Kings

Healthy Iman Shumpert ready to help Kings: 'I am very happy to be here!'

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USATSI

Healthy Iman Shumpert ready to help Kings: 'I am very happy to be here!'

SACRAMENTO -- Happy birthday! That is how Iman Shumpert ended his media session on Tuesday afternoon. It’s also how he ended all of his interviews during media day. 

Shumpert is eccentric. He loves to sing, be the center of attention and he has a million dollar smile. He also just got cleared to return to practice fully after struggling with leg and foot injuries over the last year.

“They’ve been running a lot of tests on me to make sure everything is completely balanced and I tested out on everything right,” the 28-year-old wing said following practice. “Today was my first day getting a full bit of action out here on the court and I feel really good.”

No one knows exactly what the Kings’ plan is for Shumpert this season. He was acquired at the deadline in February as part of the George Hill deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his recovery from early season knee surgery, he developed a case of plantar fasciitis and never suited up for Sacramento.

In total, Shumpert played just 14 games last season. If he’s healthy, he could possibly give coach Dave Joerger another option at the small forward position, but health has been an issue for the former Georgia Tech star throughout his seven years in the league.

Shumpert has a lot to play for. He’s in the final year of a 4-year, $40 million deal he signed with Cleveland back in 2015. He’ll make $11 million this season with the Kings, whether he steps on the floor or not. 

While he hasn’t made an appearance yet with Sacramento, he’s played plenty of pickup games over the summer with his teammates. Shumpert’s been around the group and he’s enjoyed the vibe of his young teammates.

“Playing with these guys, they’re young, everything is free flowing, they take chances ‘cus they look to make up for it athletically,” Shumpert said. “That’s the style of basketball that I came from and I’ve missed for a while.”

Shumpert is ready to help shoulder some of the leadership role with the team this season. He’s excited to work with a team that is trying to build something, even if most of the players are too young to understand his movie references.

“For them, they don’t understand it yet and they’re not supposed to, they’re supposed to live in the moment,” Shumpert said. “I think it’s kind of funny, I quoted Coming to America the other day they all looked at me like I was crazy. That was my first confirmation of being old.”

If all goes well, Shumpert could possibly make his preseason debut later this week when the Kings take on the Utah Jazz on Thursday and the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. He brings a defensive mentality, a physicality and a huge personality to the table. 

On his way out the door, Shumpert shared his movie quote from Coming to America, giving his best impersonation of Eddie Murphy’s character, Prince Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of the fictional African nation of Zamunda. 

“I am very happy to be here!”

Buddy Hield, shooting at a nearby court, shook his head, confirming that he had no idea what Shumpert was referring to. If nothing else, the veteran has a lot of work in front of him on educating the young Kings on the finer nuances of 1980s comedies.

Kings vs. Nuggets live stream: Watch NBA game online on MyTeams

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USATSI

Kings vs. Nuggets live stream: Watch NBA game online on MyTeams

The Kings are riding high after their first win of the season, and open up the first half of a back-to-back against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

The Nuggets are coming off of a big win of their own, as they hung on to beat the Warriors on Sunday. Denver's NBA-best defense will have its hands full, however, as Sacramento enters the contest as one of the league's most prolific teams offensively. 

We are aware of issues on DirecTV and AT&T, and are in communication with them to fix the problem. In the meantime, here's how you can watch Kings-Nuggets, as well as Kings Pregame Live and Postgame Live, live online. 

When: 6 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 23 (pregame show starts at 5:30 p.m.)
Live Stream: MyTeams by NBC Sports app

Desktop users can stream the game by clicking this link.

Kings vs. Nuggets projected lineups, injury report, player usage

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USATSI

Kings vs. Nuggets projected lineups, injury report, player usage

Welcome to the land of the living.

After starting the season 0-2, the Sacramento Kings stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday with a 131-120 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

The trip doesn’t get any easier Tuesday night when the Kings battle the 3-0 Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center. It’s a battle of two high-powered offenses with some mile-high elevation thrown in the mix. 

The pregame show on NBC Sports Bay California begins at 5:30 p.m., with tip-off scheduled for 6.

Following the game, the Kings will return home to Golden 1 Center to play the Memphis Grizzlies on the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday. It’s a short respite for the Kings, who host the Washington Wizards on Friday before heading back out on the road for another four-game road trip. 

Line

Nuggets by 11

Projected Starting Lineups

Kings
PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Iman Shumpert
PF Nemanja Bjelica
C Willie Cauley-Stein

Nuggets
PG Jamal Murray
SG Gary Harris
SF Torrey Craig 
PF Paul Millsap
C Nikola Jokic 

Injury Report

Kings
SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (left knee) OUT, C Kosta Koufos (hamstring) OUT. 

Nuggets
SF Will Barton (adductor) OUT, PG Isaiah Thomas (hip) OUT, SF Michael Porter Jr. (back) OUT, F Jarred Vanderbilt (foot) OUT.

Rotation Outlook

Kings
Coach Dave Joerger continues to focus on a 10-man rotation. Against the Thunder, eight of them scored in double-figures and Yogi Ferrell (9 points) and Harry Giles (8 points) just missed. Joerger took a gamble starting Shumpert on Sunday and it paid off bigtime.

Expect the veteran to get a longer look as the Kings search for consistent production at the wing position. De’Aaron Fox played 42 minutes in OKC. It’s the second time in three games that Fox has played over 37 minutes in a game. He’s averaging 20.3 points, 7.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds early in the season.

Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles have had their minutes fluctuate greatly, depending on production. That trend will likely continue as they adjust to the NBA game.

Nuggets
Fresh off a two-year contract extension, Michael Malone has his Nuggets rolling early in the season at 3-0. He’s using a 10-man rotation like Joerger, but he has a star big man in Jokic that does a lot of heavy lifting for the club.

With Will Barton out long-term, Malone has turned to undrafted small forward, Torrey Craig out of the University of South Carolina Upstate as his starter. Gary Harris is the someone to keep an eye on. The 24-year-old shooting guard is averaging 22 points per game, despite shooting just 18.8 percent from long range this season.