Kings

An emotional season finale for Kings in Sacramento

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USATSI

An emotional season finale for Kings in Sacramento

Legendary color analyst, Jerry Reynolds, will call his final game as the full-time partner next to Grant Napear. After 20-years on the job and 33 with the Kings organization, Reynolds, 74, will take a step back and work part-time on both radio and pre and post game shows moving forward. Former Kings shooting guard Doug Christie will step into Reynolds' role next season alongside Napear. 

Houston will open the playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference. They’ve had an incredible regular season that includes win streaks of 17, 14 and 11 games. They are a juggernaut, but the true measure of their success will be judged in the NBA’s second season beginning later this week. 

BETTING LINE 

Rockets by 3.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Bogdan Bogdanovic vs. James Harden -- Bogdanovic continues to develop as his rookie season comes to a close. He’s a crafty guard with a penchant for hitting the big shot. He’ll face the likely league MVP in Harden, who has put together an incredible season. Bogdanovic will have his hands full on the defensive end, but he need make Harden guard him on the other side of the court. 

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 26-55, fourth in the Pacific

Rockets: 65-16 first in the Southwest

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: SG/SF Iman Shumpert (plantar fasciitis) out, SF Garrett Temple (left ankle) out, PF Skal Labissiere (left ankle) out, PG Frank Mason (plantar fascia tear left heel) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.

Rockets: PF Ryan Anderson (ankle) doubtful, SF Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Show Growth -- In an oddity to the NBA schedule, the Kings started the 2017-18 campaign against the Rockets, played them for a second time the game before the All-Star break and now finish the season against them. Houston is a tough measuring stick, but the Kings need to come out and show the Rockets they’ve improved over the 82 game schedule.

Fight for Your NBA Life -- Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson are playing on two-way contracts. Nigel Hayes and Bruno Caboclo are trying to hold onto their place in the league. The quartet will get a chance to show all 30 teams what they bring to the table. 

Take a Break Tomorrow -- The young Kings have given teams fits down the stretch. They play hard and they’ve come up clutch in crunch time. Sacramento needs to leave it all on the court and head into the summer the right way.

SERIES HISTORY 

The Rockets hold a 2-0 advantage in the season series and have won seven straight over the Kings. Houston hold a 125-88 advantage over the Kings all-time, and a 84-42 lead during the Sacramento-era.

A Prince Among Kings: Jerry Reynolds transitions to new role after 20 years on Kings broadcast

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Sacramento Kings

A Prince Among Kings: Jerry Reynolds transitions to new role after 20 years on Kings broadcast

SACRAMENTO -- The end of the 2017-18 NBA season is upon us, and it comes with some emotional news for Sacramento Kings fans. Legendary broadcaster and former team executive Jerry Reynolds has decided to step away from his full-time position as color analyst for the team.

“I feel like this is the time for me to make a transition in my career. I just don’t feel like I have the interest or the capabilities to be a full-time employee, as much as I’ve enjoyed my time with the Kings,” Reynolds said on The Kings Insider Podcast on NBC Sports California.

Reynolds has worked alongside play-by-play man Grant Napear for the past twenty seasons of Kings basketball. He’s an iconic figure on the Sacramento sports landscape, but at 74 years old, the wear and tear of an 82-game season with an intense travel schedule has taken its toll.
 
“This is strictly my decision,” Reynolds said. “They’ve given me the opportunity to change my mind a couple of times, but I know it’s the right thing. Father Time wins every battle.”
 
According to Reynolds, the team offered him a long-term contract last summer, but he turned it down in lieu of a one-year deal. After thinking it through, he made the difficult decision to walk away from full-time duty, in part because of long-term health concerns.
 
“I am a 20-year diabetic and honestly, the last year was tough on me,” Reynolds said. “I’m not trying to work up a pity contest here, but it was a lot tougher for me to take care of my disease.”
 
In his time with the franchise, Reynolds has been an assistant coach, interim head coach, head coach, general manager, director of player personnel and color analyst. He also headed up the Sacramento Monarchs, who brought home a WNBA Championship in 2005.
 
“As a broadcast partner, I just have been so blessed,” Napear told NBC Sports California. “I can’t adequately put into words what it’s meant to be with him 82 games a year doing NBA basketball. It’s effortless. It’s fun. It’s not work in any capacity.”
 
“He’s just a great person and I consider him a part of my family."
 
An unlikely duo - a New Yorker and and a country boy from French Lick, Indiana - Napear and Reynolds have consistently been considered one of the best broadcast teams in the NBA.
 
“We’re kind of like an old couple,” Reynolds said of Napear. “He’s 100 miles per hour and I’m 20 miles per hour. New York and Indiana. And it kind of works.”
 
With his country charm and flair for coining nicknames, Reynolds helped create a broadcast that is uniquely Sacramento. He’s brought a lighthearted approach to the game through good seasons and bad in Sacramento.
 
