Joerger, Kings' veterans begin camp by building foundation for the future

Joerger, Kings' veterans begin camp by building foundation for the future

Brick by brick, the Sacramento Kings are building a foundation for the future. It started in the offseason with plenty of additions to the infrastructure of the team, but Tuesday afternoon, the on-court work began.

Instead of the sound of basketballs bouncing and sneakers squeaking, the Kings practice facility was empty, except for a ring of media members. After a loaded media day, only Dave Joerger, followed by his team leaders of Garrett Temple and Vince Carter, spoke as cameras rolled.

“Mostly, just what we want to be about,” Joerger said when asked what day one of training camp was like. “What do we want to be about now, what do we want to be about four months from now, what do we want to be about three years from now? And that needs to be the same so there is consistency. What you allow, you encourage. What you demand is hopefully what you get on a daily basis.”

It’s about basics. Joerger and his staff are tasked with bringing along a young core that includes 10 players with two years of NBA experience or less. He will rely heavily on his five veterans to help develop the squad, but eventually, the kids will have to see minutes.

“These guys are asking a lot of questions,” Carter said. “Very attentive and that’s what you want from young guys - willing to listen. What you ask of young guys (is to) humble yourself, sit back and learn, ask questions and I think that’s how you get better faster.”

Carter came into the league with the Toronto Raptors. They had established veterans in Charles Oakley, Kevin Willis, Dee Brown and Doug Christie. Despite his billing as a star in the making, Carter had to start at the same place that the Kings rookies find themselves today - the bottom.

“If I wouldn’t know it, I asked a lot of questions,” Carter said of his early experience in the league. “That helped me. That slowed the game down and I was able to catch on rather quickly. It’s different for every player, so it’s all about understanding who they are and what makes them tick.”

In his 20th season, Carter still expects to play. But he also knows that his role is to mentor and bring up a new generation of NBA players.

Temple sees a lot of the same things that Carter does. The young players are all ears and they’ve been in Sacramento for a while working together to develop chemistry.

“This is the youngest team I’ve ever been on, but it’s fun,” Temple said. “The biggest thing is, we have a group of guys that are good guys. Nobody has any hidden agenda that I’ve seen. When you have teams like that, especially when the guys are young and they’re yearning to learn, it makes basketball fun.”

Temple didn’t have the same path to the league as Carter. He came up in the San Antonio system, but he bounced in and out of the league for years before finally finding a home in Sacramento.

He spent last season as the defacto leader of the team as the franchise hit the reset button. Now he has massive reinforcements in Carter, George Hill and Zach Randolph. Along with veteran Kosta Koufos, this group of veterans will not only play, but they will aid in the development of the team’s young players.

After a wild season of ups and downs, Temple is looking forward to sharing some of the load and even taking some tips from his fellow veterans.

“I’m going to learn from Vince Carter on how to be a better leader,” Temple said. “I’m going to learn from Z-Bo, I’m going to continue to learn from Kosta and George - we have other guys, it’s not just me.”

With the NBA pushing the season up 10 days, Joerger gets an abbreviated training camp. Day one is in the books, but a season of building is just around the corner.  

A new face in the crowd:
Veteran point guard Marcus Williams signed with the team early Tuesday. He joins former Duke Blue Devil, Matt Jones, as the only two non-guaranteed contract players on the squad.

Williams, 31, hasn’t played in the league since 2010. The former 22nd overall selection in  the 2006 NBA Draft has played in Puerto Rico, Russia, China, Spain and Serbia over the last few years.

Kings' 2018-19 schedule has fewer back-to-backs, but start is road heavy

Kings' 2018-19 schedule has fewer back-to-backs, but start is road heavy

Basketball season is just around the corner. Well, maybe not. We’re still nearly five weeks away from the opening of training camp for the 2018-19 season, and the regular season doesn’t begin until mid-October. 

On Friday, the NBA announced the 82 game schedule for all 30 teams, including the Sacramento Kings, who will open the season at home Oct. 17 against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.

Here are some of the nuts and bolts from this season’s campaign.

•    For the second season in a row, the Kings will play only one set of five-games-in-seven-nights, and that comes at the tail end of March and into early April. This is part of the NBA’s new plan of allowing players more time to rest. The league has eliminated the dreaded four-games-in-five-nights grouping from the schedule as well.

•    Sacramento will have 14 sets of back-to-backs, two shy of last season’s total of 16 sets. Of those 14 sets, one is home-and-home, seven are away-and-away, two are away-and-home and four are home-and-away.

•    After a balanced November and December schedule, the Kings will hit the road for their longest trip away from home in mid-January, stopping in Charlotte, Detroit, Brooklyn, Toronto, Memphis and Los Angeles (Clippers) from Jan. 17 to Jan. 27. 

•    The Kings’ longest homestand will be six games and come on the heels of their longest road trip. From Jan. 30 through Feb. 10, Sacramento will host the Hawks, 76ers, Spurs, Rockets, Heat and Suns at Golden 1 Center. 

•    Sacramento will play seven of its first 10 games away from Golden 1 Center. With plenty of new faces expected to see time in the rotation, the young Kings will have to learn on the fly while traveling around the NBA landscape.   

[RELATED: Five most intriguing games on Kings' 2018-19 schedule]

There are plenty of games to look forward to as well, beginning with opening night. There are old faces in new places and plenty of intrigue.

•    Sacramento will match up with the two-time reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors four times this season. The initial battle is set for Nov. 24 at Oracle, with a follow-up three weeks on Dec. 14 at Golden 1 Center. The teams will meet again Jan. 5 at Golden 1 and then finish the series in the first game coming out of the All-Star break on Feb. 21. It likely won’t happen early in the season, but at some point, former Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins will make his debut as a member of the Warriors, which should be fun to watch.

•    The Kings will face off with the new-look Los Angeles Lakers four times as well, beginning on Nov. 11 at home. The Lakers have made substantial changes to their roster, including the addition of LeBron James. These teams will play each other again twice in late December before completing the series March 24 in L.A. 

•    Isaiah Thomas joined forces during the offseason with former Kings coach Michael Malone in Denver. Sacramento will play the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 23 and then again on Jan. 3 at Golden 1 Center and Feb. 13 back in Denver.

•    The Kings will have to wait until Dec. 4 to get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton when they travel to Talking Stick Resort Arena to face the Suns. They’ll see No. 3 overall selection Luka Doncic on Dec. 16 when they stop over in Dallas for a game against the Mavs.

Below is the complete Kings 2018-19 schedule, with all times local to where the game is played:

Report: Lil Wayne is suing Kings guard Frank Mason III


Report: Lil Wayne is suing Kings guard Frank Mason III

Second-year Sacramento Kings pro Frank Mason III is being sued by rap star Lil Wayne. Seriously. 

The 24-year-old guard is being sued for $92,000 and must give back his Young Money diamond chain, according to TMZ Sports.

Before the Kings selected Mason in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft, Lil Wayne's agency, Young Money APAA Sports Group, signed the former Kansas star. The agency reportedly gave Mason $40,000 in advance, paid his pre-draft expenses which totaled $52,000 and gave him an $11,000 diamond chain. 

However, Mason's contract reportedly stated if he left the agency, Mason would have to repay the money and give back the chain. This past April, Mason left the agency. 

Mason signed a three-year, $4,181,147 contract with the Kings after the 2017 draft. He is guaranteed $2,562,627.