Kings players show gratitude, reverence for Dwyane Wade in win over Heat

Kings players show gratitude, reverence for Dwyane Wade in win over Heat

SACRAMENTO -- Minutes before the game between the Kings and Heat started, the massive scoreboard that hangs over the Golden 1 Center court flashed to a live view of future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade sitting on the sideline.

Knowing it was his last game in town, a sold-out Sacramento crowd gave the 37-year-old star a huge ovation.

Once the ball was tipped, the Kings weren’t so nice. Wade took a monster spill in the first quarter and bounced his head off the floor. After a stint in the locker room, he returned to the game and looked like the Wade of old, dropping 11 points on the Kings in less than five minutes before the half.

The Kings tightened their defense in the second half, limiting the 12-time All-Star to just four points after the break and handing the Heat a 102-96 loss.

Following the game, it was a hugs and autographs for Kings players, many of which grew up idolizing the three-time NBA Champion.

“He’s a Hall of Famer, he’s a legend, he’s a hero,” Buddy Hield said. “He inspired many kids, from when I was a little boy. I can’t lie and say I wasn’t in the driveway shooting Dwyane Wade fadeaways and that rocker step he had and he’s always explosive. He won’t be forgotten.”

Hield was a big reason the Kings pulled out the win. He finished with a game-high 23 points, including seven in the final 6:46 of the game to help seal the win.

Despite pinning a loss on Miami, Wade gave Hield one of his signed shoes with a personalized message -- “To: Buddy, Loved watching you play since college. Keep going.”

Bogdan Bogdanovic received the other shoe and all he could say afterwards was, “legend” when asked about Wade. The personalized sneaker for the Kings’ second-year guard came with some encouraging words.

“To: Bogdan, love your game and the confidence you play with.”

While no one was quite sure how it happened, Frank Mason was able to land the prized possession -- Wade’s game-used jersey.

[RELATED: Welcome to Sacramento! Kings introduce three new players]

It was a different feel to the evening. The Kings were adjusting to new teammates and slightly overwhelmed by Wade’s final visit. But in the end, they were able to stabilize down the stretch and come away with another big win on their home floor.

Why Kings' De'Aaron Fox prefers playing in Sacramento than bigger-markets


Why Kings' De'Aaron Fox prefers playing in Sacramento than bigger-markets

When you think of De'Aaron Fox, you think of a superstar. But a bigger stage isn't something he desires.

Recently, Fox was hanging out in a rented, beachside condo in San Clemente, Calif. talking to One37pm's Corban Goble. The Kings guard was playing on a grand piano. And despite being in Southern California, playing some keys from John Legend's "All of Me," he likes where he's at, cozy in Sacramento.

“I don’t crave to be in a big market,” Fox said. “After last season, there was a buzz in Sacramento. Everyone in Sacramento is a Kings fan. If we start making the playoffs, or if we become a championship contender, the entire city is going to go nuts. That’s the difference between a big market and a small one.”

The Kings finished the 2019-20 season 39-43 due to an impressive sophomoric outing from Fox who averaged 17.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

If Fox continues on his superstar trajectory, he might have to put those low-key desires to the test. 

But Fox's go-with-the-flow mentality is one to be admired.

[RELATED: How Fox celebrated contract signing with agent]

He could have gone to Los Angeles or San Diego to be in the middle of it all, but San Clemente was the "laid-back" way Fox prefers.

It appears Fox not only loves the idea of playing for Sacramento but for the people of the city as well.

Kings players roast Bobby Jackson after awful first pitch attempt


Kings players roast Bobby Jackson after awful first pitch attempt

Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game is an honor, but it's certainly not one of the easiest tasks.

Just trust us on this one. 

It adds excess pressure to the situation when you're an athlete. Perhaps you feel your inherent athletic ability will make it easy for you to throw in there for a strike ... right? Well, when it comes to Bobby Jackson, that's not the case.

The former Sacramento Kings player turned assistant player development coach threw out the first pitch for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats recently, and well ...

He bounced it and it went way outside (or inside to a lefty batter). He also lost his sunglasses. Clearly, there was a lot going on.

[RELATED: Fox, Barnes have 3-point contest after USA practice]

And despite the way the pitch went, the torment wasn't over. Harry Giles, Buddy Hield and Kyle Guy all made sure to chime in after witnessing the display, and they weren't too nice about it. 

It's not as easy as it looks, folks.