NBA Playoffs

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Practice? Are we talking about practice?

The Sacramento Kings left behind their shutdown practice facility on Wednesday morning. They headed out on a non-stop flight to the Orlando bubble where they’ll spend the next five weeks at a minimum.

They’ll head straight to their assigned rooms in The Yacht Club resort on the Disney World campus where they’ll initially be quarantined before jumping onto the practice court.

On Wednesday morning, the NBA released the practice schedule for the first few days of the bubble. The Kings will have their first practice session Friday evening at the Coronado Fiesta from 2-5 p.m. PT.

That's the first time the Kings are allowed to meet as an entire group. They are cleared to practice, hit the weight training and begin team meetings. Individual workouts are also available during this time.

[RELATED: How Kings are handling leaving family behind for Orlando]

Sacramento returns to the practice court on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. PT on Coronado 2. It’s a quick 11-day build-up before the team has its first scrimmage on July 22 against the Miami Heat.

Barring a major setback, the Kings won’t have long before they are playing real games. They open their schedule on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs and they’ll play at least every other day until the conclusion of their eight-game schedule on August 13.

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

The NBA restart has the potential to mean more than just eight games, a potential play-in series and then a standard playoffs. The NBA is trying to lead the way in professional sports by creating a potentially repeatable concept.

The league is also allowing players to continue to be a part of the national conversation regarding racial inequality in America. Courts will be adorned with “Black Lives Matter” graphics. The league will hold symposiums and use their platform to promote change.

In addition, players will be allowed to wear jerseys with a message on the back. On Tuesday, we learned that Sacramento Kings small forward Kent Bazemore has already chosen what his uniform will say when he walks out on the court.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, Bazemore will join the Portland Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum with the message “Education Reform.”

According to multiple reports, the NBA has a group of sayings that players can choose from, including “Vote”, “Equality” and “Enough.” There are likely more options than what we have seen to date.

Bazemore’s teammate Harrison Barnes addressed the potential for wearing a message on his jersey during the Kings’ Zoom call with the media.

“I’m waiting on requirements -- do we get eight different ones? Do we get one? How many words? What’s the censorship?” Barnes said. “I’m definitely going to do something, I’m just waiting on the additional guidelines and what we can do.”

Barnes is one of many of the Kings players to find their voice during the last few months following the shooting death of George Floyd. There appears to be a national awakening and there is positive movement towards actual change.

[RELATED: Bazemore could envision staying for 'next couple of years']

“I think we’re at a unique time, just as a society, where so many different discussions are happening at once and change, it seems closer now than it’s ever been, although there is still a wide gap,” Barnes added.

Expect plenty of the Kings players to be involved in the discussions regarding social change in Orlando. The team itself has taken a huge role in the conversation and they support their players in the venture as well.

NBA opt-out tracker: Every player who declined to return for playoffs

NBA opt-out tracker: Every player who declined to return for playoffs

The NBA season will resume at the end of the month, with the Kings and 21 other teams each playing eight seeding games at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida in order to determine the 16-team playoff bracket.

Not every player will be there.

Some are concerned about injuries, some are concerned about leaving their families and some are concerned about playing in a state that quickly has become one of the world's worst hotspots for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

[RELATED: Bagley ready to play if Kings can fit him in rotation]

Teams reportedly had to submit their travel parties on July 1, but news continues to trickle about what all 22 look like. Here's every player who has opted out of the restarted NBA season so far.

Taurean Prince, SF

The Nets are running out of players.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday, citing sources, that Brooklyn forward Taurean Prince tested positive for the coronavirus and will not play in the NBA season restart.

Prince joins Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Wilson Chandler as Nets who won't be traveling to Orlando this week.

Brooklyn now has the ability to sign four replacement players if they choose to.

Spencer Dinwiddie, SG

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie announced he would not be traveling to Orlando with the Nets. Dinwiddie cited another positive coronavirus test and the symptoms of the virus as reason to stay home.

The Nets now will be without Dinwiddie, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan and Kevin Durant in Orlando.

Bradley Beal, SG

The Wizards push for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference took another hit when the team announced that star guard Bradley Beal would not make the trip to Orlando due to a shoulder injury.

Washington now will be without Beal, Davis Bertans and John Wall in Orlando.

Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers SG

Oladipo was not the first player who decided not to go to Orlando, but he's the biggest name as of this writing. The 28-year-old ruptured his quadriceps tendon earlier this season, and Oladipo told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on July 3 that he opted out in order to avoid getting injured again.

"A part of rehab is working your way back and getting yourself to [100 percent]," Oladipo explained, "so at the end of the day, going back and turning things up as quickly as we're about to do, and pretty much going to playoff formation and playoff games after eight games, I'm more susceptible to injury than anyone else is. So it's not about now. It's about longevity."

Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards PF

The Latvian sharpshooter became the first healthy player on a roster to opt out of playing in Orlando when he did so last month. Bertans, 27, averaged a career-high 15.4 points per game and is set to become an unrestricted free agent. With the Wizards likely only to make the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's eighth seed after winning a play-in series with the Brooklyn Nets, Bertans decided not to play.

"Davis is about to sign the biggest deal of his life, so he would be taking a big risk by playing," Arturs Kalnitis, Bertans' agent, told HoopsHype on June 22. "It wasn’t a tough decision, to be honest. If the Wizards were in the fifth or sixth seed (or maybe even the eighth seed), it would be completely different. Davis is a competitor. But in this situation, he decided to sit out.”

Trevor Ariza, Portland Trail Blazers SF

Ariza, who the Kings traded to the Trail Blazers ahead of this year's trade deadline, reportedly won't play in Orlando in order to spend time with his 12-year-old son. The 34-year-old is involved in a custody case with the boy's mother, and Ariza would've missed a court-ordered one-month visitation period with his son by playing.

Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Lakers SG

Bradley told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on June 23 that he wouldn't join the Lakers in Orlando because of the unlikelihood that his 6-year-old son Liam would be medically cleared to join him in the later rounds. The younger Bradley has previously struggled to recover from respiratory illnesses.

"As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family," the elder Bradley, who's married with three children, said. "And so, at a time like this, I can't imagine making any decision that might put my family's health and well-being at even the slightest risk."

The Lakers signed J.R. Smith to replace Bradley on their roster. The Kings are scheduled to play the Lakers on Aug. 13.

Willie Cauley-Stein, Dallas Mavericks C

Cauley-Stein and his partner are expecting a child in July, and the former Kings and Warriors big man reportedly decided to opt out as a result.

The Kings are scheduled to play the Mavericks on Aug. 4.

Wilson Chandler, Brooklyn Nets SF

Chandler, 33, told ESPN on June 28 he would not play in Orlando in order to spend time with his grandmother and three children.

"As difficult as it will be to not be with my teammates, the health and well-being of my family has to come first," Chandler said. "Thank you to the Nets organization for understanding and supporting me in this decision, and I will be watching and rooting for our team in Orlando."

Chandler is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Kings are scheduled to play the Nets on Aug. 7.

DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets C

Jordan tweeted on June 29 that he won't play in Orlando after testing positive for COVID-19 while still in Brooklyn.


Thabo Sefalosha, Houston Rockets SG

Wojnarowski reported July 1 that Sefalosha opted out of playing. The Rockets agreed to a deal with Luc Mbah a Moute to replace Sefalosha on the roster, according to multiple reports.

The Kings are scheduled to play the Rockets on Aug. 9.