Kings

Giles shimmies on Kings, puts exclamation mark on Blazers' win

Kings

Harry Giles made a loud statement against his former team Friday night, even if it was just a preseason game.

Giles, who spent the first three seasons of his NBA career with the Kings, faced them as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers and helped spark a 127-102 victory over Sacramento at the Moda Center.

With the game out of hand and the final seconds ticking off the clock, Giles stole the ball, raced down court and threw down a nasty windmill dunk for the final points of the game.

Giles never is one to hide his emotions and he shimmied back down the court.

"I don't really shimmy too much," Giles told reporters after the game on a Zoom video call. "I had a big play, so I just, you know, why not? Why not have a little fun? Just had a little fun after, not something I do a lot, but I just have fun with the game.

"I put a little exclamation on the end."

Giles finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Was there a little extra juice going up against the team that drafted him and then didn't pick up his option?

"Probably so," Giles said. "I think I'm going to have a little bit extra for everybody, you know, just how I play. But you know, just coming in and it hasn't been much time since I was just there, of course, I wanna impose my will and just let out the extra energy and all the emotion I've been feeling the last few months. I wanted to let it out tonight. So that's what I did."

 

Drafted with the No. 20 overall pick in 2017, Giles sat out the entire 2017-18 season as he recovered from major knee injuries. During the last two seasons with the Kings, the 22-year-old showed glimpses of his vast potential. Now in Portland, he gets a fresh start and a chance to show the world what he's capable of.

"It's more than playing against Sacramento," Giles said. "I got crazy love for Sacramento. But just all the questions and question marks and curiosity about what's going on. Is he healthy? Is he this, is he that? Yeah, I am. I'm feeling good and I'm just ready to go out there and just show it, just kind of silence the noise. Still humble as always, but just trying to go out there and prove my point that I'm here. I'm feeling good and I'm here."

Giles was a fan favorite in Sacramento, but former Kings general manager Vlade Divac decided not to exercise the young center's fourth-year option, making him a free agent this offseason.

Divac said he was trying to teach Giles a lesson, but in declining the option, he allowed a talented player to test the free-agent waters and eventually leave Sacramento.

After Friday's game, Giles was asked about why he's not still a member of the Kings.

"I just let the past be the past," Giles said. "Like I said, I'm blessed. I'm fortunate for my time in Sacramento. I loved it. I'm thankful for everyone who's over there. They helped me become a better person, better player in the NBA and teach me different things. It was a tough situation but at the same time, still gotta be thankful for the time that you had and move on and let it be what it is."

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Giles' performance against the Kings was so eye-opening that even future NBA Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony was impressed.

"Harry came in and played a great game," Anthony told reporters. "Jumped right in there. It was like he's been with us before. I know it's early, but tonight, he was impressive."