Kings

Three takeaways from Kings' 128-123 preseason loss to Lakers

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Three takeaways from Kings' 128-123 preseason loss to Lakers

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Who are these Kings? It’s only preseason, but Sacramento’s young core looks like they are ready to compete, despite every NBA expert betting against them.

Against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday evening, the Kings gave a gritty performance, but struggled to manufacture points late as coach Dave Joerger turned to a group of NBA hopefuls. The end result was a 128-123 loss on the Staples Center floor. With the defeat, the Kings now sit at  1-1 in the exhibition season. 

There is a lot to like from the Kings’ first two games of the preseason schedule. They push the tempo and show plenty of promise. They’ll be tested again Friday evening when they play on the second night of a back-to-back in Seattle against the Golden State Warriors.

Here are three quick takeaways from the game...

De'Aaron Fox is ready to take a leap

No disrespect to LeBron James, but the Kings’ second-year point guard was the best player on the floor. He dominated early, hitting his first four shots, including a pair of triples. 

Fox played defense, pushed the tempo on his way to a 18-point, five-assist game in just 17 minutes. Joerger sat him in the second half to give Frank Mason and Kalin Lucas a longer look.

There has been a buzz in Sacramento about Fox’s development. He’s looked great all summer and appear ready to take a huge leap in year two.

More Harry Giles, please

The Kings have a pair of rookie ready to make a splash. Giles put on a show for Sacramento, running the floor, hitting the jumper and feeding the no-look pass. 

Joerger is going to fight the urge to play this kid major minutes early. By mid-season, he’ll give in and let the former No. 1 overall prep prospect run wild. 

Giles scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists. For the second straight game, the 6-foot-10 center fouled out, but that is to be expected as he works himself back into playing shape. 

We have a Marvin Bagley sighting

Bagley struggled to make an impact in his first preseason game, but that wasn’t the case against the Lakers. The 19-year-old stepped up on the big stage, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and a block in 32 minutes. 

Bagley is getting comfortable, which is good for Sacramento. He’s a player that can make a tremendous impact without having the coaching staff run a bunch of plays run for him. 

It’s early, but Bagley’s confidence is growing. He has yet to see major court time with Fox, which could be a very interesting duo long term for the Kings.

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]