Kings

Watch Nemanja Bjelica's buzzer-beater in Kings' wild win over Rockets

Watch Nemanja Bjelica's buzzer-beater in Kings' wild win over Rockets

For the second night in a row, Nemanja Bjelica provided some late-game theatrics for the Kings.

After dropping 30 points in a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night, Bjelica came back 24 hours later and sent the Kings home with a buzzer-beater from WAY downtown in Houston.

After Buddy Hield tied the game at 116 with less than 10 seconds to go, Russell Westbrook came right back and muscled his way to the hoop for a layup, giving Houston back a two-point lead with precisely one second remaining.

However, the Serbian forward had other ideas.

The Kings will try and keep the train rolling as they return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center.

Kobe Bryant soaked up, enjoyed his final game vs. Kings in Sacramento

Kobe Bryant soaked up, enjoyed his final game vs. Kings in Sacramento

With the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant on Sunday morning, it gives us a moment to look back at the superstar in a different light. As a player, he brutalized the Sacramento Kings on so many occasions, but his greatness on the court isn’t what stood out. 

The 18-time All-Star wasn’t always easy to deal with. He clearly didn’t love speaking to the media after each and every game, especially on the road, when the demand for his time came from unfamiliar voices.

This isn’t uncommon amongst NBA players. There is a trust and familiarity that is built with the people who cover you on a daily basis. 

In his final visit to Sacramento on Jan. 7, 2016, Bryant was different. He laughed and smiled as Kings fans booed him one last time. When the noise turned from heckles to cheers, he acknowledged the fans that he had single handedly hurt so many times before. 

Following the Lakers' 118-115 loss to the Kings that night, he held a full press conference, even speaking on Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. 

“I don’t think anything will ever top Game 7,” Bryant said. “Not the end of Game 7, but the beginning of Game 7, the start. The announcing of the starting five, the lights going out and all those cool lights they gave everybody and just waving them around and you just kinda feel the electricity in the building. That was the best part.”

On that night in 2016, Bryant wasn’t the player he had been in past visits, but he still managed to score 28 points, with 18 of those coming in the first half. Bryant sat out the fourth quarter as his Lakers rallied and almost caught the Kings.

This was a kinder gentler Bryant than we had seen in previous seasons. He was on his farewell tour and he seemed to finally be able to enjoy the ride. He even took a moment to stop and take pictures with Rudy Gay and his son that evening, which humanized him in a way that I didn’t believe possible.

There have been very few athletes like Bryant in the history of not only basketball, but professional sports. His work ethic and focus were surpassed by none.

[RELATED: Kings lose their greatest adversary]

He spent a lifetime being in his own moment. It was obvious being around him that his intensity and passion for his craft made him great. Basketball was his obsession.  

In his final visit to Sacramento, it was like he finally found a way to be a fan again. He was able to appreciate his accomplishments and enjoy the moment.

Kings players react to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant's death in helicopter crash

Kings players react to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant's death in helicopter crash

There never will another Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers star died Sunday morning at 41 years old in a helicopter crash.

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were two of nine people who died in the crash on the Calabasas hills. The Sacramento Kings released the following statement to express their deepest regards to the Bryant family and those involved in the crash. 

Bryant had some of his greatest battles with the Kings and forever will be part of the franchise's story. He also helped mentor some of their brightest young players like Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox.

[RELATED: Kings lose their greatest adversary with Kobe's tragic death]

Kings players past and present mourned Bryant's death Sunday with multiple messages on social media. 

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Eternal Respect🙏🏽👊🏽🏀 #RIPKobeGiGi💜

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