Garrett Temple

Temple clarifies fiery comments and sends another message, too

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USATSI

Temple clarifies fiery comments and sends another message, too

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings knew what they were getting when they signed Garrett Temple in the summer of 2016. They needed versatility and they needed a leader. Temple hasn’t disappointed. 

In his second season in Sacramento, the 31-year-old wing continues to bring his lunch pail to work every day. He starts most nights for Dave Joerger and he is unquestionably the team’s best defensive player. 

Following the Kings’ loss Tuesday evening to the Charlotte Hornets, Temple sounded off to reporters from his locker room stall. 

“We don’t guard a soul, haven’t defended a soul,” a clearly frustrated Garrett Temple said. “If you don’t guard in the NBA, you’re going to lose every game, I don’t care who you play. We haven’t defended whatsoever, at all, point blank.”

It’s a powerful sound bite. If it didn’t come from Temple, it might even be looked at as divisive. But this is why the Kings brought in the journeyman out of LSU.

Following practice on Wednesday, Temple took time to further explain his stance regarding the Kings defensive issues. It’s a complex issue and the fix will take time.

“We should be upset because of the performances defensively we’ve put out the last three or four games,” Temple said. “Especially after we had made some strides to be a better defensive team over the last month and a half. We’ve taken steps back and we have to correct that.”

Temple takes great pride in his defense. He’s often taxed with guarding the toughest cover. Against the Cavs, he went toe-to-toe with LeBron James. Two nights later, he lined up against sharpshooter Devin Booker. When the Kings give up 111, 114 and 133 points over a three-game stretch, there is a problem.

“If you’re not upset about it right now, that means you don’t really care,” Temple added. “We don’t want that.”

According to Temple, the Kings had a long film session on Wednesday, followed by an open conversation between players and coaches. The team has a three-day break in the schedule to try and work out some of these issues, but it’s a tall task.

Defensive breakdowns can be a symptom of many things. Effort and intensity often draw the blame, but when you look at Sacramento’s roster, a lot of the issues stem from a lack of NBA experience and maybe something more. 

Temple points to the team’s communication issues on the floor and to one group in particular.

“The biggest thing is the communication issue and I think a lot of the time, it’s the young guys that aren’t communicating, because they’re young,” Temple said. “Situations that happen over the course of a game and you watch film and guys say, ‘I didn’t know.’ You’re not supposed to know, you just got to the NBA or you’ve just been here for a year and a half.”

“Those are the growing pains you have to go through, but you can’t make the same mistake 2-3-4-5 times,” Temple said. “That’s when it becomes being a professional - understanding what you’re supposed to do now after you made a mistake a couple of times and then fixing it.”

It isn’t just the Kings roster that Temple is pointing to. It’s more of a societal issue. In the current digital age, verbal communication has been replaced in many instances with text, video and pictures. People as a whole aren’t talking to each other like they used to, at least not in the conventional way. 

And when you stack 10 players on a roster under the age of 25, the issues with a lack of communication are exacerbated. 

“I’m a millennial, but it seems like we don’t talk at all anymore,” Temple said. “That translates to the court. We don’t talk at all. Coaches are losing their voices trying to yell out coverages and yell out things that guys on the court are supposed to be saying. That takes a toll. Guys have to learn how to communicate and use their voices more on the court, which in essence will help guys trust each other more on the defensive end.”

It’s an interesting take and it makes sense. Sacramento is trying something extreme with their roster makeover. They went in a new direction with their franchise and growing pains are expected. 

The team may have isolated one of their biggest problems. Now they need to find an answer. Veterans like Garrett Temple might hold the key to fixing the issue. It might be time to put the devices down and start having some real one on one conversations. 

Garrett Temple jumps into Sacramento community with both feet

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James Ham

Garrett Temple jumps into Sacramento community with both feet

SACRAMENTO -- Changing the culture of an NBA team is no small task. It takes dedication and a series of right moves. Over the past few seasons, the Sacramento Kings have actively sought out players with a history of leadership behind the scenes. They’ve had some hits and a miss or two, but the addition of Garrett Temple was nothing short of a home run.

The veteran wing stood in front of a crowd of student athletes at Sacramento Charter High School on Wednesday evening. He wasn’t there to talk about sports, although the topic came up more than once. He was there to adopt the school, to become a mentor and in some instances, a financial backer for the charter school. 

