Kings

Buddy Hield is 26, not 25, as Kings guard reveals age incorrectly listed

Buddy Hield is 26, not 25, as Kings guard reveals age incorrectly listed

Buddy Hield celebrated his birthday Monday night in Minnesota. While the game never was in doubt -- the Timberwolves won by 27 -- the Kings guard's actual age became a topic of discussion.

Prior to taking the floor, Hield told the Kings broadcast team of Grant Napear and Doug Christie that he turned 26 years old. Strangely enough, every media outlet has his birthday listed as Dec. 17, 1993, which would make him 25.

Following the Kings’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Hield explained the discrepancy on a 1-on-1 interview.

“That’s their fault, not my fault,” Hield said when asked why everywhere, including the NBA’s website, has him listed as 25. “The first time I saw it on Wikipedia, my mom said, ‘Why do they have your age wrong?’ I said, ‘I have no idea.’ ”

Born in Freeport, the main city on the island of Grand Bahama, Hield came to the U.S. with identification and, according to the Kings star, all of it has the correct date.

“I came over with a passport,” Hield said. “My passport has 1992 on it. My driver's license has 1992 on it. I just think people got their information from Wikipedia or wherever, and they just went with it. They just got it wrong.”

Hield said he believes the University of Oklahoma, where he played college basketball, had his age correct and that, somewhere along the way, a mistake was made in inputting his age into the NBA’s system. Hield's age and birthdate aren't listed in the Oklahoma men's basketball media guide for the guard's senior season, so it's unclear where an error was made or by whom.

“I gave them [the Kings] my passport, Peja [Stojakovic] and Vlade [Divac] know what age I am,” Hield said. “That’s the only thing that matters.”

When reached for comment, Divac confirmed the team has Hield’s birth year as 1992 -- the same as Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Kings general manager isn't sure where the incorrect date came from, but he's confident the team has the right information.

At 26, Hield is having a breakout season. He's averaging 19.9 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting from the field and 43.3 percent from behind the 3-point arc. In addition to the scoring, he has improved in almost every facet, posting career highs in rebounds (5.0) and assists (2.5) while playing 30.8 minutes per game.

Hield, who actually was 23 when the New Orleans Pelicans took him No. 6 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft amid concerns he'd be "an old rookie," is in the third year of his rookie scale contract. He’ll be eligible for an extension next summer, which at this point, he’s earned. If he signs an extension, it wouldn’t kick in until the 2020-21 season.

Known for his work ethic, Hield doesn’t see an issue with him being a little older than originally thought.

“It might look good for me on my side for me looking younger, but it doesn’t matter,” Hield said. "I’m still going to be me out there on the court. I’m still going to be in shape, no matter what."

[RELATED: Hield's career night vs. Thunder not enough for Kings]

The age discrepancy likely won’t hurt Hield in his next contract, but it certainly will come into play later. Already a four-year college player, Hield's second contract won’t start until he's almost 28.

In comparison, his backcourt mate, De’Aaron Fox, who celebrated his 21st birthday Thursday, is eligible for an extension before he turns 23. Fox has an opportunity to work through an entire second contract before reaching the age that Hield will be when he signs his next deal.

Hield still is part of the Kings’ young core and a valuable member of the squad. He just isn’t quite as young as most people thought.

DeMarcus Cousins appears to subtweet Kings after loss to Mavericks

DeMarcus Cousins appears to subtweet Kings after loss to Mavericks

DeMarcus Cousins isn't playing the NBA's Orlando bubble, but he still is watching every moment of the league's restart. That includes one of his former teams, too. 

It sure seems like he took a shot at the Kings on Tuesday night on Twitter. After Sacramento fell, 114-110, to the Dallas Mavericks in overtime, Cousins tweeted "Who's the scapegoat now?"

Cousins, 29, was selected by the Kings with the No. 5 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He starred in Sacramento, but had a tumultuous relationship throughout his tenure with several coaches, the front office and members of the media. The Kings then traded Boogie during the 2017 NBA All-Star Game to the New Orleans Pelicans. 

The center clearly felt he was used as a scapegoat and didn't hold back on the Kings after they lost their third straight game in the bubble. It's no coincidence that Cousins chose Tuesday night's game where Mavs star Luka Doncic had a ridiculous performance with a 34-point, 20-rebound and 12-assist triple-double. Kings general manager Vlade Divac passed on Doncic in the 2018 NBA Draft, opting for big man Marvin Bagley, who is out for the season with an ankle injury.

