Kings

Kings' Vlade Divac, Bogdan Bogdanovic send coronavirus aid to Serbia

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Kings' Vlade Divac, Bogdan Bogdanovic send coronavirus aid to Serbia

The NBA has stepped up around the country to help their communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Players and owners have donated salaries to arena workers, while Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer offered up $25 million. The Kings even handed over Sleep Train Arena to the Army Corps of Engineers for a surge hospital, all as the NBA is doing its best to be part of the solution to the coronavirus epidemic.

Kings players Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica, along with the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, jumped in the fray Tuesday to help their native Serbia.

The group is stepping up to help purchase ventilators, medical-grade masks and supplies for hospitals and medical professionals in Serbia, according to the team’s official press release.

“I am inspired by all those across the NBA and around the world who have given back to individuals hardest hit by this crisis, which is why it was important to me to support the people back home by providing these supplies to help save lives,” Bogdanovic said in the release. “I want to thank the brave medical professionals who are working hard every day to treat everyone affected by the coronavirus. I know that soon we will get through this difficult time together.”

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Bogdanovic, Bjelica and the Divacs are in lockdown in Sacramento, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help out around the globe. Following Divac's footsteps, both Bogdanovic and Bjelica currently play for the Serbian national team and much of their family still live in the Baltic country. 

“I am proud to donate these important resources to assist the heroic frontline workers who are battling COVID-19 and support patients in need of these life-saving supplies back home,” Bjelica said via the press release. “During this time, health and safety is the top priority and we are honored to lend a helping hand.”

[RELATED: Former Kings arena to be converted into coronavirus surge hospital]

The Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, established in 2007, primarily focuses on helping refugees and internally displaced people in Serbia. They have shifted their efforts on providing medical supplies during the coronavirus outbreak.

This is all part of the Kings’ “In this Together” effort. Not only have they donated the Sleep Train property, but the franchise plans to donate $250,000 to local community organizations and they have donated 100,000 medical-grade masks to state and city health agencies.

How Tracy McGrady credits Kings' Doug Christie for success as rookie

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How Tracy McGrady credits Kings' Doug Christie for success as rookie

Tracy McGrady leaves behind an illustrious 14-season career with accolades including seven NBA All-Star and seven All-NBA selections, a two-time scoring champion as well as a Hall of Fame induction.

McGrady turned 41 on Sunday which was the perfect time to take a trip down memory lane to when he was just a rookie. He talked about how Kings legend Doug Christie played an instrumental role during the infancy of his run.

During a recent interview on “All the Smoke,” McGrady said a big part of his hot start as a rookie with the Toronto Raptors was all thanks in part of the matchups he had with former teammate Christie.

“I love Doug,” McGrady said. “I played Doug on one-on-one every day -- we were just going at each other -- and that’s how I was working on my one-on-one game and building my confidence up because I know he was a great defender, he was a hell of a defender.”

He was.

Christie earned three All-Defensive Second Team honors and was part of the First Team in 2003. McGrady was also one of the most difficult guys to cover -- he owes part of that to Christie. 

He's part of many who recently shouted him out.

[RELATED: Mike Bibby describes tenure with Kings as best time of his life]

For McGrady, he knew going up against one of the best in the game, he would be able to handle anything.

Appears that worked out beautifully. 

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Why Mike Bibby describes playing with Kings as best time of his life

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Why Mike Bibby describes playing with Kings as best time of his life

The Kings’ Mike Bibby era was iconic. 

His seven-season run with players like Chris Webber never will be forgotten for all the success Sacramento saw on the court.

Bibby sat down with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith and talked about his run with Sacramento -- a fit that was comfortable for Bibby right away. Even though trading for him meant bidding farewell to Jason Williams, a guy Kings fans were in love with. 

“The guys treated me like I was there for five, six, seven years," Bibby said. "I got there and Jason Williams was a prized possession in Sacramento and when I got traded for him, I just wanted to fit in, I didn’t know if the fans would like me or if the team would like me.

"In my first year we had the best record in the West. I had the best time of my life and my career playing in Sacramento with those guys. I think Sacramento is the best team I played on.”

Bibby detailed the trade, along with the special relationship he and Webber had throughout that stretch and how selfless the Kings were. It didn’t matter who scored, they were a strong team and wanted to win.

“That’s the way basketball is supposed to be played,” Bibby said. “That was the best time of my life -- being in Sacramento.”

[RELATED: Karl Malone admits Webber had more talent than him]

That was a time where the Kings gave the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money. The Kings skated through the first two rounds of the playoffs, defeating the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks. That was all in Bibby’s first season. 

Across those seven seasons with the Kings, Bibby averaged 17.6 points and  3.2 rebounds per game. 

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]