SACRAMENTO KINGS

Sacramento Kings Training Camp Report: Days 1 & 2

Sep 28, 2022, 2:33 PM | Updated: 2:53 pm
(Sactown Sports 1140)...
(Sactown Sports 1140)
(Sactown Sports 1140)

As we move within one week of the Sacramento Kings’ preseason opener against the Los Angeles Lakers, training camp is underway at Golden 1 Center’s practice facility.

In the media check-in room, constant whistles and yelling could be heard down the hall from the gym amidst the sounds of players’ squeaking sneakers and bouncing basketballs. When the media walked into the gym on Monday, the entire Kings team was taking part in a simple–but also, daunting–drill:

Take two free throws. If you miss one, the entire team has to run full-court sprints.

Nobody could seem to sink both free throws after running sprints for the better part of 15 minutes. Kevin Huerter got two shots to fall, but the next player in line short-rimmed his attempt.

Time to run again.

Terence Davis sank both shots. Next player: too strong, back iron. Sprints.

This pattern continued until center Alex Len stepped up and to the line, and head coach Mike Brown cut a deal with the rest of the team:

“If Alex misses one, you all are going to run three sets of down-and-backs. If he makes both, all coaches have to run instead.”

With the rest of his winded teammates cheering him on, Len ended practice with two successful shots from the foul line as assistant coaches Bobby Jackson, Jordi Fernández, and the rest of the staff took off into a sprint down to the other end of the floor.

 

As reporters entered practice on Tuesday, De’Aaron Fox happily yelled out to the media, “Ya’ll missed it today. We didn’t have to do any sprints!”

While it has only been two practices, the morale appears to be high around the Kings’ practice facility. Multiple players have applauded Brown’s coaching style and praised the way that he has conducted camp thus far. New Kings guard Malik Monk was a player that noted the intensity of each session when speaking to the media on Tuesday.

When asked about what is different about this training camp compared to his previous experience with Charlotte and Los Angeles, Monk had a simple answer: “Intensity.”

“Practice is fun to me,” Brown said following Tuesday’s practice. “It’s fun because I enjoy seeing the group as a whole progress together. When you start seeing them do more things right than not, that gets me excited.”

It’s been two days, but Sacramento is on the right path with the defensive-minded Brown at the forefront of this team’s preparation. There’s still plenty of work that needs to be done to turn this franchise into a postseason contender, but the chemistry and hard work during these two practices have been encouraging to witness.

The morale is high. Chemistry is being built. Drama–knock on wood–isn’t a factor during camp like it has been for recent Kings teams.

Players are having fun, the new coaching staff is hard at work in turning this talented roster into a winner, and one can only hope that this is the first of many positive developments for the 2022-23 Sacramento Kings.

Barry’s In The House

San Francisco Giants legendary slugger Barry Bonds stopped by Sacramento’s practice facility with team owner Vivek Ranadive on Tuesday afternoon.

The Kings recently reached a deal with the Giants’ AAA affiliate the Sacramento River Cats that merged both franchises underneath Ranadive’s ownership umbrella. Bonds was in attendance at Sutter Health Park on Tuesday for the River Cats’ final game of the season.

After Bonds threw out the first pitch, the home run champion traveled down the street with Ranadive to meet with the entire Kings team following its second day of training camp.

Bonds spoke to the entire team, giving words of encouragement before taking a group picture with the players, coaches, and Ranadive. According to Kings head coach Mike Brown, Bonds told the team that he will be around and “paying close attention” to what they accomplish this season.

Three-gan Murray

If Keegan Murray’s impressive college resume and Summer League showing weren’t enough to prove that he’s a legit perimeter threat, the rookie’s showcase from beyond the arc during camp can only add to his case.

Following Tuesday’s practice, the 22-year-old was getting work in after most of the team had retreated to the locker room. Murray was seen drilling triple after triple for nearly 20 minutes before finally coming over to speak to the media.

When asked about the post-practice shooting exercise, Murray stated that he aims to convert at least 75% of his 150 three-point attempts. In this case, the rookie shared that he made 117 three-pointers, good enough for a 78% average.

Murray, a 37 percent shooter from beyond the arc during his time in college with Iowa, secured Summer League MVP honors in July after averaging 23.3 points per game on a red-hot 40 percent rate from deep.

Head coach Mike Brown has kept Murray’s rotation status close to the vest when asked if the fourth-overall pick will be in the starting lineup come opening night, but it’s fair to assume that the rookie will get plenty of opportunities this season, whether it comes in the form of being a starter or sixth man.

“He’s going to be a huge contributor for this team,” Kings forward Harrison Barnes said of Murray during Media Day on Monday.

All Hands On Deck

Each of Sacramento’s 20 players has fully participated in the team’s two practices this week, per Mike Brown. Coming into training camp with a fully-healthy roster is a big win for this team as Monday’s preseason opener approaches.

  • De’Aaron Fox, who suffered a right hand injury at the end of last season, appears to be fully recovered and has no limitations on the floor.
  • Domantas Sabonis suffered a scary knee sprain during the closing weeks of the season, but the 26-yea-old recovered quickly enough to participate in EuroBasket 2022 earlier this month. The two-time All-Star told the media this week that he is feeling healthy and ready for the season.
  • Keegan Murray says that he is “close to 100%” following an offseason wrist surgery that took place following Summer League. The fourth-overall pick is expected to be active for Monday’s preseason opener.
  • After missing the final 32 games of the regular season due to a fractured wrist, Terence Davis is recovered and looking to battle for rotation minutes.

Upcoming Dates

Monday, October 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7:30 PM PST (Preseason opener)

Sunday, October 9th – Sacramento Kings vs Portland Trail Blazers – 7:00 PM PST

Wednesday, October 12th – Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST

Friday, October 14th – Sacramento Kings vs Los Angeles Lakers – 7:00 PM PST (Preseason finale)

Monday, October 17th – NBA rosters must be set for the regular season


Wednesday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs Portland Trail Blazers – 7:00 PM PST (Season opener)

 

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