Garrett Temple

Garrett Temple -- the Kings' forgotten man

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AP

Garrett Temple -- the Kings' forgotten man

Some NBA players get no respect. When you read about the Sacramento Kings’ summer of change, the focus is on the incoming rookie class and the three veteran additions. When you talk about the shooting guard position, the conversation instantly shifts to Buddy Hield vs. Bogdan Bogdanovic. But when the season starts, Garrett Temple will be a veteran leader and likely the starter at the two.

Temple is used to living his NBA life in relative anonymity. He bounced in and out of the league throughout the early stages of his career and has finally found stability at the ripe age of 31. When he signed a three-year, $24 million deal with Sacramento last summer, he more than doubled his career earnings in his first season on the job.

His numbers don’t jump off the page, but his impact on the game goes far beyond points, rebounds and assists. Temple is the Kings’ best perimeter defender and it’s not even a close contest. Temple has an ability to disrupt the opposing team’s offensive flow with deflections. He can guard the point and both wing positions, which will take pressure off the younger players.   

On the offensive end, Temple rarely makes a mistake, averaging just 0.9 turnovers per game for his career. He can act as a second ball handler and he shot a reliable 37.3 percent from behind the arc last season.

With plenty of scoring options around him, Temple doesn’t demand shots. He is a glue guy who finds a role and fits in with any lineup.

Behind the scenes, Temple established himself as an authentic voice of experience. Vince Carter will carry a lot of weight in the locker room as a former superstar turned aging mentor. Zach Randolph commands respect with his 16 years of grinding through the NBA, and George Hill will take on tutoring the rookie point guards. But at the end of last season, Sacramento’s locker room was all Temple’s.

He was voted the Kings’ teammate of the year and he has built strong bonds with the young core. He’s already spent time this summer with the incoming rookie crop, which only solidifies his spot as a team leader.

Dave Joerger will ask Temple to play both wing positions, but his natural spot on the floor is at the two. Buddy Hield finished the season manning the position, with Temple sliding to the three, but the Kings have more options coming into the 2017-18 campaign.

Bogdanovic adds an interesting wrinkle to the competition. The Serbian sharpshooter is very popular with the Kings front office. At 25, he comes into the league with an advanced offensive game and ready to play.

The Kings are trying to build a winning culture and the competition for playing time will be fierce at almost every spot on the floor. At some point during the season, either Hield or Bogdanovic might force Joerger’s hand. It’s also possible that Joerger will need Temple to shift over and steal minutes at the three.

Regardless of position, expect Temple to play substantial minutes this season. You can also guarantee that he will be one of the strongest voices in a locker room filled with inexperienced players.

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

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AP

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.

Garrett Temple makes plea for Otto Porter to join Kings

Garrett Temple makes plea for Otto Porter to join Kings

For the first three years of Otto Porter's career, he was teammates with Garrett Temple.

Then Temple left Washington last summer for Sacramento.

Now, a year later, Temple hopes the restricted free agent will join him on the Kings.

A day after the Kings reportedly made a max contract offer to Porter, Temple wrote this on Twitter:

"Yo OP, come on over to the west coast lil bro!!! #SacramentoProud"

The deal the Kings are offering Porter is reportedly in the range of four years and $100 million. The Wizards have the opportunity to match any offer the small forward receives.