Kings

Kings not happy being left off The Ringer's No. 8 seed Twitter poll

Kings not happy being left off The Ringer's No. 8 seed Twitter poll

When the Kings arrive in Orlando, Florida next month for the NBA's 2019-20 season restart, they know they have to be on top of their game.

As one of five teams on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoffs, the Kings have to go at least 5-3 to have a chance of reaching the play-in game for the No. 8 seed.

Their odds are long, but at least the Kings will get the opportunity.

That is, unless you ask The Ringer.

The website ran a Twitter poll on Friday afternoon, asking their followers which team will be the No. 8 seed. The Ringer gave their fans three choices: The Memphis Grizzlies, the Portland Trail Blazers and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Kings were omitted despite Twitter poll questions allowing for four choices. As you can imagine, Sacramento was not happy with this.

Within an hour of their initial tweet, The Ringer realized what they had done and issued an apology in GIF form.

From July 31 to Aug. 13, the Kings will play eight games in Orlando. If they are within four games of the No. 8 seed, they will be part of the play-in round for a chance to be Western Conference's last seed in the NBA playoffs.

If the Kings can pull off the impossible and nab the No. 8 seed, they surely will have a tweet aimed at The Ringer ready to go.

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Source: Kings shut down practice facility after positive coronavirus test

Source: Kings shut down practice facility after positive coronavirus test

A few days before the Kings were scheduled to leave for Orlando as part of the NBA’s season restart, the team has shut down their facility because of a positive coronavirus test for someone within their traveling party, a source confirmed to NBC Sports California's James Ham.

The Athletic's Sam Amick first reported the news Sunday night.

The Kings and the other 21 NBA teams scheduled to play at the Disney World complex in Orlando were set to leave their home markets beginning on Tuesday.

News of another positive coronavirus test comes 11 days after Jabari Parker and Alex Len confirmed they tested positive for the coronavirus. Guard Buddy Hield reportedly also tested positive for COVID-19.

Since July 1, as part of the NBA's Phase 3 of the restart plan, players have been allowed to participate in individual workouts at the Kings' practice facility at Golden 1 Center.

The Kings are the second team reportedly to shut their facility down Sunday. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday, citing sources, that the Milwaukee Bucks closed their operations after receiving the results of coronavirus testing conducted on Friday.

The Kings and Bucks are scheduled to scrimmage against each other in Orlando on Saturday, July 25.

[RELATED: How Kings are handling leaving families]

Sacramento faces an uphill battle to reach the NBA playoffs. The Kings currently sit 3.5 games out of the No. 8 seed, and are in a logjam with the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns as they all try to chase down the Memphis Grizzlies.

Any teams within four games of the Grizzlies after the eight seeding games will force play-in games for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

Luke Walton's team should be able to beat the Spurs, Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets, but they face tough matchups against the Pelicans (twice), Mavericks, Rockets and Lakers.

How Kings are handling leaving family behind for NBA's Orlando restart

How Kings are handling leaving family behind for NBA's Orlando restart

The NBA’s Orlando bubble -- it’s a concept that somehow we have begun to normalize.

Later this week, the Kings and 21 other NBA teams will travel via private jet to Disney World where they will be under lock and key for a minimum of five weeks.

On paper, it doesn’t sound all that bad. Five-star accommodations, tons of food options, a golf course, bowling alley, ping pong tables. The only thing that is missing are the players' families, who won’t be allowed to join the bubble until after the first round of the playoffs, somewhere around Aug. 31.

NBA players and staff are normal people, just like everyone else. The bubble concept is a way for the league to survive and save at least some of the revenue stream that has all but disappeared due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the league is asking its players to walk away from their families for an extended period of time.

“There’s no way around the fact that this is a sacrifice,” Harrison Barnes said. “Whether you’re being away from your family, whether you’re not going to be able to see your parents, your siblings, whatever it may be. And not having an end date too, definitely adds an extra bit of focus to you, that if you’re going to be away from your family for this long, you want to make it work, you want to make it something that you’re completely locked in and focused on and giving your all to, or else it’s a waste of time.”

Barnes is married, but does not have children. He might be in the minority on that front on the Kings' roster.

[RELATED: Harrison Barnes keeps word, won't shave beard until Kings hit .500 record]

Nemanja Bjelica’s children can be seen on the court in pregame. Buddy Hield’s daughter waits for him after most home games. Richaun Holmes and De’Aaron Fox both have little ones.

Kent Bazemore has been known to post pictures of his little boy on twitter and his wife has another one on the way due later this year.

“It’s tough,” Bazemore said earlier this week during one of the Kings Zoom media calls. “It’s tough on being a husband and a father. I cried like a little baby when I left to head out here a couple weeks ago -- just seeing him and my wife standing on the front porch as I’m leaving, and he has absolutely no idea I’m gone as long as I’m going to be gone.”

“It’s definitely tough, especially him being such a young age,” Bazemore added. “It’s pivotal as a child to kind of have that stable foundation, and my wife is also pregnant with a little girl coming in September, so the realistic front is very tough.”

A week ago, Corey Brewer was out of the league wondering if he would get another shot at age 34. The 12-year vet will get that opportunity with the Kings, but again, it will come at a cost.

“That’s probably the hardest part for me,” Brewer said. “I have small kids. One’s six and one’s three months, so it was tough to leave them, but they understand I’m getting older. Any chance I get to play basketball, I have to take it. They’re happy. My son’s happy I get to play again, and we FaceTime every day for like five hours, so we still see each other.”

Modern technology has made the world a smaller place, but there is nothing that can replace physical contact.

“In your 20s and 30s, you make a lot of sacrifices, but I’m in a position to really set up my legacy and really help those behind me,” Bazemore said. “So It’s a tough decision and it’s something my wife and I are diligently working on, trying to stay connected, you know, phone calls, videos, FaceTime, doing everything we can to stay connected.”

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

There is a human element that is being missed. Players aren’t just going to Orlando and risking infection by playing a sport. They are leaving everything behind for a month or two and perhaps longer.

This is a complex situation with real life consequences for players and their loved ones. Adding to the issue is that these aren’t normal times and that the world is in the midst of a pandemic.

The league is hopeful that they can limit the exposure to coronavirus by running a tight ship, but the families of the players will not be afforded that same luxury while at home.

There is no perfect solution, but fans should keep in mind that while they want to see NBA basketball and regain some of the escapism that professional sports provides, there might be times when players' minds are not 100 percent focused on the game at hand.