Kings

Lowly Kings full of surprises

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Lowly Kings full of surprises

You cant make this stuff up. No really, you cant. Eight games into the season for the Sacramento Kings, the fans have been treated to a comedy of errors, something straight out of Hollywood. Consider:Opening night, amidst all the off-season chatter about a new arena that has plagued this city for years now, and four (FOUR) banners come tumbling down from the scoreboard during the game. The fact that the banners not only werent championship banners, but were covering up a former sponsor (Thunder Valley Casino) was poetic in a tragic fashion. Blue-chip pick Thomas Robinson picks up the NBAs first two game suspension for elbowing Jonas Jerebko of the Detroit Pistons in the throat. The THROAT.
RELATED: Kings Robinson suspended two games for elbow
You know Jonas Jerebko, the intimidating, gets-in-your-head agitator famous the world round? The second coming of Bill Laimbeer? Oh, maybe hes none of those things, but that didnt stop Robinson from dropping a Jon Bones Jones bow to his adams apple. Other than his stellar play at Kansas, Robinson was known for his incredible story coming into the draft. Suffering a litany of tragedies, and raising his young sister with the help of a community, starting his first NBA month with a suspension for a violent cheap shot was near the bottom of the Vegas odds sheet. But remember, were talking about the Sacramento Kings. Remember, you cant talk about crazy Kings happenings without DeMarcus Cousins getting involved. Cousins had spent the offseason staying in shape, and honing his skills vs the US Olympic squad. His demeanor seemed a little lighter (to match his body) coming into training camp, and he seemed to be finding his regular double-double groove after a tough start. Well, um. Yeah.Former Spur and current San Antonio TV announcer Sean Elliott took exception to Cousins talking a little trash to Tim Duncan during their matchup at Sleep Train Arena last Friday. So Elliott said what he thought was appropriate, that Cousins needed to grow up and shut his mouth.
RELATED: Kings' Cousins suspended two games for altercation with Elliott
Cousins apparently checked his cellphone before he hopped in the shower and read something like this, perhaps:Yo. Elliott is dogging you on TV. You gonna take that?Of course hes not gonna take that. So Cousins, doing what any smart mature NBA player would do, went back onto the court. He passed a group of children taking pictures with the Kings PA announcer, and confronted Elliott. What exactly was said will more than likely remain a mystery. According to those who were within earshot, Cousins informed Elliott that he was not at all happy with his comments, and the rest gets a bit blurry. Kings fans were in an uproar that Cousins got the same punishment that his teammate Robinson got for damn near killing a guy, but conventional wisdom says DMC crossed a few lines. My money is on the conversation NOT going anything like this:Excuse me, Mr. Elliott? DeMarcus Cousins, good to meet you. I know you are a former All-Star and have a championship ring, but would you pretty please mind not calling me out on TV? It hurts my feelings.Yeah. Nope. Obviously there were things said that the NBA considers a no-no. And not the Crash Davis mustve called him a blankety-blank type of no-nos either. Bad stuff. In an NBA uniform. On an NBA floor. Would it have been hard for Cousins to talk with Elliott in the tunnel? Visiting players at Sleep Train Arena MUST walk past the Kings locker room entrance to get to the team bus, and Cousins conversation wouldve been seen only by team personnel and a smattering of media members. Even better, he could have taken him into any of several private rooms nearby. Nope, lets do this in front of everyone, because thats what a mature player does. No Thomas Robinson, and the Kings lost to the Spurs on Friday. No Robinson or Cousins, and the Kings lost to the Lakers in LA on Sunday. No DeMarcus Cousins, and the Kings got blown away by the Blazers at home Tuesday evening. One could make an argument that they wouldve lost all three regardless, but you could also bet smartly they may have picked one out of the three up. For a team projected to win 20-30 games this season, any win is a big win. Unfortunately, the suspensions all came after a two-game mini-win streak earlier in the week. Coach Keith Smart is doing the best he can, but his rotations are questionable at times. Quick to take a timeout in certain situations, he also will let opposing runs get way out of hand before he draws on his bench. 2-6 on the young season, and it actually seems worse. The Kings sales and marketing staff worked tirelessly in the offseason trying to secure both ticket sales and new sponsorships in a market that is tough to impossible at the kindest. Blue-chippers like Nokia and Wal-Mart came on board, not to mention selling naming rights (once again) to their arena. Attendance Tuesday night was reported at just over 10 thousand, which is about seven thousand short of capacity. And, as the old saying goes, it looked like about half of that 10 were dressed as empty seats. The city of Sacramento and its fans were hoping for a surprising start to the season. They got it, but as an even more popular saying goes- Be careful what you wish for.This wasnt the surprise anyone wanted to see. Images supplied by US Presswire and the Associated Press
Carmichael Dave hosts two radio shows on his podcasting channel, thecdnetworks.com.You can tweet him questions or comments @carmichaeldave.

Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

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USATSI

Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

With a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings are feeling good heading into their first back-to-back on Saturday. They’ll face a Denver Nuggets team that lost their season opener to the Utah Jazz and is looking for their first victory of the season.

The combination of George Hill and De’Aaron Fox at the point guard position was too much for Dallas to handle on Friday. Hill poured in 21 points, including two huge shots down the stretch and Fox came away with his first 10-assist game of his career.

Denver added veteran Paul Millsap in the offseason to match with rising star Nikola Jokic. Jokic struggled in the opener, but still managed to post seven points, eight assists and 12 rebounds. The Kings will have their hands full trying to slow the 7-footer.  

OPENING LINE:
Nuggets by 11

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Nikola Jokic -- Cauley-Stein has posted back-to-back double-doubles to start the season and comes in averaging 15.5 points, 10.5 rebound and two blocks in 29 minutes per game. Jokic is one of the more versatile bigs in the game. He picks and chooses his spots to score, but his passing ability makes him a dangerous player.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 1-1

Nuggets: 0-1

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out

Nuggets: No injuries to report

SERIES HISTORY:
These two teams split the season series last year and hold an identical 86-86 record against each other all-time. The Kings lead the Nuggets 65-63 during the Sacramento-era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
MORE TIME FOR FOX - The Kings speedy young guard is showing that he’s ready to carry more of the load. In his first game, he posted 14 points and five assists. In Game Two, he set up his teammates for a team-high 10 assists while adding nine points and six rebounds. He’s averaged 25 minutes a game in the first two, but his play is already commanding more.

GIVING BUDDY SOME LOVE - Lost in the shuffle of the team’s first win was an nice all-around performance from Buddy Hield. The second-year guard was one of eight Kings to grab five rebounds or more against the Mavs, but Hield’s late board in traffic was probably the play of the night. If he can post more 13 point, six rebound, three assist games early in the season, he’ll find himself on the court more often than not.

MORE FROM SKAL NEEDED - Skal Labissiere has all the potential in the world, but he’s off to a quiet start through two contests. He needs to be more aggressive calling for the ball and continue to hit the glass hard. He’s averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds in 23 minutes per game, but one of those came with Zach Randolph on the shelf. He’ll need to earn minutes like everyone else on this team.

QUOTE:
“My coach has that much confidence in me, a 19-year-old kid to stay on the floor in crunch time, and when he has that confidence in me, my confidence goes up that much more.” -De’Aaron Fox on coach Dave Joerger sticking with him down the stretch in the Kings’ first win.

Kings add former WNBA head coach Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

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AP

Kings add former WNBA head coach Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

Dave Joerger likes to think outside the box. He’s a coach that loves to talk hoops and he’s always looking for a fresh approach. In preparation for the 2017-18 season, he reached out to friends in the college and high school ranks with the hopes of gleaning a some small bit of information about coaching an extremely young roster. 
 
When it came time to assemble his staff, Joerger brought back his entire coaching group from last season and even added local product Phil Ricci to the mix to aid in the development of the team’s 10 players with two years of NBA experience or less.
 
It’s a deep bench of basketball lifers, including Elston Turner, Bryan Gates, Duane Ticknor, Bob Thornton, Jason March and Larry Lewis. On Friday, that staff grew by one with the announcement that former WNBA player and coach, Jenny Boucek, is coming aboard as an assistant player development coach.
 
Boucek visited the team multiple times last season and has been a fixture in the Kings practice facility for most of training camp. With a young an inexperienced roster, Joerger and the front office made the decision to bring her on full-time.
 
“We have a lot of really good young talent that is really hungry to learn and be in the gym,” Boucek told NBC Sports California. “I know a big part of my role is going to be helping to develop this talent, to just work with this staff and to fill in wherever is needed.”
 
Joerger and Boucek have known each other for years and share a similar passion for game. Over time, they have used each other as sounding boards for ideas and have a strong respect for one another.
 
Boucek is no stranger to Sacramento. She coached the Monarchs from 2007-2009, compiling a 40-41 record over her two plus seasons with the team and she spent the last three seasons at the helm of the Seattle Storm. 
 
“I couldn’t be more excited to get back in this basketball city that just loves and lives for basketball and try to bring an exciting team to this fanbase,” Boucek said.
 
With the hiring, Boucek becomes the third female assistant coach in NBA history, joining Becky Hammon and Nancy Lieberman. Hammon currently works as an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio and Lieberman spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant for George Karl in Sacramento before taking leave for family reasons last season.