Kings

Thornton's gaffe leads to OT loss for Kings

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Thornton's gaffe leads to OT loss for Kings

BOX SCORE
DENVER (AP) Arron Afflalo hit three free throws with 0.6 seconds left in regulation, Ty Lawson made a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining in overtime, and the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 119-116 victory over the struggling Sacramento Kings on Monday night.Afflalo finished with a career-high 32 points for the Nuggets, who improved to 4-0 since the All-Star break.Lawson came up with the clutch basket for the second straight night, finishing with 16 points and 13 assists.Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans each had 27 points for the Kings, who dropped their fourth straight on the day they announced they had extended the contract of coach Keith Smart through the 2012-13 season.Thornton also had the foul on Afflalo in the closing seconds that allowed the Nuggets to get the game into overtime and pull out an improbable win.The Kings trailed by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter, only to storm back and take a 96-93 lead on a 3-pointer by Francisco Garcia with 4:23 remaining.From there, it was an exchange of 3-pointers between the teams, as Lawson hit one to tie it up, only to have Thornton answer right back. Evans gave the Kings some breathing room with a short jumper, extending the lead to 103-98 with 1:16 remaining.The cushion didn't last.Afflalo hit a 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds remaining to make it a one-point game.After Isaiah Thomas hit two free throws to extend the lead to 108-105, the Nuggets held the ball for one final shot.Just before the buzzer sounded, Afflalo launched a deep 3-point attempt, with Thornton grazing his arm. Afflalo drained the first two free throws and then had to patiently wait after the Kings called timeout.He returned to the line, where he made the final one to tie the score at 108.Jimmer Fredette's desperation heave was offline and the game went to overtime.In overtime, the Kings jumped out to an early lead, but the Nuggets quickly responded.Lawson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to give the Nuggets the lead. Garcia's final shot fell short.Once a banged-up bunch, the Nuggets are steadily returning to health. Leading scorer Danilo Gallinari was back after missing 13 games with a left ankle sprain. So was Brazilian center Nene, who sat out 10 games with a calf strain.Not surprisingly, Gallinari and Nene both showed some early rust from their long layoffs.Gallinari didn't hit his first basket until swishing a 3-pointer with 4:04 remaining in the third quarter. He had just four points on the evening.Nene finished with six points in just over 15 minutes.When Gallinari hobbled off the court on Feb. 6, it appeared as if he might be sidelined for quite some time after tests revealed a chip fracture in his left foot. But further examinations later showed the fracture wasn't caused by his stumble and may have actually occurred before he joined the NBA in 2008.The versatile Italian forward proved to be a fast healer, returning nearly to the day the team had predicted.The Nuggets were 6-7 without Gallinari, one of the players they're counting on to deliver big shots at crunch time.But with the game on the line the healing Gallinari was on the bench, not the floor.Even with the return of Gallinari and Nene, the Nuggets are far from full strength. They were missing swingman Rudy Fernandez (back) and center Kosta Koufos (left knee).However, Timofey Mozgov played Monday despite an ailing left ankle. He had eight early points before appearing to hurt his ankle again. Mozgov didn't play in the second half.The Nuggets trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, only to go on an 8-0 run to close out the half and tie the game at 53.Notes: Kings F J.J. Hickson missed the three-game road swing with a hip pointer. ... The Kings will begin a franchise-record nine-game homestand on Wednesday against New Orleans. ... Lawson was named the Western Conference player of the week Monday. ... The Nuggets are 13-3 against the Kings at home since 2003-04.

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

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USATSI

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.”

Kings media services

 

Kings hire VP of professional development

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AP

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.