“He’s so folksy,” said Gary Gerould, the radio voice of the Kings. “He’s such a people person and he loves to talk basketball. I envy his depth of knowledge and his way of expressing that just makes you smile. He’s unique.”
 
Reynolds isn’t going anywhere. He will continue to be a fixture in the Kings’ family, both on and off the court. He will represent the team in the community and at team functions.
 
The details haven’t been fully settled, but the Kings also expect Reynolds to continue to contribute to game broadcasts and Pre/Post shows on NBC Sports California as well as Kings coverage on Sports 1140 KHTK radio.
 
He has no intention of walking away anytime soon from a loyal fan base that has supported him for the last 33 years, since he came with the team from Kansas City before the 1985-86 season.
 
“I work for the fans and I owe the fans, and I’ll always feel that way,” Reynolds said. “It’s been an honor and a thrill to get to know them, to work for them and I’ll always owe them.”
 
With Reynolds stepping away from his full-time role, the team has pegged former Kings shooting guard Doug Christie as his replacement. Christie has worked 10 games per year alongside Napear over the last three seasons as the team groomed him for the position.
 
“Hopefully my voice is taken in and consumed by our Sacramento Kings fans, and they give me a chance to do me,” Christie said.
 
The pair also work together on the team’s flagship radio station Sports 1140 KHTK, and Christie has been a fixture on NBC Sports California’s pre and postgame shows for the past three years.  
 
There is no replacing Reynolds, but Christie brings a different vibe to the telecast. He adds energy and excitement, and he’s worked hard to improve at his craft. Napear and Christie have had short opportunities to work together, but it will take time to develop the chemistry that fans have become accustomed to on a nightly basis.

“He doesn’t have an ego,” Napear said of Christie. “He’s unbelievably prepared and he knows the game. It’s actually much easier than I thought it would be. He’s not Jerry and I don’t expect him to be Jerry.”
 
“He does his job off the court like he did as a player,” Reynolds said of his successor. “He really prepares, he works hard, he thinks it out. I’m not surprised by any of it. He’ll get better and better. He’s terrific.”
 
It’s tough to step in and replace a legend. Christie won't try to be the next Jerry Reynolds. Instead, he intends to grow into the role and make it his own.
 
After a 15-year NBA career, including four and a half in a Kings uniform, Christie and his family moved back to the Sacramento area in the summer of 2016. He has a passion for the franchise that he helped lead to the 2002 Western Conference Finals.
 
“It’s surreal. At the same time, the affinity I have for the Sacramento Kings - I want to see them do something,” Christie said. “To actually be a part of that is a humbling experience.”
 
The team has planned a video tribute to Reynolds that will play during the season finale against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday evening at Golden 1 Center. It will be a celebration of a Sacramento legend.

Kings relocating G-League affiliate from Reno to Stockton

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AP

Kings relocating G-League affiliate from Reno to Stockton

Change is a good thing. The Sacramento Kings made a major announcement regarding their G-League affiliate on Monday afternoon. After a decade in Reno, the Bighorns are moving to Stockton, pending league approval.

Just a 45 minute drive from Downtown Sacramento, the City of Stockton has an arena and a perfect location to shuttle players back and forth from. The Bighorns will play at Stockton Arena and relocate their business operations to that area. They will use the Kings’ former practice facility at the Arco Arena site as their headquarters of basketball operations and have full use of the Golden 1 Center facility.

“Our NBA G-League team has been an incredible asset to help prepare players for NBA action and bringing the team closer to Sacramento will allow us to continue to build on that success and increase efficiency to this valuable development tool,” Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac said via press release. “Kings fans in Stockton will now have an opportunity to see the next generation of NBA players each week.”

Led by general manager Anthony McClish, the Bighorns hosted five different young Kings players this season, including Skal Labissiere, Justin Jackson, Malachi Richardson, Georgios Papagiannis and Bruno Caboclo.

During the 2017-18 season, the Bighorns also supported two-way players JaKarr Sampson and Jack Cooley, and boast three G-League call up players in David Stockton (Utah Jazz), Reggie Hearn (Detroit Pistons) and Aaron Harrison (Dallas Mavericks).

Built in 2005, Stockton Arena is the home of the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League. The 12,000 seat arena is just 48 miles from Golden 1 Center, roughly 85 miles closer to Sacramento than Reno.

“It’s my honor to welcome the Kings organization to Stockton and I look forward to watching NBA G-League action at the Stockton Arena,” Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said in the press release. “The Kings have been known for their tremendous impact in the community and we’re excited to have their full support as we continue to reinvent Stockton.”

The Kings still need to clear a few hurdles. They need league approval to move the franchise and Stockton City Council plans to review and vote on the agreement on Tuesday, April 17.

According to the press release, the team is getting a new identity, “that reflects the marks and history of the parent club in Sacramento.” The new branding will take place sometime this spring.