Kings' Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes cleared of minutes restrictions

Kings' Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes cleared of minutes restrictions

Kings head coach Luke Walton gave an encouraging medical update on his team Thursday morning, just a day before his team is set to open their NBA restart schedule in the Orlando bubble.

“Harrison [Barnes] and Richaun [Holmes] will play,” Walton said. “They won’t have a minutes restriction, I’ll just keep a close eye on their wind and see how they look, but no medical restrictions on them.”

Barnes tested positive for the coronavirus during the Fourth of July weekend. He rejoined the team over the weekend and was able to participate in Monday’s scrimmage despite having just one day of practice under his belt.

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Holmes was cleared to rejoin the team on July 22 after being quarantined for 10 days for violating bubble rules when he met a delivery driver to pick up some chicken wings. He was able to work out in his room, but the Kings have worked him back in slowly after a long stretch of limited activity.

“Alex most likely won’t play tomorrow, but he does continue to get better,” Walton said of his 7-foot rim protector.

Len originally tested positive for the coronavirus on June 21. At one point, he had 24 consecutive days of positive tests and he experienced symptoms in early July.

On July 16, Len was cleared to rejoin the team in Orlando, but his road back to full contact and basketball shape has been long.

[RELATED: Walton unafraid to make big moves in first season as coach]

At this point, Len is considered the third center on the roster behind Holmes and Harry Giles and if he breaks into the rotation, it would likely be for spot duty against a team with major size on their front line.

Marvin Bagley is the lone Kings player that has been ruled out completely for the restart. The second-year big sprained his right foot last week and left the NBA bubble.

Former Kings head coach, Hall of Famer Paul Westphal battling cancer

Former Kings head coach, Hall of Famer Paul Westphal battling cancer

Ten years ago, I walked into my first Kings media day as an independent writer with zero experience and no guarantee that I ever would be allowed in the building again. I was green and had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I had to fight my way into the building for media day in September 2010. When I was allowed to attend training camp a day later, it always was on uncertain ground. I kept showing up and the Kings kept opening the door and letting me in.

When I was credentialed for my first preseason game, it was with the understanding that it would probably be the only time that happened. When I made it on the list for the second game, it was explained that this was only for preseason.

A decade later, I keep showing up and the Kings keep letting me in the building. The reason? I had a backer in that first season that helped change my life.

I’ve met plenty of people throughout my journey that have impacted my career, but none more than former Kings head coach and Naismith Hall of Famer, Paul Westphal.

In the opening days of my first training camp, Westphal and I formed a connection. Maybe he was looking for an ally on the other side. Maybe I was, too.

Whatever the reason, we hit it off and unbeknownst to me, it was Westphal who had gone to the Kings’ media relations staff and told them to keep letting me in the building.

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It was the early stages of bloggers being allowed into NBA arenas. I showed up like clockwork, asked questions, was respectful and by the end of my first season, I was hooked.

At one point during that first season, Westphal and I exchanged numbers so I could reach out while the team was on the road. We would chat on the phone and I would transcribe the discussions for Q&A’s.

During the 2011 summer, the NBA hit a lockout, but that didn’t close a door with Westphal. We met for lunch during the lockout multiple times and would talk basketball and life for hours.

An incredible storyteller, Westphal would share behind the scenes stories of his coaching start at Southwestern Baptist Bible College, his experience working with Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns, and even the bizarre tale of Jerrod Mustaf.

Westphal was let go in Sacramento seven games into my second season covering the team after a public spat with young star DeMarcus Cousins. By that time, I already was considered a full-time member of the media corps, in part thanks to him.

On Sunday morning, Westphal’s longtime friend, Mike Lupica, turned to social media to give an update on Westphal, who was inducted in the Hall of Fame just last year.

Outside of my personal dealings with Westphal, he is widely considered one of the true gentlemen of the game. A magnificent player during his time in the league, he’s proven to be an even better person off the court.

It has been a while since we connected, outside of a text exchange when he received the call for the Hall, but he is an incredibly influential person in my career and my thoughts and prayers go out to Paul, his wife Cindy, their children and grandchildren as he battles a very unkind illness.

Kings vs. Rockets live stream: How to watch NBA restart game online, on TV

Kings vs. Rockets live stream: How to watch NBA restart game online, on TV

The Kings have won just one out of their first five games in the NBA's Orlando bubble. And now, here comes James Harden and the Houston Rockets. 

Sunday is another must-win for Sacramento, and it won't be easy. 

Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has scored 62 points the past two games. But that only has resulted in one win. Buddy Hield's poor play has been a huge detriment to the Kings' playoff chances.

The sharpshooter left his shot in Sacramento. Hield is averaging just 11.8 points per game in Orlando while shooting 27.9 percent from beyond the arc.

The Kings will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss or a win from the Portland Trail Blazers.

Here's how you can watch Kings vs. Rockets online (download the MyTeams app here!) and on TV:

When: Sunday, Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. PT (Kings Pregame Live starts at 4:30 p.m PT)
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app