Kings get playoffs chance with NBA's return-to-play plan approved

Kings get playoffs chance with NBA's return-to-play plan approved

However faint, the Kings will get a chance to end their 13-year playoff drought.

The NBA's Board of Governors approved commissioner Adam Silver's return-to-play plan Thursday, and 22 teams will participate in the resumption of the season at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

The Kings, who were 3.5 games out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, will be part of the play-in phase for the final playoff spot.

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When the NBA season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12, the Kings had a 28-36 record. They were in a tight race with the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs for the No. 8 seed.

Coming off a 39-43 season, the Kings had high expectations this year, but under new head coach Luke Walton, they never got rolling.

After a trip to India for two preseason games, the Kings started off the regular season with five straight losses. Injuries to De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley hurt the development of the team.

[RELATED: How Barnes got "Black Falcon" nickname]

But the Kings started to figure things out in late January. Over their last 20 games, they were 13-7. Walton made a change to the starting lineup, inserting Bogdan Bogdanovic and putting Buddy Hield on the second unit. That move seemed to give the Kings a spark.

In a recent interview with Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, forward Harrison Barnes said the Kings just want a chance to see where they are at now that they are healthy.

With the NBA's announcement, Barnes and the Kings will get that chance.

Kings troll Rockets on Twitter over Nemanja Bjelica buzzer-beater

Kings troll Rockets on Twitter over Nemanja Bjelica buzzer-beater

It remains one of the highlights of the Kings' season, even as the team now gets settled in Orlando, hoping to finesse a spot in the NBA playoffs.

On a late December night in Houston, Nemanja Bjelica stole a win out of the hands of the Rockets with a buzzer-beater from way downtown, stunning the crowd in "Clutch City." 

So when Houston's Twitter account asked fans to describe their favorite Rockets moment, the Kings' infamous social media team had to chime in and remind the Houston fans of that game-winner.

Bjelica closed his postgame interview with NBC Sports California's Kayte Christensen-Hunter by dropping an iconic phrase that had fans instantly going off and designing shirts to commemorate.

[RELATED: Four Kings' traveling party members didn't fly to NBA's Orlando bubble]

"F--t it, we deserve this," Bjelica proclaimed as he left the court in Houston.

Bjelica and his teammates deserved that win back in early December, and they'll get another chance at the Rockets on the court on Sunday, Aug. 9 in Orlando as they vie for a spot in the postseason.

Kings' Luke Walton brought seven pounds of coffee to Orlando bubble

Kings' Luke Walton brought seven pounds of coffee to Orlando bubble

Always come prepared.

For an NBA player, an XBox 1 or PS4 are high on the list of "must bring" items for the extended stay in the NBA's Orlando bubble. Players have their priorities, but so do coaches.

According to Kings head coach Luke Walton, he packed the usual stack of clothing items and basic necessities, but he also had a full carry on filled with a luxury item.

"The strangest thing I brought that I'm happy I brought now is I dedicated a whole carry-on bag to my coffee," Walton said. "Which is seven pounds of coffee beans, my coffee grinder, I've got a French press in my room. I knew we were going to be quarantined, so I couldn't trust whatever was going to be in my room."

[RELATED: Four member of Kings' traveling party stayed behind]

One could imagine bringing your own varieties of Kuerig pods, but Walton has not officially upped his game. Hopefully he has more than some powdered creamer and a flimsy stir straw to work with as he settles in for the long hall at The Yacht Club.