“We’re going to focus on leadership and how they can be better leaders on their team, in their communities and in their classrooms,” Temple said before taking his place in front of a room of approximately 250 students. 

Temple didn’t have a program like this growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In fact, he didn’t have a lot of the same issues that face the students at a school like Sac High. 

“I came up, I wasn’t poor, I wasn’t underprivileged, I was good,” Temple said. “But basically everyone of my teammates that I played with in AAU came from a less fortunate situation.”

He had active parents, including his father Collis, a former NBA player, who acted as a coach and mentor for other students in the community. Collis Temple became the first African American basketball player at LSU and his personal story of triumph is something that his son Garrett uses as a guiding light. 

“Guys looked up to coaches that they had, like my father was a coach throughout the community,” Temple added. “That safe haven on the basketball court, that one gym that was in the community, going there for practices. If you had a guy that was around that had been through it and could talk to you about some of the things in life that you would face, that’s all we had to for guys that didn’t have a father figure.”

Temple held a townhall style meeting with the students, fielding questions about a wide range of topics. The conversation was off the record, but there were plenty of good moments where Temple shared from his personal experiences. 

In his first season with the Kings, Temple was named Teammate of the Year. Not only has he performed well on the court, but his mentorship behind the scenes goes well beyond the court. 

On Wednesday evening, the eight-year NBA veteran brought along rookies Frank Mason III and Harry Giles. The two served food and then sat with the students as Temple spoke. Following the conversation, the students swarmed the three players to shake hands and snap pictures. 

The Kings’ starting small forward has committed himself as a mentor to Sacramento High for this season and plans on having a few more events with the students during the school year. His hope is to promote education and leadership, not act as an athletic advisor. 

“Just trying to reach kids in there place and try and build a rapport with them so we can try to create more leaders in situations like they are right now,” Temple said.

Temple is in year two of his three-year deal he signed with the Kings. He has a player option for next season, but Sacramento would love to make the 31-year-old a long-term fixture with the franchise. 

He isn’t the only player jumping into the community. Point guard George Hill has an event coming up in the coming weeks, as does Vince Carter. The veteran core of the team is establishing a path for the team’s 10 young players to follow both on and off the court as they grow through their NBA careers. 

Kings guard Garrett Temple: 'I can see myself finishing my career here'

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AP

Kings guard Garrett Temple: 'I can see myself finishing my career here'

Decisions, decisions. The Sacramento Kings hit a home run when they signed veteran Garrett Temple to a three-year, $24 million contract in the summer of 2016. He’s not only the team’s best defender, but he’s a leader on the court and behind the scenes. 

After years of bouncing all over the world trying to keep his NBA dream alive, Temple finally found a place to call home and the financial security to go with it in Sacramento. But at 31-years-old and the NBA clock ticking, Temple has a big decision to make this offseason. 

Like big man Kosta Koufos, Temple has a player option for the final year of his contract. He can either opt in at another $8 million dollars or test the free agent market, potentially leaving Sacramento.

“I can see myself finishing my career here, I can definitely see that,” Temple told NBC Sports California during The Kings Insider Podcast. “I have a great relationship with the front office. I have a great relationship with the coaching staff, the fans as well.”

Temple is off to the best shooting start of his career, knocking down 41.9 percent from long range. He’s become the quintessential 3-and-D player that teams around the league are salivating to get their hands on. He would fit on almost any team in the league, including a high-end playoff team.

“I’m a guy who wants to win, so I’m definitely going to weigh my options depending on how this year goes out,” Temple said. “But I’m a guy who loves this team. I love these young guys.”

NBA players have a shelf life. Temple’s might be a little longer than the average player because he has less mileage on his body than a typical player of his age. He’s not sure if he can last until 40, like teammate Vince Carter, but he thinks he has five to six years still left in his body. 

“Z-Bo’s (Zach Randolph) is 36 I think,” Temple said. “I think I can do that. I could be 36 and still out there playing and contributing.”

Temple was honored as the Kings’ Teammate of the Year for last season. He was also voted as the most media friendly player on Sacramento’s roster. He’s a player that the Kings would love to keep in the fold as they build a young core for the future.