Kings

Buddy Hield close to setting new Kings' record in midst of career-year

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USATI

Buddy Hield close to setting new Kings' record in midst of career-year

SACRAMENTO -- Buddy Hield is having quite the season for the Sacramento Kings. He’s averaging nearly 21 points per game in his third NBA season and completely changed the conversation about who and what he is as a player.

Hield is also having a historic run as a shooter. With 11 games remaining, Hield is just three 3-pointers shy of breaking the Kings’ all-time record for 3-point makes in a season, held by the current assistant general manager, Peja Stojakovic.

“It’s a good honor to get it, but Peja, what he’s done for this franchise has been terrific, it’s been special,” Hield said.

Stojakovic drilled 240 3-pointers during to the 2003-04 season. He not only led the league in triples, but he broke Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond’s franchise mark of 225 makes, which was set in 1996.

The former player turned exec has worked as a mentor behind the scenes, helping Hield take a huge step forward in his development.

“He’s always on me and he’s always on me about how to get better, how to get my shot off quicker, how to use my pump fake,” Hield said of Stojakovic. “He’s still today doing that. A lot of my success comes from talking to him and trying to test him and pick his brain. It would be great if I can get the overall franchise record in threes made.”

Hield has 238 makes on the season. He’s averaging a shocking 3.4 makes per and is on pace to match Damian Lillard’s NBA record of 599 made 3-pointers over the first three seasons of a players career.

[RELATED: Dirk Nowitzki raves about future of Kings]

The 26-year-old slinger has 562 makes over his first three seasons. He needs 37 more makes to snap the record. He’s already surpassed Klay Thompson’s 545 makes to move into second place all-time for most 3-pointers in the first three seasons, although Thompson’s rookie campaign was marred by 16 missed games due to the strike-shortened season of 2011-12.

Hield will need a few more seasons to track down Stojakovic’s franchise record of 1070 career makes from behind the arc.

Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear resigns from his position

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USATSI

Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear resigns from his position

After 33 years as the Kings play-by-play announcer, Grant Napear has resigned his position with the team after drawing criticism for a series of tweets on Sunday night.

“Grant Napear has resigned from the Sacramento Kings,” the team told NBC Sports California on Tuesday afternoon. “We thank him for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best.”

NBC Sports California, the television partner of the Kings, released the following statement on Napear as well on Tuesday afternoon.

“We would like to thank Grant for his years of service at the network and we wish him well.”

Napear ran into trouble on Sunday evening when he engaged in a back-and-forth conversation about the Black Lives Matters movement via twitter with former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.

On Monday, Napear was placed on administrative leave for his statements from his afternoon radio talk show on Sports 1140 KHTK. Tuesday afternoon, Sports 1140 decided to terminate their relationship with Napear after more than two decades.

“We are saddened by the comments Grant Napear recently made on Twitter,” Bonneville International Corporation, 1140’s parent company said in an official press release. “While we appreciate Grant’s positive contributions to KHTK over the years, his recent comments about the Black Lives Matter movement do not reflect the views or values of Bonneville International Corporation. The timing of Grant’s tweet was particularly insensitive. After reviewing the matter carefully, we have made the decision to part ways with Grant.”

Following his resignation from the Kings, Napear released the following statement:

“I want to thank the fans for their overwhelming love and support. I will always remain a part of Kings nation in my heart.”

With the NBA on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kings will have time to conduct a formal search for Napear's replacement. 

Harrison Barnes, Kings want chance to make NBA playoffs upon restart

Harrison Barnes, Kings want chance to make NBA playoffs upon restart

When the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down the 2019-20 NBA season back in March, the Kings were 28-36. Not the prettiest record.

But Luke Walton's team was making progress. They had won seven of the last 10 games, and were 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 playoff seed in the Western Conference.

Now, with the NBA nearing a return-to-play plan, the question becomes: Will the Kings get a chance to compete for that final playoff spot or will the league move forward with the current 16 playoff teams?

"For us, we're kind of in a tough situation because we're on the fringe," Kings forward Harrison Barnes told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck on the "Full 48" podcast. "So in all these scenarios that are coming about, we're kind of that unique case where 'Well, do they get the play-in tournament? Do they get the five games? Since they're three games out, do they just go with playoff teams?' So you just try to stay in shape, stay ready, but you know whatever decision comes about, it's going to be made with everybody in mind, but not everyone's going to be able to be comfortable with that solution. Someone's going to get the short end of that stick, and we hope to have the opportunity to play."

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

One rumored scenario would see all teams returning and playing a few regular-season games before the playoffs start. Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard opposed that idea last week because he doesn't feel his team would get a true shot at making the playoffs. He would prefer the Kings, Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs compete with Grizzlies in a play-in tournament to determine the final playoff teams.

"I think Dame is right," Barnes told Beck. "I mean, if you come back and play, you want to be playing for something. The risk of traveling, being in Orlando in that type of environment, with any precaution that can be taken, there is a risk in that, so if you're going to be playing, you want to be playing for something. All of us who have been in isolation, we've been training, we've been hoping for this moment. You want to see that rewarded if you can, but if you're going to be in a situation where you do all this training and you come out there for a few games and you're not able to qualify for the playoffs, then it makes sense to probably have playoff teams and go from there."

[RELATED: Kings reportedly to get playoff shot]

Barnes and the Kings are a young team that entered the 2019-20 season with high expectations. But injuries to De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley early in the year set the team back. Now, with everyone nearing full health, Barnes wants to see what the team could do if they were given the chance to compete against the Western Conference bubble teams.

"Our team is a little bit different because we had a lot of injuries throughout the season, and we were starting to hit our stride," Barnes said. "But now we're healthy, so if the opportunity is there for us to play and make the playoffs, we want that opportunity, we want to see where we're at. There's no other simulation we can get for games. This group, where we're at, we need to play, we need to play together, and playing for something is important."

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]