The Sacramento Kings participated in the annual NBA Media Day event on Monday. Kings players circled in and out of photo and video booths for promotional purposes and stopped in between to chat with media members.
A variety of topics were discussed, from Harry Giles' health, to how Vince Carter, Zach Randolph and George Hill will mentor the young players, to how Bogdan Bogdanovic plans to transition into the NBA.
Most of the players were also asked about the recent silent protests during the National Anthem in the NFL. Some of the Kings players chose to respond, while others chose to stay out of it. Collectively, the players haven’t decided yet if or how they would protest as a team.
Below are some notable items from Media Day.
- After not playing in the NBA Summer League, Harry Giles said his body is feeling great and that he is ready and has been cleared to play.
- George Hill on De'Aaron Fox: "I always thought he was one of the top players in the Draft – I said that even when he was in college. I like his demeanor, I like what he brings to the table, so it's going to be fun to play with him and alongside him … Just patience. It's something that he is going to have to understand. It's a different style of play, it's not college basketball anymore, it's the NBA. Guys are closing out a lot faster; recovering a lot faster; the plays going a lot faster; people are stronger, faster, smarter, you're not just the fastest guy now, or the most athletic. Everyone is just as fast, just as athletic. Just learning the small things about the game. Details are what's going to be important."
- Justin Jackson on what he learned he needs to work on after Summer League: "Being stronger whether it’s defensively fighting over screens or offensively, coming off of a cut without getting pushed off your path. And then just little things; ball handling, making different types of reads. The NBA game is a lot different than the college game. Learning and watching film a lot more will be a lot more helpful in this league."
- Justin Jackson on Kings fans: "It was hard going out in North Carolina, going out to eat or whatever, because people just bombard you. I like Kings fans because they are a little more subtle about it, it makes it a little bit easier to kind of be a little normal ... they've been awesome."
- Garrett Temple on the National Anthem protests: "I'm very proud of the statement our owner Vivek [Ranadive] put out yesterday, which was very strong and it shows what type of league we are. You had a guy like Mahmoud Abdul Rauf that 20 years ago, went through this, but I think we have changed since then as a league and we're definitely growing. I think we're a little bit different than the NFL in that aspect, but hopefully the unity that they showed yesterday as a league, the NFL, hopefully that will push them toward being more progressive as well."
- Dave Joerger had some high praise for Justin Jackson: "Justin is a really solid player. I think he's the kind of guy that can play with older guys because he complements whoever he plays with, whether it be a young talented group or an older talented group ... he knows how to play, he knows how to get out of the way, knows when to try to go try to make a play. I think he comes from a system, and so I don't have any problem with being able to play him with a younger group or an older group. I'm excited to coach him." When asked if he considers Jackson a rotation player, Joerger said, "I think he fits right in, right away as a rotation player."
- Joerger on juggling all of the players he has at the two and three spots with the possibility of playing Vince Carter at power forward: "It's going to be difficult because if you move Vince [Carter] down and he plays at the four, there's not really anybody at the two spot that can play the three. We’ll play Malachi [Richardson] there, but then there's times throughout the course of a game, if I can and it matches up, then to slide a shooting guard to playing the small forward spot. There is less and less difference, if you are 6'6'', 6'7'' you can play the two or you can play the three, it doesn't make any difference."
- Zach Randolph got into Sacramento around a week ago and has been working out with the younger players. Randolph commented on the marijuana possession charges he faced after an incident this summer: "I felt that I was wrongfully arrested and things that was put out there wasn't true, but I don't want to be a distraction to my team, to my organization, so we're just going to move forward and focus on basketball."
- Randolph said he sees himself playing more than two more years: "I want to be able to produce though ... I want to still be able to come in and produce and I think I'll be able to do that." "The way I play. I take care of my body and the way I play, just skill and position, not a lot of high flying."
- De'Aaron Fox said Vince Carter has been telling him about all the screens he is going to see as a rookie: "Vince told me about veterans setting screens on rookies, especially at the point guard position, you're going to get hit with six, seven screens per possession ... Just try to get skinny, try to get around a screen, get up close to your man." Fox's locker is next to Garrett Temple's and Zach Randolph's.
- Fox said he felt comfortable in the Summer League. After tweaking his ankle, he stopped playing at the request of the coaches. He said he feels good now though and hasn't had any issues with it.
- Fox has been in Sacramento about six weeks and commented on how he likes the diversity: "I like the city so far ... Before I got here, I didn't know it was so diverse, it's exactly the way Houston was."
- Vince Carter on the young players: "They work hard man; these guys work hard. They put the work in and they ask a lot of questions. I'm very appreciative and thankful to see young guys like this who have no experience yet, put the work in and want to get better. So, they ask those questions and they don't come in entitled to anything."
- Bogdan Bogdanovic got into Sacramento on Saturday night. He talked about the transition to the NBA: "The speed of the game, for sure. The basketball, when you compare it with Europe, is a lot different, different rules especially, but it's still basketball - you need to score."
- Bogdonovic on Kings fans: "I'm really surprised they know so much about me, I'm really surprised how they follow. I know that they are one of the best fans in the NBA league. They love basketball ... I'm really happy to be here and part of the organization."