP of Basketball Results, will not return after two years on the job.

But Sacramento hasn’t abandoned the analytics movement. In fact, they are about to invest heavily in a new group, with a new face at the helm. -- Luke Bornn, who will join the Kings front office as the new VP of Analytics and Strategy, NBC Sports California has learned.

In accepting the role, Bornn, 31, will leave soccer giant A.S. Roma as well as his positions as an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University and visiting scholar at Harvard University. He’ll be taxed with building a new department in Sacramento that will look to bring in some of the brightest minds in the field of analytics.

He is a stat head for sure, but one with a focus on creating a system of sketching and mapping the spatial movements of players using the incredible technologies now available to teams through the NBA’s SportVU system.

“We’ll be looking at more advanced modeling tools often with the player tracking data to try and get a deeper understanding of player performance,” Bornn told NBC Sports California. “There is a lot of what happens on the court that really is not picked up by the box score. A lot of players that make big contributions make it in ways that don’t appear. It’s not an assist, it’s not a rebound, it’s not a block.”

According to their site, “SportVU utilizes a six-camera system installed in basketball arenas to track the real-time positions of players and the ball 25 times per second. Utilizing this tracking data, STATS is able to create a wealth of innovative statistics based on speed, distance, player separation and ball possession.”

Introduced to the basketball data world while working at Harvard in 2012 by Kirk Goldsberry, who now works for the San Antonio Spurs front office, Bornn is already well known in the basketball world for his work.

“Kirk and I sort of hit it off,” Bornn said. “He had just gotten SportVU data and he basically said to me, ‘I have this data, but I have no idea what to do with it, I have the basketball side, but I don’t have the technical side.’ I had the technical side and so it started a long collaboration of working with player tracking data.”

Bornn has co-authored papers presented at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in each of the previous four years, including four straight Sloan finalist papers.

Every team in the league has someone looking over this data, but Bornn hopes to tailor the information to the needs of the Kings’ staff.

“It’s not about me coming in and saying, ‘Here is how to think about the game and here’s the magic numbers,’” Bornn said. “It’s really about me going to them and saying, ‘How do you think about the game, what is it that you care about, is there questions you want answered and can I help you with that?’”  

The plan is for Bornn and his team to build a database of sorts that is accessible to players, coaches and the front office that relies heavily on video to show information, instead of just numbers on a page. They will have your conventional statistics, but an array of other options as well specifically created for the team.

“My role with the Kings will be all encompassing,” Bornn said. “It’s player evaluation, opponent scouting, it’s performance - with the sports science group there. We’ll be looking at all aspects, from the basics of stats, all the way to the more advanced metrics.”

From developing oncourt strategies to charting player health, Bornn and his team will make information accessible to the Kings’ front office, coaching and medical staff with the hope of adding yet another resource for the franchise.

Predicting player injuries is one of the hot button topics in the NBA at this moment with the league going as far as elongating the All-Star break and taking another 10 days onto the schedule to help spread out back-to-back games. It’s a complex issue that is in its fledgling stages.

“In terms of injuries, that’s where everyone wants to go and I think that’s where we’ll aim to go as well, but right now, that’s very much an unsolved problem,” Bornn said.

It appears that the Kings are jumping into the analytics field with both feet. Bornn is moving to Sacramento with his family and will be on the ground as the Kings prepare for a very important 2017 NBA Draft and then free agency.