The Sacramento Kings kicked off preseason at home Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs. The fans inside Golden 1 Center got their first look at the Kings rookies, highlighted by the fifth pick in this year’s NBA Draft, De’Aaaron Fox.
Fox finished the game with 16 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal and 1 block in 17 minutes. Frank Mason tallied a team-high 17 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 1 assist. Mason only had 1 turnover in 22 minutes and Fox had no turnovers. Fellow rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic logged 14 minutes and was Dave Joerger’s first player off the bench, scoring two points and grabbing three rebounds. Justin Jackson played 24 minutes scoring 1 point, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Still easing him, Joerger did not play Harry Giles.
After the 106-100 win over the Spurs, the leading scorers of the rookies, Fox and Mason, talked about their first NBA action.
"I had fun, that's what we went in thinking about, get the first-game jitters out of the way, but ultimately, I had fun and I felt like I played pretty well … I was extremely comfortable. At the end of the day, like I always say, I just get down to we're still playing basketball, it's at a different level, it’s against different competition, but you are still playing basketball and you just have fun. We've been practicing for so long, we know our plays, we know our sets, just get in and run them."
"When they [the veterans] started, we just watched it. Skal [Labissiere] kept telling us watch the flow of the game, see what's going on out there. As far as me, I never came off the bench before so it was something different, but he was right, I just watched how they played, watched what Garrett [Temple] and what George [Hill] are doing at the guard spots, and I just went in and tried to play my game."
"I know the fans wanted to see me play – I hope I didn't disappoint."
"I think it was a good experience, I still think we could have done a lot of things better, which we'll look at film and get better tomorrow, but I think overall everyone played pretty good … He [Joerger] wants us to get out and run, and the wings touch the baseline and cross and things like that. I think we could have done that a little better and we'll see that on film tomorrow and we'll get better at that.”
"I wasn't really nervous, I was just excited to get out there. Just to get my blood going and just to play my first NBA preseason game. I'm just happy it's over with now and I'm even more happy that we won the game."
"We kind of had some lineups that we didn't practice with and we just have to adjust to it, that's what the NBA is about. Coach did a lot of different things and I think we did a good job of adjusting to the positions he put us in."
To watch highlights from the game, click here.
The Kings will hold a day of video review on Tuesday as they prepare for the second preseason game on Friday in San Antonio against the Spurs.