Kings win season opener, down Lakers 100-91


Kings win season opener, down Lakers 100-91


Marcus Thornton scored 27 points, including 18 in the 2nd half, and his backcourt mate Tyreke Evans chipped in 20 as the Kings took their season opener over the Lakers 100-91.

After scoring 12 points in the first half on 4-13 shooting, Kobe Bryant finished with 29 points on 10-24 from the floor.

"It's not a rivalry," Kobe Bryant said. "We beat them every year. Oh my God. I don't care if they beat us tonight. I like (Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof). I hope they enjoy this."
Second-year big man DeMarcus Cousins recorded his 27th career double-double after delivering 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

The game was played in front of a raucous crowd at Power Balance Pavilion, who almost saw their beloved Kings relocate to Anaheim this offseason.

"These fans are unbelievable," newly acquired forward Chuck Hayes said. "I thought they were loud on TV. I thought they were loud as an away player and I think they're even louder as a home player. It was just a great moment."

Hayes signed a four-year contract worth over 21 million with the Kings on Dec. 9, only to have it voided 10 days later after he failed a physical due to complications with his heart.

However, after Hayes was re-examined and passed several additional tests, he was re-signed by the Kings three days ago.

"Chuck Hayes is the glue of this team," Westphal said. "We knew he would be the glue when we signed him and he shows it every day. It was a phenomenal effort for Chuck with what he's been through."
The Lakers trailed by as many as 15 points early in the 4th quarter, but cut it to 89-87 with 4:24 remaining.

However, the man of the night, Marcus Thornton, nailed a deep 3 to give the Kings a five-point lead, and the Lakers never recovered.

The Kings used a 7-0 run over the final 2:06 of the 2nd quarter to take a 49-40 lead into halftime. They scored the first four points of the 3rd quarter to extend their lead to 13, but the Lakers battled back to pull within five at 62-57.

However, a 16-7 run over the final 5:34 of the third quarter gave the Kings a 14-point lead heading into the fourth.

Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, tallied 19 points off the bench for the Lakers, who dropped to 0-2 for the first time since the 2002-2003 season.

John Salmons, who played with the Kings for two plus seasons from 2006 to 2009, scored 13 points after being re-acquired by Sacramento on a draft-day trade in June.

It wasn't a perfect game for the Kings by any means, as they shot 21-35 from the free throw line and allowed 16 offensive rebounds.

However, the difference in the game may have been from beyond the arc as the Kings nailed 9 of 18 3's, whereas the Lakers shot a woeful 1-for-16 from deep.

The Kings are back in action tomorrow night as they will fly to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Portland Trail Blazers at 7:00 p.m.

Prior to tipoff, Kings TV color commentator Jerry Reynolds laid out his three keys to the game. Let's take a look at what they were, and how the Kings fared.

1) The Newest Kings: Jimmer Fredette and Travis Outlaw scored six points each, J.J. Hickson scored three points to go along with five rebounds, the aforementioned John Salmons had 13 points, Isaiah Thomas scored five points and made some great passes for two key assists, and Chuck Hayes contributed seven points, nine rebounds, three blocks, and stellar defense. All in all, it's fair to say that the "new Kings" delivered on opening night.

2) Defensive Rebounding: The Kings lost the rebounding battle 45-40, and allowed 16 offensive rebounds. Fortunately for them, the Lakers shot just 42 percent for the game. Had the Lakers not shot 1-16 from 3-point range, the Kings could be 0-1 heading to Portland.

3) The Kobe Factor: At first glance, a 29 point, five rebound, six assist night for Kobe Bryant looks pretty good. However, when you take into account that he shot 10-24 from the floor, and 4-13 in the first half, it's not so good. Kobe entered tonight with 24 games of 30 or more points vs. Sacramento -- the most against any opponent. He didn't get to 25 tonight.

Drew Shiller is a Web Producer at You can follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kings owner Ranadivé releases statement on Trump's 'deeply disappointing' comments


Kings owner Ranadivé releases statement on Trump's 'deeply disappointing' comments

Sacramento — Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé released the following statement.

“I have a deep respect for our nation’s unwavering commitment to free speech and support all Americans’ right to freely express themselves. The President's recent comments are deeply disappointing, because our focus should be on fostering a culture of sensitivity and inclusion. Our mission at the Sacramento Kings has always been to unite our community and use our platform to create positive change, so we continue to stand with our players, and all people, who use their platform to raise awareness and make Sacramento and our country proud.”

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Kings hire VP of professional development


Kings hire VP of professional development

It’s been a summer of change for the Sacramento Kings. A roster upheaval has 10 new players vying for minutes once training camp opens on Tuesday. The coaching staff has been bolstered and fresh blood was added to the front office in the form of analytics guru Luke Bornn and assistant general manager Brandon Williams. On Thursday, one more piece to the puzzle was brought in to help develop the team’s young core.

With the hiring of Galen Duncan as the franchise’s new Vice President of the Kings Academy and Professional Development, Sacramento is making a major investment in the future of their team.

According to the team’s official press release, “Duncan is responsible for implementation of the Kings Academy program, a developmental, player-centric curriculum aligning multi-faceted organizational philosophies and ideals to help athletes mature into well-rounded professionals. Under Duncan’s oversight, Kings Academy will augment on-court progress with access to practical material and experiences that help balance on-court priorities and personal responsibilities with opportunities to become impactful contributors in the community.”

After 10 years with the Detroit Lions, Duncan is making the jump to the NBA game. He’s already had a taste of the league, working with the league office as part of the NBA Rookie Transition Program.

With five rookies and another four sophomores on the roster, the Kings are investing in a seasoned mentor and life coach. Armed with a Ph.D. in health psychology from Walden University, Duncan will aid the players in everything from finding an apartment to dealing with the stress of life as a 19-year-old millionaire with no experience paying a bill.

“My passion has always been sports,” Duncan told NBC Sports California. “Sports has done wonderful things for me. I don’t care what level they’re at or how much money they make, I think there is something to learn and I have something to teach.”

With the Lions, he brought incoming rookie classes through everything from etiquette courses to teaching them how to tie ties. His goal is to transform a group of young men into professionals, who just happen to be professional athletes.

It’s not just about making a polished product for the media and general public. Duncan will work with players on a variety of personal issues, including money management, dealing with family and professional on-court performance.

“Unfortunately, sometimes family can be your worst enemy,” Duncan said. “But if structured correctly and if nurtured, I think the education goes beyond just the player. I think you have to educate the family as well about what they’re doing.”

The transition to the NBA game will be interesting for Duncan. He comes from a game where the incoming rookie class can be anywhere from 10-15 players. He hasn’t dealt with 19-year-olds at the NFL level and guaranteed contracts are new as well, but the job is very similar.

Sacramento has always had a support staff to help with the transition to the NBA game, but the addition of Duncan is a new level of commitment by the team. They have a huge group of young players and they are making an investment into their futures and the future of the franchise. It’s a clear step in the right direction.