Marco Belinelli and the Sacramento Kings agreed to a reported three-year, $19 million deal earlier this month. The 6'5'' shooting guard/small forward, who spent the last two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs arrived in Sacramento on Sunday.
After stepping off the plane at Sacramento International Airport, Belinelli said he's excited to join the Kings. He's going to wear the No. 3 again this season because he won a championship and the three-point contest with that number while he was a member of the Spurs - he hopes it will be good for him here too. He's also not concerned about the off-court drama that has been in the news lately about the Kings and said that it didn't play a factor in his decision to sign with Sacramento.
Along with the other players the Kings landed in free agency (Rajon Rondo, Kosta Koufos and Caron Butler), Belinelli is expected to officially sign his contract early this week. He is traveling to Las Vegas on Monday where the Kings are currently participating in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Belinelli, who averaged 9.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists last season in 22 minutes per game, took a few minutes to speak to Sactown Royalty.
What do you think about coming to the Kings?
I'm really happy to be here. A couple of new guys on the team. I spoke with Vlade Divac, I spoke with Coach Karl, you know, so just a new city, new challenge, a new motivation for me to be here and just try to do my best like always.
When did you hear from the Kings and what did Vlade say to you about what he wants from you here?
They spoke to my agent and then my agent called me, and when I decided to sign with Sacramento I spoke with them and he was really happy, both Vlade Divac and coach Karl. Both was really happy to have me on the team ... for my game, for what I can bring to the team so I can't wait to play for this team.
What do you think about how the roster is built right now? They have DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Darren Collison, Rajon Rondo. How do you see yourself fitting into the roster?
I don't know yet. I'm sure I can speak about that with coach, but I'm ready to do everything, just try to do my best on the team. If I'm going to be in the starting five or I'm going come off the bench I don't really care, I just try to do the best like always, try to be a better player.
You're a guy who can play multiple positions, shooting guard, small forward - which role do you feel most comfortable in?
I can shoot the ball, I can play pick and roll, have the ball in my hand. I just try to do myself and I think with this system, with this coach and with these teammates, I think it's going to be fun to watch us.
You shot 48 percent from the field a couple of seasons ago, that dipped a little bit last season. You had some injury issues, do you think that played into that?
Last season was a little bit tough on me. I didn't play for a couple weeks because of my groin, first for the right and then the left so I didn't play a lot of games, but at the same time I just tried to improve my game.
Do you see yourself as you are who are you at this point or do you think you can still add to what you have done up until this point?
I'm 29 years old so there is always time to be a better player. I'm always do that. Every day I try to work hard and be a better player.
What did you take from being under coach Popovich, what did you learn from that?
Pop is a great guy; great coach. It's not only like just basketball, but you can speak with him about everything.
What about coming in and playing for coach Karl, what do you think about him as a coach?
He's a great coach like everybody know, so we'll see.
Have heard from DeMarcus or any of those guys yet?
DeMarcus, I think he put something on social network about me and Rajon Rondo coming to Sacramento, so that's a good thing and happy to be here.
What can the fans expect out of you?
I know that Sacramento fans are really good. I know every time that they play here in Sacramento they are really close to the team and I think it is going to be fun. So, happy to be here, happy to be in Sacramento and I hope that it's going to be a great season for us and for the fans.