[RELATED: Kings' huge FT disparity costs them dearly in loss to Mavs]

Cousins put up big numbers in New Orleans but tore his Achilles in 2018. He then signed with the Warriors before last season, wasn't himself and sustained a quad injury in the playoffs. The four-time All-Star signed a one-year contract with the Lakers last offseason but tore his ACL in a pickup game one month later. 

The Lakers waived Cousins in February. He didn't play a game this season and once again will be a free agent.

Kings' free throw disparity too much to overcome in OT loss to Mavs

Kings' free throw disparity too much to overcome in OT loss to Mavs

The Sacramento Kings have a free throw problem. This isn’t Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals all over again. There isn’t some grand conspiracy. In fact, it’s pretty simple.

Players like Luka Doncic know how to draw fouls and the Kings do not.

On the season, the Kings rank 28th in free throw attempts per game. They also rank 18th in fouling their opposition. In the team’s 114-110 overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks, these two issues converged into a perfect storm.

Sacramento committed a total of 37 personal fouls against Dallas on Tuesday, leading to 50 free throw attempts for the Mavs. It’s difficult to win a game when you are outscored by 31 points at the stripe.

“Hopefully it’s games like this that really help speed that lesson along, because that’s a game we probably should have won if it wasn’t for sending them to the foul line 50 times,” coach Luke Walton said following the loss. “Maybe we fouled them everytime, I’ve just never seen that before where one team shoots 50 free throws and another shoots 12.”

If it was just Doncic camped out at the line knocking down freebies, that’s one thing. The All-Star went to the charity stripe 11 times, scoring eight of his 34 points on free throw attempts.

“It’s part of the game,” veteran Kent Bazemore said. “Anytime you give teams free points, they’re going to be tough to beat.”

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

But the Kings fouled everyone, all game long. Kristaps Porzingis, went to the line 11 times, Dorian Finney-Smith shot nine freebies and Tim Hardaway Jr. went 7-of-8.

“At the end of the day, we can’t allow a team to shoot 50 free throws, whether it’s us actually fouling or if it’s the refs, it is what it is,” De’Aaron Fox said. “But we can’t allow a team to shoot 50 free throws.”

Fouling players is a huge issue and it almost seemed like it became contagious for the Kings. 10 players stepped on the floor for Sacramento. All 10 had at least two personal fouls. Eight had three fouls or more, with Richaun Holmes being the lone player to foul out.

Sacramento was more physical than what we saw in Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Magic, but there is a way to battle an opponent without constantly grabbing or getting caught in a compromised defensive position.

“I think there is a good amount on our players,” Walton said. “We talk about it all the time. We show film on it. We can’t grab to get around screens. We’ve got to keep our hands out -- show our hands and not come down. I do think when I go back and watch the film, there’s going to be a good amount that’s on us and that’s something we continue to harp about with our guys.”

Fouling on one end is an issue, but the Kings also lack the ability to get to the line themselves. Fox, who leads the Kings with 6.8 free throw attempts per game, managed to get to the line just twice, despite taking 27 shots on the afternoon.

Richaun Holmes led the Kings with four attempts, which is less than five different players on the Mavs.

For the Kings to take another step, they have to show improvement in both of these areas. They have to clean up the mistakes and they have to create contact on the other end.

[RELATED: Kings' NBA playoff inexperience shows in bad losses in Orlando bubble]

Against the Mavericks, Sacramento continued to make one error after another, on both ends of the floor, from the opening tip through the overtime session. The team’s inability to refrain from fouling in combination with their lack of physicality, cost them dearly.

With his team up 95-91 with 4:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, Harrison Barnes had Doncic off balance in the post and instead of going into his body and drawing a foul, he took a fade away jumper, which came up short.

After giving his team a 102-99 lead with 3:30 remaining in overtime, Buddy Hield fouled Hardaway Jr. shooting a 3-pointer, which allowed the Mavericks to tie the game.

These snippets replay themselves again and again throughout the game and the end result is a backbreaking four point loss in overtime and an 0-3 start to the seeding tournament.

The Kings still have five games remaining in the restart schedule. They played better against the Mavericks, but this is equivalent to playoff basketball. So far, the Kings haven’t played well enough for 48 minutes, or even 53, to come away with a win.