Taking the podium today for the Sacramento Kings’ Media Day, both head coach Luke Walton and Marvin Bagley III agreed on one thing: the addition of Doug Christie to the coaching staff this summer was a much-needed one.
Walton said that although turnover in his staff was “not ideal,” Christie’s impact is already starting to show.
“We love the coaches we added,” Walton said on Monday. “I think you guys all know Doug very well from working in the media here and playing in Sacramento. He’s been fantastic since joining the staff. He knows what it takes to win, he knows how to relate to players, it’s just getting him caught up to the coaching world.
“I can tell you this already: his work ethic is high-level and we’re thrilled to have Doug join our bench.”
We knew that the addition of Christie would go over well with the Sacramento fans and community at large. As an integral part of the last great frontier of Kings’ basketball, there’s no question that he wants success for the team just as much as the fans do. Earlier in the summer, Christie said that he had some “unfinished business” to attend to in Sactown.
And with that adoration from the Kingdom’s people has come an adoration from those inside it, as Bagley spoke highly of the brief time he’s spent on the court with Christie.
“Since I’ve been back in Sac, I’ve been with Doug and we’ve been talking about basketball a lot and we’ve been doing some amazing stuff,” Bagley said. “We’ve been here early in the morning before we play and before we lift, so the work has been put in and I’m just excited to show the world what I can do.”
Bagley continued that Christie has equipped him with new knowledge to develop his game, something Kings fans have so desperately been waiting for.
“He’s been showing me a lot of different things: on the court different drills, different small things I can learn to use with my body and small things that I can take with me and use to be a better player,” Bagley. “I’m excited, man. I’m excited to be working with Doug and be able to continue to get better and take my game to the next level.”
Maybe all Bagley needed was a whisperer? This is a pivotal year for the fourth-year forward, who’s performance has been underwhelming both on and off the court. If a connection is what Bagley needs to stay in shape mentally and physically AND the drama can fade, we’ll take it.
It will be interesting to see their dynamic come game-time, but in a roller coaster of an enigma that has followed Bagley since draft night, seeing positive interaction between him and the franchise is what I believe to be one last valiant effort to make the 2018 No. 2 overall pick the building block he was drafted to be.