Archive for the ‘Sacramento Kings’ Category

jermaine-oneal-cant-believe-anyone-picked-him

With the dust mostly settled on this offseason’s player movement — and there was a whole lot of it this year — it’s time to take stock of all the fascinating new faces in new places, as well as the more compelling stories of players who will face new challenges while sticking around. Over the course of the next few weeks, Andrew Unterberger will do a team-by-team look at the most interesting players going into next season — one new to the team, and one returning — as we all try to pass the dog days of NBA-less summer, dreaming of hoops-filled months to come. The series continues today with the teams in the Pacific Division: the Warriors, Lakers, Clippers, Suns and Kings.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

Most Interesting New Player: Jermaine O’Neal

JO might be kind of a tough sell for most interesting on a team that made a much more obvious big-budget acquisition this offseason, but I feel like I know what Andre Iguodala is going to give the Warriors this season — not an inconsiderable contribution, mind you, but I’d be surprised if he greatly deviated from my expectations in any way. O’Neal, however, could play more of a swing role on this team than people realize. He’ll go into the season with a decent shot at the Dubs’ backup center role, unless Festus Ezeli’s shoulder heals and he actually learns how to catch the ball or put it in the basket in the offseason, and he was sneaky good in that role last year for Phoenix, averaging 16 and 10 per 36 minutes (though he only played about half that on a nightly basis) and posting his best PER, by far, since he was on the pre-LeBron Heat.

More importantly, he might end up doing a whole lot more than playing backup if — and based on recent history, more like when — Andrew Bogut goes down with injury. Bogie’s missed double-digit games each of the last five seasons, and over half his games each of the last two, so it’s a relatively safe bet that there’ll be stretches where O’Neal, assuming he stays healthy himself (no easy assumption given he’s missed nearly as many games as Bogut over the last six years), gets pressed into far more than locker-room-leadership duty. Is it too late for Jermaine O’Neal to play a key-ish role on a championship contender? Or will GSW be forced to say “to hell with rim protection,” stick David Lee at center and go bombs away with the rest of their lineup? Maybe the latter is the likelier bet, but I haven’t given up on JO just yet.

Most Interesting Returning Player: Harrison Barnes

Barnesy recently ranked at No. 40 on SB Nation’s projected list of the Top 40 NBA Players of 2017, higher than both young studs like Larry Sanders and Damian Lillard and current superstars like Dwyane Wade and Tony Parker, basically entirely off the strength of his playoff run, in which he averaged 16 and six with decent shooting numbers and a number of big buckets. But it’s worth remembering that in the regular season last year, Barnes was basically a no-show, averaging less than 10 a game and posting a PER that barely cracked double digits, and that next season, he might not even be starting, with the acquisition of Andre Iguodala and the continued presence of David Lee (and the big contracts of both) possibly blocking him in the first five.

To get to be a Top 40 player four years from now, Barnes is gonna have to build on his playoff success — and as much as that run seemed like a breakout for Barnes, he still basically averaged his same shooting percentages from the regular season, with a fairly mediocre 13.8 PER — and prove that his 3-and-D skills are too integral to the Warriors’ run-and-gun attack for him not to get big minutes. And if not, expect for Barnes’ name to replace Eric Bledsoe’s as the go-to Intriguing Trade Chip in every blockbuster mega-deal rumor you hear from now until the end of his rookie deal.

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ray-mccallum-mathematicsized

This is one of those things that happens by accident. I was just looking at NBA draft pictures, when I stumbled across Kings’ second round draft choice Ray McCallum looking like no body art Matt Barnes, himself a former second round pick who later played for the Kings. At first I thought I was crazy, but then I put Barnes’ tattoos, mustache and goatee on McCallum and then whoa.

ray-mccallum-matt-barnes-arms

And it works the other way too.

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Barnes’ eyes are a little squintier and he’s got fancier hair, but other than that, if you were to set Matt Barnes to default appearance mode and subtract about a foot of height, you’d pretty much just have Ray McCallum. The more you know.

There is no better way to end a season that was filled with clips of fans hitting halfcourt shots to win prizes such as cars, money and tater tots than to follow it up with FIVE fans hitting halfcourt shots to win season tickets to see the Sacramento Kings play next year. That is pure silliness.

When did NBA fans become so good at halfcourt shots? Is it all accidental, or did the improvement come about because everyone knows they could theoretically be chosen to shoot at halftime and could theoretically win a prize, which leads every NBA fan to practice at a local high school gym? I can see it going both ways, but I really hope it’s the practice option.

(via Beyond the Buzzer)

Personally, I think the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission should have hired someone to dress up like Vlade Divac (or Vlade Divac to dress up as a famous person) and had them mill about Times Square extolling the virtues of the Kings staying in Sacramento, but I guess this works too. From the Sacramento Bee:

A 30-second message about the Kings will air on the giant video board above Times Square starting today, one day before NBA team owners begin deliberating a mile away on whether the team should stay here or move to Seattle.

The video will be shown every five minutes for 72 hours; it will include testimonials from Kings fans, business leaders and others. Officials estimate it will be seen by 4.8 million people.

The total cost of the project, including buying space on the screen, is around $10,000, said Mike Testa of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau. The bureau produced the video with the Sacramento Sports Commission.

The hotel community is paying the cost, he said.

To be honest, $10,000 for three days of a commercial in front of nearly five million people is a steal. It’s unfortunate for Kings fans that most of those people aren’t going to be able to vote in the Board of Governors meeting which will ultimately decide the fate of the franchise, but you can’t look a good deal horse in the mouth, or whatever that saying is.

And at the very least, it’s worth a shot. It’s not like getting a pro-Kings ad in a huge public place is going to hurt, even if most everyone ignores it. Let’s just be thankful they didn’t go the hand fliers route — no one wants those.

(via BDL)

I don’t know about you guys, but I really like the opening scene of “Pay It Forward 2: Attack of the Clones.” Really sets the scene for a young Haley Joel Osment to start paying some more things forward. This is going to kill on Rotten Tomatoes.

Some people were put on this Earth to dance on an arena camera. Apparently all of them showed up to Sleep Train Arena last night. So watch this video and learn some new moves. I know which ones I’ll be stealing — all of them.

I kind of hope DeMarcus Cousins bookmarks this video on his smartphone, then carries that phone with him during every NBA game so that he can pull it out and play the video whenever he feels wronged. Mostly because I don’t think you can get a technical for playing a YouTube video, but also because it’ll save him some breath when he starts complaining. Just something to consider.