James Ham

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Practice? Are we talking about practice?

The Sacramento Kings left behind their shutdown practice facility on Wednesday morning. They headed out on a non-stop flight to the Orlando bubble where they’ll spend the next five weeks at a minimum.

They’ll head straight to their assigned rooms in The Yacht Club resort on the Disney World campus where they’ll initially be quarantined before jumping onto the practice court.

On Wednesday morning, the NBA released the practice schedule for the first few days of the bubble. The Kings will have their first practice session Friday evening at the Coronado Fiesta from 2-5 p.m. PT.

That's the first time the Kings are allowed to meet as an entire group. They are cleared to practice, hit the weight training and begin team meetings. Individual workouts are also available during this time.

[RELATED: How Kings are handling leaving family behind for Orlando]

Sacramento returns to the practice court on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. PT on Coronado 2. It’s a quick 11-day build-up before the team has its first scrimmage on July 22 against the Miami Heat.

Barring a major setback, the Kings won’t have long before they are playing real games. They open their schedule on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs and they’ll play at least every other day until the conclusion of their eight-game schedule on August 13.

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

The NBA restart has the potential to mean more than just eight games, a potential play-in series and then a standard playoffs. The NBA is trying to lead the way in professional sports by creating a potentially repeatable concept.

The league is also allowing players to continue to be a part of the national conversation regarding racial inequality in America. Courts will be adorned with “Black Lives Matter” graphics. The league will hold symposiums and use their platform to promote change.

In addition, players will be allowed to wear jerseys with a message on the back. On Tuesday, we learned that Sacramento Kings small forward Kent Bazemore has already chosen what his uniform will say when he walks out on the court.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, Bazemore will join the Portland Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum with the message “Education Reform.”

According to multiple reports, the NBA has a group of sayings that players can choose from, including “Vote”, “Equality” and “Enough.” There are likely more options than what we have seen to date.

Bazemore’s teammate Harrison Barnes addressed the potential for wearing a message on his jersey during the Kings’ Zoom call with the media.

“I’m waiting on requirements -- do we get eight different ones? Do we get one? How many words? What’s the censorship?” Barnes said. “I’m definitely going to do something, I’m just waiting on the additional guidelines and what we can do.”

Barnes is one of many of the Kings players to find their voice during the last few months following the shooting death of George Floyd. There appears to be a national awakening and there is positive movement towards actual change.

[RELATED: Bazemore could envision staying for 'next couple of years']

“I think we’re at a unique time, just as a society, where so many different discussions are happening at once and change, it seems closer now than it’s ever been, although there is still a wide gap,” Barnes added.

Expect plenty of the Kings players to be involved in the discussions regarding social change in Orlando. The team itself has taken a huge role in the conversation and they support their players in the venture as well.

How Spencer Dinwiddie, Bradley Beal opting out of restart impacts Kings

How Spencer Dinwiddie, Bradley Beal opting out of restart impacts Kings

The NBA opt-out tracker is still buzzing along. On Tuesday, a pair of players decided not to participate in the league’s Orlando bubble reboot, which certainly will impact the Kings’ chances of snapping their playoffs streak.

The Brooklyn Nets lost a fifth player when Spencer Dinwiddie announced that he will not participate due to another positive coronavirus test.

Dinwiddie, who averages 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game for the Nets, joins Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who are both injured, as well as DeAndre Jordan and Wilson Chandler, all of whom will not compete.

[RELATED: How Kings are handling leaving family behind for NBA's Orlando restart]

Sacramento faces off the with the Nets on Aug. 7 for a 3 p.m. PT tipoff. The game is the lone back-to-back on the Kings’ restart schedule. They’ll face the New Orleans Pelicans the day before.

In addition to Dinwiddie, Bradley Beal also chose to step aside and miss the Orlando Bubble due to a shoulder injury.

"This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team,” Beal said in an official release. “I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term."

While the Kings don’t play the Wizards in the restart, the Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns do. In addition to Beal, backcourt mate John Wall, who still is recovering from an Achilles tear, and Davis Bertans, who chose not to attend due to his impending free agency, are out for the Wizards as well.

With the pool of teams set at just 22, most of the players that have chosen not to participate, for whatever reason, will have an impact on the final standings.

In addition to missing the five Nets players, the Kings also will not face Willie Cauley-Stein (Mavericks), Avery Bradley (Lakers) and Thabo Sefalosha (Rockets). Los Angeles replaced Bradley with J.R. Smith and Luc Mbah a Moute signed with Houston with Sefalosha missing the festivities.