Kings' Harrison Barnes has 'growing confidence' of NBA return in 2020

Kings' Harrison Barnes has 'growing confidence' of NBA return in 2020

The NBA has continued to leave the door open for a return to action in the 2019-20 season sometime this year, but at this point very few outside of the league office have any real idea when that will happen.

Count Kings forward Harrison Barnes among those who aren't sure what the future holds, but he's hearing some positive things about a potential resumption of the season.

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"I think a lot of it is up in the air still," Barnes said on NBA TV last week. "But I think there's a growing sense of optimism around the fact that there will be games again this season. Whether that looks like 16 teams or all the teams playing, whatever type of format, all of that is still in the air, but I think there's a growing confidence that there will be games at some point to finish out the season."

The Kings last took the court on March 12, but were the final NBA game the night Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, which forced a postponement of not just that matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans at the Golden 1 Center but the entire NBA season.

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Barnes likely wants this season back more than anyone on the roster, as his bet to not shave his beard until the Kings return to a .500 record remains well out of reach, as Sacramento was 28-36 prior to the season's suspension.

If Barnes' confidence comes to fruition in the near future, he finally can help the Kings win enough games to finally break that trusty razor out of the medicine cabinet.

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Practice? Are we talking about practice?

The Sacramento Kings left behind their shutdown practice facility on Wednesday morning. They headed out on a non-stop flight to the Orlando bubble where they’ll spend the next five weeks at a minimum.

They’ll head straight to their assigned rooms in The Yacht Club resort on the Disney World campus where they’ll initially be quarantined before jumping onto the practice court.

On Wednesday morning, the NBA released the practice schedule for the first few days of the bubble. The Kings will have their first practice session Friday evening at the Coronado Fiesta from 2-5 p.m. PT.

That's the first time the Kings are allowed to meet as an entire group. They are cleared to practice, hit the weight training and begin team meetings. Individual workouts are also available during this time.

[RELATED: How Kings are handling leaving family behind for Orlando]

Sacramento returns to the practice court on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. PT on Coronado 2. It’s a quick 11-day build-up before the team has its first scrimmage on July 22 against the Miami Heat.

Barring a major setback, the Kings won’t have long before they are playing real games. They open their schedule on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs and they’ll play at least every other day until the conclusion of their eight-game schedule on August 13.

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

The NBA restart has the potential to mean more than just eight games, a potential play-in series and then a standard playoffs. The NBA is trying to lead the way in professional sports by creating a potentially repeatable concept.

The league is also allowing players to continue to be a part of the national conversation regarding racial inequality in America. Courts will be adorned with “Black Lives Matter” graphics. The league will hold symposiums and use their platform to promote change.

In addition, players will be allowed to wear jerseys with a message on the back. On Tuesday, we learned that Sacramento Kings small forward Kent Bazemore has already chosen what his uniform will say when he walks out on the court.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, Bazemore will join the Portland Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum with the message “Education Reform.”

According to multiple reports, the NBA has a group of sayings that players can choose from, including “Vote”, “Equality” and “Enough.” There are likely more options than what we have seen to date.

Bazemore’s teammate Harrison Barnes addressed the potential for wearing a message on his jersey during the Kings’ Zoom call with the media.

“I’m waiting on requirements -- do we get eight different ones? Do we get one? How many words? What’s the censorship?” Barnes said. “I’m definitely going to do something, I’m just waiting on the additional guidelines and what we can do.”

Barnes is one of many of the Kings players to find their voice during the last few months following the shooting death of George Floyd. There appears to be a national awakening and there is positive movement towards actual change.

[RELATED: Bazemore could envision staying for 'next couple of years']

“I think we’re at a unique time, just as a society, where so many different discussions are happening at once and change, it seems closer now than it’s ever been, although there is still a wide gap,” Barnes added.

Expect plenty of the Kings players to be involved in the discussions regarding social change in Orlando. The team itself has taken a huge role in the conversation and they support their players in the venture as well.