Kings

DeMarcus Cousins on staying with the Kings, 'I was a fool'

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DeMarcus Cousins on staying with the Kings, 'I was a fool'

The build up to DeMarcus Cousins’ return to Sacramento is sure to take a few twists and turns. For six-plus seasons he was the face of the Kings franchise for better or worse. Even his exit from the team came with drama.

The three-time All-Star will play in front of a Kings crowd for the first time since being traded to the Pelicans earlier this year. Thursday night’s game will be intriguing to say the least and the media barrage is already hitting hard. In a sitdown interview with ESPN’s Marc Spears, Cousins throws a couple of interesting tidbits in.

“My biggest regret is, why didn’t I leave when I had a chance?,” the 6-foot-10 center said in a prepackaged conversation.

When asked to elaborate, Cousins said he had the opportunity to leave when George Karl came aboard. Karl openly shopped the team’s star center, which set the stage for a miserable relationship between the two.

“I wanted to it a chance,” Cousins said. “My representatives, they told me I shouldn’t stay. But being, I guess you can say stubborn and loyal, I wanted to make things work.”

Karl was let go following the 2015-16 season after just 112 games with the franchise. Cousins didn’t last much longer, getting traded to the New Orleans Pelicans at the trade deadline in February.

“You knew coming in this was just a business, how you going to be loyal to something that ain’t loyal to any player that’s ever played the game,” Cousins said. “I was a fool.”

There were rumors of potential Cousins trades multiple times during his tenure in Sacramento. Be it the Lakers, Orlando, Cleveland or Phoenix, the Kings had options and refused to pull the trigger until late last season.

While his on court demeanor turned off plenty of folks, his work in the community was renowned. Cousins was awarded a the Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award.

“I’m excited to play in front of the fans and see their reaction, but as far as it being just a revenge game or anything, I’m past it,” Cousins said.

He’s an emotional player that wears his heart on his sleeve. Thursday night is a big night for Cousins, whether he wants to admit it or not.

Bagley ready to get started in Sacramento: 'I've worked my whole life for this'

Bagley ready to get started in Sacramento: 'I've worked my whole life for this'

SACRAMENTO -- Welcome to sunny Sacramento, California, Marvin Bagley III. The Kings' prized rookie made his way to the Capital City following Thursday night’s draft. On Saturday afternoon, he dropped by Golden 1 Center for his first official media appearance.

While being flanked by his general manager, Vlade Divac, and his head coach, Dave Joerger, the 6-foot-11 big man was all smiles as he held up his new No. 35 Kings jersey.

“To know that I’m going to be in Sacramento, building something and just getting better as a player, it kind of gives me a chance to focus in and lock in on everything I need to get better at,” Bagley said. “I’m definitely excited.”

[WATCH: Marvin Bagley III's full introductory press conference]

Kings fans showed up in force to greet Bagley at the airport Friday afternoon and again at a "Music in the Park" gathering Friday evening. The passionate fanbase that is already embracing the 19-year-old rookie.

“The reaction from the fans everywhere I’ve been so far, it’s been great, it’s been great,” Bagley said. “It makes you feel good and it makes you want to work harder and get ready to go out and play in front of fans like that who have your back.”

Building up to the draft, Bagley told his inner circle not to tell him where he was going. He wanted the moment to be a surprise.

“I was just anxious, I wanted to find out for myself,” Bagley said. “Hearing my name being called, it was kind of an outer body experience, I would say. I’ve worked my whole life for this.”

After bouncing around during his high school career and playing just one season at Duke, Bagley is looking for some stability. He’s moving his entire family out to California with him, including his two younger brothers, who will attend school in the Sacramento area.

Bagley is familiar with a few of the young players, including De’Aaron Fox and Harry Giles, who he played against on the AAU circuit. The trio spent a little bit of time together during the draft process while Bagley was visiting the Kings’ facility.

The plan is for the young Kings players to reconvene on Thursday for a mini-camp leading up to the summer league schedule. It’s a test run for what should be an interesting season of Kings basketball. 

Sacramento will continue to develop their young roster than now includes nine players on rookie-scale contracts. Bagley is expected to see major time in his rookie year as Joerger “takes off the training wheels” for this season.

Bagley likes the nickname MB3Five or MBIII, although he’s leaving it open for suggestions. He’s also been in the studio cutting a track or two.

“Music is a way to express myself,” Bagley told NBC Sports California.“A lot of people see me as a player, only on the court playing basketball. Music gives me a platform to kind of express myself and share my story of how I got here.”

Bagley is an engaging young man with tremendous upside. The Kings hope they landed a future All-Star level player with the second overall selection.

The rookie will make his debut in a little over a week at the California Classic at Golden 1 Center. The three-day tournament over July 2, 3 and 5 will feature the Kings summer league roster, along with teams assembled by the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

Bagley is also schedule to play in the Las Vegas Summer League in the first week of July.

Divac explains why Bagley over Doncic was an 'easy choice' for Kings

Divac explains why Bagley over Doncic was an 'easy choice' for Kings

SACRAMENTO -- Deliberate. Calculated. Secretive. The Sacramento Kings held the NBA in suspense throughout the 2018 NBA Draft process. It wasn’t until Thursday morning that anyone knew for sure what Vlade Divac and his group were going to do and even then, there was a possibility of a last minutes swap.

With the second overall pick the Kings selected Duke big man Marvin Bagley III. According to Divac, Sacramento focused on the 19-year-old leaper early in the draft process.

“He’s a guy who works hard, wants to improve, learn, coachable, good teammate, checks all the boxes of what we want,” Divac said.

Bagley tore up the ACC in his lone season as a Blue Devil and has been vocal about his want to be the first overall selection. He reiterated that desire on his post draft phone call with Sacramento media members on Thursday.

“That’s just the kind of player I am, I have confidence in my game,” Bagley said. “I still think I’m the best player in the draft and I stand by that. I put a lot of work into it and I’m glad I’ll be able to show it with Sacramento and I’m super excited.”

With Bagley in tow, the Kings now have six big men, including veterans Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos, as well as young players Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Harry Giles. It’s a crowded frontline that Divac will need to adress, or maybe not.

“He can play small forward,” Divac said of Bagley. “He can play 3, 4 and 5. Marvin’s a unique talent. He can play multiple positions.”

[RELATED: How Marvin Bagley fits with Kings]

Whether or not Bagley can play the wing is unknown at this time. He played primarily at the power forward and center position at Duke. At 6-foot-11, 234 pounds, he is a lean athlete and he shot nearly 40 percent from behind the 3-point line last season.

Much to the ire of plenty of Kings fans, Sacramento’s front office passed on Slovenian star Luka Doncic. When asked about the decision, Divac made it clear where his group ranked Bagley.

"Marvin, for us is better fit, better player. Great talent. So it was an easy choice for us," Divac said.

Bagley will land in Sacramento Friday morning. The Kings will introduce him to fans during Music in the Park at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 5pm.

He will meet with the media on Saturday for his introductory press conference, and according to Divac, fans won’t have to wait long to see him in action. The plan is for Bagley to see action in both Sacramento and Las Vegas summer league tournaments beginning in early July.