The Sacramento Kings raised the curtain on the 2019-2020 season with their Media Day on Friday afternoon.
It kicked off with a Luke Walton press conference, which was followed up with hours of interviews, photo ops, and media scrums with every player on the roster.
Media Day is generally meant to be an optimistic, light-hearted affair where the team gets to face the world as an undefeated (by default) group. But we sifted through the quotes to try and find some meaningful indicators for the upcoming year.
More threes pointers are coming
Head coach Luke Walton spoke about three point volume early, and his players echoed it often.
“We’re going to have goals to shoot a certain amount of threes every game,” Walton said.
He elaborated that the players don’t know the specific numbers yet, but there will be marks the team is expected to hit each night.
Marvin Bagley III spoke about his perimeter game as one of the primary focuses of his summer.
“Whatever the defense gives me, I’m going to take it,” said Bagley. “I got a lot of reps up this summer. You’ll probably see a lot more threes this year,”
Harry Giles is also expecting to get more looks from deep going forward than he did last season.
“I could always shoot, I just didn’t really take them — or you could say I wasn’t allowed to take them,” Giles said. “But the shot is there and I feel like I’m confident enough to make it and I’m going to take it.”
Even sharpshooter Buddy Hield thinks he could see an increase from downtown.
“You already know how I feel about that. It’s no question,” Hield said, laughing. “I’ll shoot as much as they want me to.”
The Kings don’t want to judge success solely on a playoff berth
Despite their massive step forward last season, Sacramento seems hesitant to count themselves in as a playoff team in the deep Western Conference.
When asked whether ending the 14-year-long postseason drought in Sacramento should be the only measuring stick for success, Coach Walton responded firmly in the negative.
“I don’t ever look at it like that,” said Walton. “There’s things that are more important to our foundation.”
Bogdan Bogdanovic spoke about the current climate of competition in the Western Conference.
“Except for [the Oklahoma City Thunder] everybody got better,” said Bogdanovic. “It will be a tough year for everybody, but I think we are focused mainly on our team — on our situation.”
“It’s been stacked for years,” star point guard De’Aaron Fox said of the Western Conference.
Despite that fact, the rest of Fox’s presser made it clear that his goal is to bring Sacramento to the postseason.
“The goal is to make the playoffs,” Marvin Bagley echoed. “But if we don’t make the playoffs, (we’ll) continue. That is going to be the goal for the next year.”
Harry Giles is ready to ball, baby
Brace yourselves, Sacramento. Harry Giles is ready to be his best self.
Aside from the three point shot, Harry told Kings fans that they have a lot to look forward to this season.
“It’s exciting, I’m going to unlock a lot more parts [of my game] that I didn’t get to show yet,” said Giles.
When asked what specifically was coming, Giles told us to wait and see.
“I’ll show you. I don’t like to talk about it.”
Giles did reveal that his main focus over the summer was on his strength.
“I lifted almost every day this summer,” said Giles. “I just wanted to add some more size and some more strength. Especially with the position I play, it just helps the game become easier for me.”
Perhaps the biggest take away from the afternoon came when Harry Giles was asked if he is still in the rehabilitation process from his lower body injuries.
“No,” Giles said, clearly and definitively.
“I’m ready to ball, baby.”