Vince Carter sours Cavs wine tasting trip


Vince Carter sours Cavs wine tasting trip

After a couple of games in Northern California, the Cleveland Cavaliers booked a trip to wine country for Thursday morning before heading to Utah for a date with the Jazz on Saturday. With an unexpected loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday evening, the Napa cabernet sauvignons aren’t going to taste nearly as sweet.

At the ripe age of 40, 10-time All-Star Vince Carter ruined an otherwise brilliant idea by Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue. From the moment Carter stepped on the floor in the late first quarter, the veteran made an impact. Once he got rolling, the Cavs looked stunned.  

“I mean, he made some bombs,” LeBron James said following the Cavs 109-95 loss to Sacramento. “He’s a Hall of Famer for a reason, let’s not take that for granted. Once he got going, we couldn’t slow him down.”

After signing a one-year, $8 million deal with the Kings over the summer, the 20-year NBA vet has played sparingly as the team develops its young core. Carter hadn’t played in a week due to a rib issue, but coach Dave Joerger knew he would need the 40-year-old to steal some minutes against a James.

“He was fantastic, I don’t even know what to say,” Joerger said. “It just made me smile. That was before he hit all the threes at the end.”

Carter came into the night with a season-high of eight points. Against Cleveland, he went off for 24 points off the bench on 10-of-12 shooting, including 4-for-5 from behind the arc. He added five rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block in 30 minutes of play.

“I really love Vince playing out there with us because he just knows how to play the game,” Garrett Temple said. “When he gets hot, he’s still one of the best shooters in the league.”

Despite his advancing age for an NBA regular and being mostly out of the rotation for Sacramento, Carter found a way to post a plus-21 in the plus/minus category.

“Just his presence and his ability to shoot the ball and defensively to talk and communicate is what makes him so important,” Temple added.

The Cavs charged back and took the lead in the third quarter, but Carter’s leadership and steadiness helped the Kings right the ship and regain the momentum of the game. He dropped in eight points in the quarter and followed that up with seven in the fourth as Sacramento pulled away.

With 20 seconds remaining in the game, Joerger pulled Carter, allowing the veteran forward to get a curtain call from the Sacramento faithful. They responded with a standing ovation.

“It was cool to have a moment like that with the fans,” Carter said. “I’m very thankful for it, to be honest.”  

According to the team, this was the first time in NBA history that a 40-plus-year-old player has scored 20 or more points off the bench.

With the win, Sacramento improved to 12-22 on the season. They’ll play five more at Golden 1 Center before heading out on the road.

Kings lose coin flip to Bulls, hold No. 7 overall pick heading into NBA Draft Lottery


Kings lose coin flip to Bulls, hold No. 7 overall pick heading into NBA Draft Lottery

The Sacramento Kings’ win over the Houston Rockets in the season finale has officially cost the team a spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery. After posting identical 27-55 records, Sacramento and the Chicago Bulls were part of the NBA’s coin flip rule Friday afternoon at the Board of Governors meetings. 

Unfortunately for the Kings, the Bulls picked up a victory in the game of chance and now sit in the sixth spot in the pre-lottery standings. Sacramento holds the seventh position, but both teams have an equal opportunity to move up into the top three positions when the lottery is officially held on May 15. 

Once the top three selections are drawn, the draft goes in order of worst remaining record, taking coin flip results into consideration. If the Kings do not move into the top three and no one slated behind them in the draft move up, they will draft No. 7 overall. 

There is also a small chance that Sacramento doesn’t move up and one or more lottery teams behind them in the standings jump up. In this scenario, the Kings could draft as low as 10, but the statistical probability of them falling that far is astronomical. 

Here are the odds for the potential draft positions for the Kings this season. Both the Kings and Bulls have an 18.3% chance of moving into the top three picks.

No. 1 overall selection: 5.3%
No. 2 overall selection: 6.0%
No. 3 overall selection: 7.0%
No. 7 overall selection: 57.3%
No. 8 overall selection: 22.6%
No. 9 overall selection: 1.8%
No. 10 overall selection: less than 0.0%

Kings finish tied for sixth worst record, coin flip could decide their NBA Draft fate


Kings finish tied for sixth worst record, coin flip could decide their NBA Draft fate

SACRAMENTO -- Wins matter. With the Sacramento Kings’ victory over the Houston Rockets in the season finale Wednesday evening at Golden 1 Center, the team finished the campaign at 27-55. Clearly that’s not good enough to move onto the playoff portion of the NBA season, but it places the Kings in a tie with the Chicago Bulls for the sixth worst record in the NBA.
It’s a slightly complicated procedure for deciding how many ping pong balls the Kings will have in the draft lottery. Both Chicago and Sacramento will have equal odds of moving into the top three of the draft. The two teams have a 5.3 percent chance of landing the top spot, a six percent chance of choosing at No. 2 overall and a seven percent chance of selecting third. 
Per NBA rules, a coin flip will determine which team falls in the sixth position and which will select seven if they don’t move up into the top three. The coin flip is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 13. 
The Kings and Bulls aren’t the only teams placing their fate in the hands of a shiny piece of metal. Dallas and Atlanta finished the season tied for the third and fourth worst records. The Bucks and Heat are tied for the 16th and 17th spot in the draft. San Antonio and Minnesota will flip for picks 18 and 19 and there is a complicated formula between the Pacers, Pelicans, Thunder and Jazz for picks 20-23, since all four teams finished the regular season with a 48-34 record.