Kings

Kings rookies, Houston natives get involved in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

Kings rookies, Houston natives get involved in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

You don’t have to search long to find someone affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. While their family members are safe, the natural disaster destroying large portions of Texas has hit home for Sacramento Kings rookies and Houston natives, De’Aaron Fox and Justin Jackson. 

“To see highways that I know both of us have drove a ton of times, to see those under water and to see houses and streets that we’ve been around growing up all the time, to see those under water, it’s pretty unbelievable,” Jackson told reporters Wednesday afternoon during a press conference at Golden 1 Center. 

Fox and Jackson played AAU ball together in the Houston area. They know each other well, which has been a comfort as they watch the devastation that is unfolding in their hometown, nearly 2000 miles away. 

“It’s good just having someone around that’s from the same area kind of going through the same things as you,” Fox said. “(The disaster) is not a good thing, but it’s good that we’re together and we’re able to talk about it.”

According to Fox, he has been in contact with his former high school coach in the Houston area and the two are planning a charity basketball game in the area to help with the relief efforts. The details are still being hashed out, but the hope is to draw in professional players from the Houston area to a location sometime in September. 

In support of their young players, the Sacramento Kings reallocated their ticket sales staff on Tuesday, converting the group into a Red Cross call center. The sales team went through lists of season ticket holders and contacts trying to raise funds for the relief effort and Kings fans responded with nearly $25,000 in donations. 

According to the Kings’ new president of business operations, John Rinehart, the team has matched the fans donations and was able to gather another $50,000 in aid from their business partners for a total of $100,000 in just over 24 hours. 

“It’s very important to give back to our communities and it’s something that our ownership group has instilled in us,” Rinehart said. “It’s also important to include those communities that our players are from. We don’t want to forget them and we want to support them.” 

Sacramento will host the Houston Rockets Oct. 18 at Golden 1 Center for opening night. They have already pledged the proceeds of the team’s 50/50 raffle to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and plan on giving fans other avenues of donating to the relief effort. 

The Kings have also set up a site through ticketmaster to help raise donations for the relief efforts.  

Kings finally get to unleash highly skilled weapon Bogdan Bogdanovic on NBA stage

bogdan-bogdanovic-serbia-ap.jpg
AP

Kings finally get to unleash highly skilled weapon Bogdan Bogdanovic on NBA stage

The legend of Bogdan Bogdanovic grows. After another deep run against European competition, the 25-year-old shooting guard is headed for the NBA with plenty of fanfare.

Bogdanovic and his Serbian teammates fell short of the ultimate goal of winning EuroBasket 2017. Goran Dragic and Team Slovenia took home the gold, pulling away from Serbia for the 93-85 victory in the finals on Sunday.

Dragic scored a game-high 35 points in 28 minutes of action, giving Bogdanovic a taste of what the competition will look like on a nightly basis in the NBA. Bogdanovic led Serbia with 22 points on 9-of-21 shooting, but he struggled from long range, knocking down 2-of-11 from behind the international 3-point line.

The Kings acquired Bogdanovic from the Phoenix Suns, along with the rights to Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere for Marquese Chriss on Draft night 2016. Phoenix had failed multiple times in their attempts to bring the sharpshooter over from his Turkish league team after taking him with the 27th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Vlade Divac couldn’t get Bogdanovic to come over for last season, but he found traction early this summer and added the talented wing as part of his July shopping spree.

After dominating league action overseas, Bogdanovic became the highest paid rookie in NBA history, signing a three-year, $27 million deal with Sacramento. He’ll make close to $9.5 million in his first season in the league, more than double what fifth overall pick, De’Aaron Fox, is scheduled to make.   

Bogdanovic walks into a crowded situation in Sacramento. He’ll compete for minutes with Buddy Hield, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson at the shooting guard position. Both Hield and Temple worked under coach Dave Joerger for parts of last season, but the Kings front office is very high on their European import.

Listed at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, Bogdanovic has great size for the two and he might even be able to shift to the small forward spot for short stints. He is not the defender that Temple is and Hield might have an edge on him as a volume scorer, but Bogdanovic has an advantage over both players in versatility.

He’s a highly skilled offensive weapon that should make an immediate impact on the floor. He spent plenty of time manning the point guard position for Serbia and can even act as the primary ball handler. Bogdanovic is blessed with an extremely high basketball IQ and he’s shown advanced playmaking skills, both with Fenerbahce and the Serbian national team.

Bogdanovic can light it up from distance, having knocked down 43 percent of 3-pointers this season for Fenerbahce, but he’s not just a catch and shoot player. He hit 50 percent from the field overall using a variety of moves to create space. He has a killer crossover and step back jumper, a nice floater in the lane and he is fearless going to the rack.

Where he has the biggest advantage over his competition is in the pick-and-roll. Bogdanovic uses hesitation dribbles and crafty maneuvering to create looks for both himself and his bigs moving to the hoop. He also has nice court vision and is an unselfish distributor.

If Bogdanovic’s European game translates to the NBA, Sacramento has a rotational player and possibly much more. He’ll likely struggle on the defensive end initially, like most rookies coming into the league, but he plays with effort and has solid instincts.

Joerger has a lot to work out during training camp and the early season. He has multiple bodies at every position and the competition for minutes is going to be intense. While it’s early to make predictions, it appears that Bogdanovic will have a substantial role as the Kings enter year one of their rebuild.

Kings miss potential competitive advantage while going floor crazy

kings.jpg
Twitter/@SacramentoKings

Kings miss potential competitive advantage while going floor crazy

Somebody has to warn me when sentences like this appear at random. From a tweet by Paul Lukas of UniWatch:
 
“International outreach: (Sacramento) Kings' new black alternate court includes graphics in Hindi and Mandarin, depending on team's promotional campaign.”
 
Now when did that become up for grabs?
 
Not the Hindi or Mandarin legends below the Kings’ logo, which were announced by the team on NBA.com Thursday. I think every nation that wishes to should feel a part of the Dave Joerger Experience – Mongolia, Kazakhstan, South Sudan, Placerville, you name it.
 
But what I didn’t know is that there is now a desperate marketing need for alternate floors.
 
I mean, you don’t get much more fundamental and frill-free than the ground. You can paint it, you can decal it, you can varnish it, you can stain it, you can scuff it, and it still stays pretty floor-y.
 
And it robs the Kings of a potential competitive advantage that they could desperately use.
 
The Boston Celtics made great use of their old parquet floor at the now spectral Bostonb Garden. There were hot spots and dead spots, seams and gaps that only the Celtics players knew, and they all used them to their benefit throughout the golden age of Celtic basketball.
 
And now that the Celtics are celebrating the Garden’s 20th year of rubblehood, they probably miss that old floor a bit. Even though they pretty much sold off most of the bits for great scads of cash and used others to be included in the current floor.
 
But the Kings need two. No, wait. They need three. Hmmm.
 
Now the Kings also have four different uniforms to go with their floors, meaning that every game prep will include a few minutes to figure what socks go with what grain of wood. This seems like an unproductive use of everybody’s time.
 
As for the languages on the floor . . . well, if I was from Bulgaria, I’d be pretty damned cheesed off right now that I can’t see my team’s name on one of my floors.
 
So I will do it for you. Go You царства на сакрамента!