Why Christie believes Buddy-Harkless spat was good for Kings


The Kings held a 10-point lead over the San Antonio Spurs after the first quarter Sunday at Golden 1 Center, and the vibe surrounding the shorthanded Kings team should have been good.

But a closer look showed Buddy Hield and Moe Harkless exchanging words on the bench between the first and second quarters.

ABC10's Sean Cunningham filmed the incident during the Kings' 121-114 win over the Spurs.

It's unclear what sparked the heated moment, but Harkless was not happy and directed most of his frustration at Hield.

To outside observers, it appeared the Kings might have had an issue brewing, but acting head coach Doug Christie had a positive outlook on spat between Hield and Harkless.

"For me, you guys, and I don't know because everybody is different, but that's good," Christie told reporters after the game. "You care. Like, you got to pull. Show me that this is what you want, on top of it that we constantly ask for communication. They're communicating. How they are communicating, I'll leave that up to everyone else to judge. And the fact that they worked it out together and then we keep it moving, I'm so here for that because if you hold it in, what happens then?"

Hield scored five points in the first quarter, none in the second quarter and six in the third quarter. But then he caught fire in the fourth quarter, dropping in 18 points on 4-of-4 from 3-point range.


Two days after celebrating his 29th birthday, Hield finished with a game-high 29 points in 39 minutes to power the Kings to the much-needed victory, and Christie was in awe of the sharpshooter.

"Man, Buddy was big," Christie said. "That's truly what I expect. Buddy shoots the ball at such an incredible level. I get to see him every day shoot the basketball and I put him in the highest regard of all-time shooters. He can truly shoot it like wild. So every time he shoots it, for me, it seems like it's going in and tonight they did. I was super happy for him. I know he would have liked that to be more on his birthday, but he gave everyone else a birthday present today, so that's a good thing."

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Harkless played 32 minutes off the bench and finished with four points, three steals, two rebounds and was a plus-15 on the night.

If Hield was bothered by the incident with Harkless, he didn't let it affect his performance. With De'Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Terence Davis and others in the health and safety protocol, the Kings need players to step up, and Hield did just that against the Spurs.