Kings

There's a new Kings' No. 15 in town; Sacramento settles on uniform numbers

There's a new Kings' No. 15 in town; Sacramento settles on uniform numbers

The change from Adidas to Nike isn’t the only switch going on with the Sacramento Kings uniforms this season. Plenty of new faces have joined the roster and the influx of veteran talent has forced some players to make a change in number.

Vince Carter has sported the No. 15 dating back to his time at North Carolina. He’s also worn the number in stops in Toronto, New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix and Memphis, with the only exception coming during his time Dallas, where he had to wear 25 because the Mavericks had retired Brad Davis’ No. 15.

Carter will wear No. 15 in Sacramento, displacing rookie Frank Mason III. Counting Mason, Carter is the 27th Kings player to wear 15, including DeMarcus Cousins, who wore the number from 2011-2017.

Mason will swap to No. 10, bringing back memories of former point guard Mike Bibby. It’s the 26th time the No. 10 has been worn by a Kings player, including legends Jack Twyman and Nate “Tiny” Archibald. Ty Lawson wore No. 10 last season in Sacramento.

George Hill will wear No. 3 this season with Sacramento, like he has in his previous stops in San Antonio, Indiana and Utah. The addition of Hill forces a change for second-year big man Skal Labissiere, who swapped to No. 7 for the upcoming season.

Hill becomes the 21st player in franchise history to wear the No. 3, joining the likes of Randy Brown, Vernon Maxwell, Gerald Wallace and Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Labissiere is the 15th Kings player to don the No. 7, including Danny Ainge, Bobby Hurley, Jimmer Fredette and Darren Collison from last season.

Bogdan Bogdanovic has worn both 7 and 13 in his time in Europe. But with Labissiere swapping to 7 and Georgios Papagiannis wearing the No. 13, he’ll give No. 8 a shot in Sacramento. Only eight past Kings have chosen No. 8, including Eddie Johnson and more recently Rudy Gay.

Malachi Richardson chose to wear No. 5 last season, but with the departure of Ben McLemore, he was able to snare No. 23 for the upcoming season. Richardson is the 17th player to ask and receive permission to wear 23. The number holds a special place in Kings’ fans hearts from the five year stretch the power forward Wayman Tisdale wore it. Kevin Martin made No. 23 look good from 2005-2010, as well.

Lastly, veteran big man Zach Randolph will wear his standard No. 50. It’s the same number he’s worn in stops in Portland, New York, Los Angeles (Clipper) and Memphis over his 16 year NBA career. He’s only the seventh player to sport 50 in Kings history, including Ralph Sampson and Eddie House.

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

SACRAMENTO -- Light in the rear. It’s a term the Sacramento Kings coaching staff has used since the beginning of training camp to describe the bigs on the roster. On Monday night at Golden 1 Center, the team’s lack of strength inside was on full display as the Denver Nuggets crushed them on the glass.

“I think we’re 29th in the league for rebounding, so that’s a little bit of our makeup of how our team is made,” Dave Joerger said following the Kings’ 114-98 loss.

Joerger is close in his assessment, but off by a few spots. His roster ranks 26th in the league in rebounding overall and 28th on the defensive side of the ball. It’s become an achilles heel for a team that has a few glaring weaknesses.

“When Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Kosta (Koufos) aren’t in there to snag every rebound, we have to get in there and help Zach (Randolph) and help Skal (Labissiere),” veteran Garrett Temple said. “Skal’s a little undersized in terms of weight and Z-Bo will put his body on people, but some people might be able to out jump him.”

On a normal night, Temple is right. Randolph and Labissiere struggle to put up big numbers on the glass. But against the Nuggets, it was Koufos and Cauley-Stein that combined to grab nine rebounds in 51 total minutes of action.

Randolph and Labissiere didn’t fair much better, finishing with 10 boards between the two of them in 38 minutes with the starters. Between the Kings’ four bigs, they were out rebounded by the Nuggets bigs by a final of 34-19.

The Nuggets came into the night a top 10 rebounding team overall and the second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA at 11.8 per game.

It’s not just the bigs that struggled to grab boards for Sacramento. Without Buddy Hield, the club’s best rebounding wing, the Kings’ were dominated 49-34 overall in rebounding, including 14-5 on the offensive glass.

“The first shot, it’s a good contest, we did everything right, except get the rebound,” rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “And then they get an open shot off a second chance shot. If we can complete a lot of plays with the rebound, we’ll be okay.”

To Fox’s point, the defensive possession doesn’t end until the rebound is secured. Sacramento was outscored 19-6 on second chance points. In a 16-point game, those numbers loom large.

“Us guards, we know we have to help our bigs,” Fox said. “We know our bigs are athletic. We know they do what they do, at the end of the day, other team’s guards are helping their bigs rebound and their bigs aren’t alone.”

Outside of the four bigs, none of the other seven players to see action had more than three rebounds. It’s an issue that has to be addressed as the Kings move forward.

“There are some instances that really bothered me,” Joerger said. “We had some guys leaking out, standing at half court and that I won’t have.”

The Kings have a day of practice on Tuesday to try and sure up some of their issues. Some of the problems stem from inexperience, but some of the issue comes down to energy and effort.

It doesn’t even get easier on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Lakers rank second in the league in rebounding at 47.5 boards per game. On the plus side, they also give up the 28th most rebounds in the league.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone suspended for game against Kings

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USATSI

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone suspended for game against Kings

Michael Malone won't be on the sideline when his Nuggets take on his former team on Monday night.

The NBA announced Monday afternoon that Malone has been suspended without pay for the game against the Kings.

The suspension stems from Malone "entering the court, halting play and making contact with a game official" during Denver's game against the Lakers on Sunday. The incident occurred midway through the second quarter.

Malone was hired as head coach of the Kings prior to the 2013-14 season. He was fired just 24 games into the 2014-15 season.

Coverage of the Nuggets and Kings gets underway at 6:30pm on NBC Sports California and streaming on the NBC Sports App.