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.

Marvin Bagley re-evaluated by Kings, will not play on four-game road trip

bagleyusatsi.jpg
USATI

Marvin Bagley re-evaluated by Kings, will not play on four-game road trip

Before the Sacramento Kings boarded a flight to New York City on Wednesday morning, they took care of some medical news.

According to the team, Marvin Bagley underwent an x-ray on his broken right thumb and has been re-evaluated by the team’s medical staff.

Bagley is progressing in his recovery and will make the four-game trip to the east coast, but he will not suit up for the Kings as they push to get back to the .500 mark. The 20-year-old power forward will undergo another re-evaluation when the team returns home next week.

After a solid rookie season, Bagley was injured on opening night against the Phoenix Suns. He’s missed the last 12 games but has ramped up his activity both in practice and in pregame over the last week.

“Once he’s cleared, we have to get him on the practice court,” head coach Luke Walton said during pregame on Tuesday. “I’ve played with players like Kobe (Bryant) who could miss four weeks and come back and they are ready to go at a high level. And then I’ve been a player myself, where if I missed four weeks, I need another four weeks just to be able to run with the guys out there. So it’s different for everybody.”

Bagley is likely closer to the Kobe model than the Walton model in this particular instance. He’s been on the floor working out and staying in shape during the injury, despite wearing a removable brace on his right hand.

The injury is also to Bagley’s non-dominant hand, which has allowed him to continue to work not just on cardio, but on shooting drills as well.

A lot has changed in the 12 games Bagley has missed. Nemanja Bjelica has stepped in and played extremely well at the power forward position and Richaun Holmes has taken over the center position for veteran Dewayne Dedmon.

Bjelica is averaging 11.4 points and 6.3 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game as a starter. He’s also shooting 53.1 percent from 3-point range during that time and his true shooting percentage of 67.8 is tops on the team.

With Bjelica spacing the floor, Holmes has found a home in the paint. The athletic 26-year-old is averaging 11.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 29.6 minutes over nine games as a starter.

The combination of the two players has helped the Kings recover from their slow start to the season, but the team is also excited to get Bagley back in the fold.

“We can’t wait,” Richaun Holmes said of Bagley’s potential return. “When he gets back, to have a talent like that inside our lineup, all know what he can do on the floor, that’s just going to make us better. We’re looking forward to getting him back.”

Bagley has a different skill set than either Holmes or Bjelica. He isn’t the shooter that Bjelica is and he’s still learning the pick-and-roll game that has made Holmes so successful. But Bagley is likely the best rebounder of the lot and his ability to get easy baskets as a true back to the basket scorer is a welcome sight.

“No complications to me,” Holmes added. “He’s talented. You know we’re going to need him. We need everyone in this locker room. When he gets back, we’re ready to have him back out on the floor.”

[RELATED: Kings must adapt with Bagley missing time]

Bagley’s original diagnosis had him missing 4-6 weeks of action. We’re currently at the four-week mark, which means he’s getting close.

Walton will have a tough decision to make when Bagley is finally ready to return. The chemistry of his team is building. They’ve won six of their last eight games to move within a game of .500. But Bagley is the future of the Kings and after an adjustment period, he is going right back into the starting lineup.

Kings unveil new 'City Edition' uniforms with red as primary color

hieldusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Kings unveil new 'City Edition' uniforms with red as primary color

The Kings are having a lot of fun this season, and it starts with what's happening on the court.

Yes, the team is creeping back toward the .500 mark, and the court itself received a retro look with the red-and-blue color scheme on their "Classic Court." Now, the Kings have alternate uniforms that will match with red as the primary color to compliment the floor.

The Kings tweeted out an awesome promotional video highlighting each of the colored jerseys they've sported over the years from purple to blue to gold and crispy whites:

The new Nike City Edition uniforms will feature red, baby blue, white and gray as the colors with "Sactown" written across the chest. This will be the first time in Kings history to have red as the primary color. 

“The City Edition uniforms were made to represent the Proud Past and Proud Future of our Kings here in Sacramento,” Kings president of business operations John Rinehart said on their website. “With red as the primary color, they represent that passion and energy that has echoed through our arena and helps celebrate the team’s 35th year in Sactown.”

And what do fans think?

One told NBC Sports California there is only one color they think of when it comes to the Kings.

"Purple is the best," he said. "The answer is always purple."

Carmichael Dave, a staple among Sacramento sports and a true Kings fan, admitted changing uniform colors could be off-putting, and the colors for a team "should be sacred." But he hated the baby blues, so let's just get that out of the way right now.

"As long as the babies are gone I’m OK," he said to NBC Sports California. "Red has never been anything for us but trim. And if the fans had their say, though there isn’t anything unanimous, it would be purple, black, Royal blue, and white. That's it -- maybe red as trim."

Dave added these are the least popular alternate jerseys, since "the horrid gold ones."

[RELATED: How Kings Serbian connections make Bogdan feel at home]

Glancing at some of the responses to the original tweet it appears many are torn on the colors. But for now, we can confirm Marvin Bagley pulls off the uni well:

Here's a schedule for when the Kings plan to sport the new uniforms.