Kings

Clippers dominate Kings in L.A. 116-81

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Clippers dominate Kings in L.A. 116-81

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES -- Jamal Crawford scored 17 points off the bench, leading seven Clippers in double-digit scoring, and Los Angeles rested all of its starters in the fourth quarter of a 116-81 blowout of the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.The Clippers beat Sacramento for the fourth straight time. Blake Griffin had 14 points and nine rebounds, Chris Paul had 14 points and five assists, and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and six boards. The 35-point margin of victory was the Clippers' largest ever against the Kings' franchise, four more than the previous best on April 10, 2009, at Staples Center.Marcus Thornton scored 20 points for the Kings, and Jason Thompson had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Tyreke Evans missed his second straight contest with a bruised left knee.Sacramento is 0-6 on the road - the club's worst start since 2007-08, when the Kings lost their first nine to tie a franchise record. The league's only other winless road team is Washington (0-7).Chauncey Billups scored only six points in his second game since recovering from a torn left Achilles' tendon that sidelined him for the final 38 games of last season and the first 14 this season. But the Clippers outscored the Kings 41-22 while he was in the game.DeMarcus Cousins finished with eight points and six rebounds in just 18 minutes after sitting out the entire second and fourth quarters. The Kings are 1-7 in head-to-head matchups between Cousins and Griffin. In the seven previous meetings, Griffin averaged 20.6 points, 12.0 rebounds and was shooting 60.2 percent from the field while Cousins averaged 11.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 35.7 percent shooting.Los Angeles led 58-34 at halftime - with no one scoring in double digits. The bench had 25 points in the half, including nine by Matt Barnes, who made his first five shots and finished 5 for 7 with 12 points.The Clippers opened the game with a 17-6 run, led by Jordan's six points and four rebounds. Paul went to the bench after picking up his second foul with 5:15 left in the first quarter, but backup point guard Eric Bledsoe and the rest of the reserves held Sacramento in check - building the lead up to 46-24 by the time Paul reported back in with 6:25 left in the half.Coach Vinny Del Negro sat his entire starting unit to begin the second quarter, and Crawford gave the Clippers a 37-21 lead on a 3-pointer with 9:33 left in the half. It was his first basket of the game after starting out 0 for 4.NOTES: A moment of silence was observed for Clippers public address announcer David Courtney, who died Thursday of a pulmonary embolism at age 56. Staples Center's game-night crew put together a photo montage in his memory and showed it on the video board, and a tape of Courtney's voice was used to introduce the Clippers' starting lineup one final time. ... Courtney also handled the p.a. duties for the Angels and the reigning NHL champion Kings, but was denied a chance to preside over the raising of the Stanley Cup banner to the Staples Center rafters because of hockey's lockout. ... Eric Smith, the Dodgers' p.a. announcer, has returned to his old job at the Clippers' courtside table for the rest of the season. ... Sacramento is 0-12 when trailing after three quarters. The Clippers are 8-0 when taking a lead into the fourth.

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.

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

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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.