Kings

Kings' Marvin Bagley not sure if he will play again in 2019-20 season

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USATSI

Kings' Marvin Bagley not sure if he will play again in 2019-20 season

SACRAMENTO -- There was a surprise visitor in the Kings’ locker room Saturday night after the team’s 122-102 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

For the first time since aggravating his left mid-foot sprain, second-year big man Marvin Bagley addressed the media while wearing a walking boot.

“I’m good man, I’m just taking it one day at time, staying positive, controlling what I can control,” Bagley said. “I’m just trying to make that I start feeling good and being able to get back out there and do what I do.”

Bagley originally injured his foot on Dec. 26 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He missed eight games initially, but then aggravated the injury again on Jan. 18 against the Utah Jazz.

Despite the issue, Bagley played 38 minutes for the Kings two days later in Miami, but the pain intensified and he was forced to go back into a walking boot.

The team announced last week that Bagley will be re-examined following the All-Star break, but when asked if there was a possibility that he might sit the remaining 30 games of the season, the 20-year-old big was non-committal.

“I’m definitely going to try to come back this year, but that’s too far ahead at this point,” Bagley said. “The most important thing for me right now is to make sure I'm healthy.”

“Honestly, who knows, I'm just going one day at a time with this, I'm trying not to think too far ahead,” Bagley added when asked again about the potential for missing the remainder of the season. “I obviously want to play, I want to be out there. It sucks. I've only played however many games I've played this season over things I can't control.”

Selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bagley has played a total of 13 games this season for the Kings. He broke his right thumb in the season opener, which cost him 22 games and he’s missed a total of 17 contests with the foot injury.

For the season, he’s averaging 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per game.

Following the Jan. 30 announcement that he would be re-examined in three weeks, Bagley deactivated all of his social media accounts. It’s a decision that has helped remove some of the negativity that has come with his repeated injury issues.

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“It’s something I did on my own, it’s a decision I made, it’s been working,” Bagley said. “I’m slowly getting back on Instagram, but it’s a decision I made and I’m happy with what I did.”

There is some hope that Bagley can get back on the court this season. The Kings would love to see him make his way back to the court to continue his development, but they have a lot invested in him and will take a cautious approach moving forward.

Luka Doncic's triple-double makes NBA history in Mavs' win over Bucks

Luka Doncic's triple-double makes NBA history in Mavs' win over Bucks

Another game, another insane, eye-popping stat line from Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic.

The 21-year-old Serbian star put on a show Saturday night in the Mavericks' 136-132 overtime win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in Orlando, Florida.

Doncic finished with a staggering 36 points, 19 assists and 14 rebounds. It was his 17th triple-double of the 2019-20 NBA season, and in the process, Doncic made history.

Just look at a few of the shots and passes Doncic made late in the Mavs' win over the Bucks. It looks like a varsity player going up against the JV team.

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Two years into Doncic's NBA career, it's safe to say the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks are kicking themselves for passing on the superstar. In the case of the Hawks, they actually drafted Doncic at No. 3 overall, but traded him to the Mavericks for Trae Young and a 2019 first-round draft pick, which they used on Cam Reddish.

The Suns drafted center DeAndre Ayton No. 1 overall, while the Kings infamously decided to take forward Marvin Bagley over Doncic at No. 2.

In hindsight, those three decisions are turning out to be franchise-altering. Ayton is averaging 17.2 points and 10.7 rebounds through two seasons, while Bagley has dealt with injuries and has played in 75 games his first two seasons. He's averaging 14.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Neither has come close to making the type of impact Doncic has made.

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Young is an NBA All-Star and has the potential to be really good, but Doncic looks like he's on a different level right now. Even Young took notice of what Doncic did Saturday night.

Doncic isn't an MVP finalist this year, but it's only a matter of time before he's holding that trophy. He's getting better each year, and he's going to make the teams that passed on him pay for the next two decades.

Damian Lillard, Paul George have beef after late missed free throws

Damian Lillard, Paul George have beef after late missed free throws

Oakland native Damian Lillard isn’t afraid to speak his mind, especially when criticism is thrown his way.

The normally clutch Lillard, who has ended multiple NBA playoff series with a game-winning shot, missed two key free throws late in the Portland Trail Blazers’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Patrick Beverly, who himself is famous for mixing it up with opposing point guards, had some words for Lillard from the sideline.

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Beverly was a member of the Houston Rockets team Lillard sent home in the first round of 2014 NBA Playoffs, and Clippers star Paul George was the man contesting Lillard on his buzzer-beater that eliminated George and the Oklahoma City Thunder from the postseason last spring. Lillard brought both of them up during his postgame interview with TNT’s Taylor Rooks, and George clapped back in the comment section.

George and the Clippers have a playoff spot clinched and currently would be the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, while Lillard’s Trail Blazers are 1.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot.

As with many NBA beefs in recent years, the discourse continued in the comment section.

George also posted a message on his Instagram story addressing the back-and-forth.

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George, a six-time All-Star, suffered a gruesome compound fracture in his right leg during a 2014 Team USA scrimmage in preparation for the FIBA World Cup, causing him to miss most of the 2014-15 regular season.

Lillard’s rare failure in the clutch benefited the Kings, as a win by the Trail Blazers would have eliminated Sacramento from postseason contention. The Kings currently are two full games behind Portland for the ninth spot in the West, with three games remaining before the playoff field is solidified.

Hopefully for NBA fans everywhere (except in Sacramento) Lillard and the Trail Blazers find a way into the postseason so we can get another chance to see him go up against Beverly, George and the Clippers.