Sacramento Kings report: Kings hire McNair from Houston as Head of basketball Operations

Sacramento Kings logo on player’s trunks and the team’s new basketball home for the Kings most recent hire of Head of Basketball Operations Monte McNair (CBS TV file photo)

By Charlie O

SACRAMENTO–After the Sacramento Kings had fired long time general manager Vlade Divac and assistant general manager Peja Stojakovic who resigned after Divac’s firing. The search is over as the Kings hired Monte McNair who was an assistant general manager for the Houston Rockets and now joins the Kings as head of basketball operations.

McNair was in the running for the Kings job with Minnesota Timberwolves executive vice president of operations Sachin Gupta and former Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilco. What made McNair the pick was the assembly of players that McNair had in Houston, how he drafted and how the Rockets were a consistent success in reaching the post season.

McNair and the Rockets have developed the three point success in their high caliber weight of high percentage in the three point shot which was the Rockets bread and butter that help not only drive the Rockets to win during the regular season but also launched them to be a consistent presence in the NBA playoffs.

McNair had a roster full of players who may not have got to the NBA Finals per say but were talented enough to push the team to go get in two or three rounds of the playoffs almost yearly. McNair joined the Rockets as senior analyst in 2007 and was hired by the Rockets general manager Daryl Morey who is still with the Rockets.

After six years as the Rockets senior analyst in 2013 McNair was promoted to Director of Basketball Operations. In 2015 McNair was promoted to vice president of basketball operations, and in 2018 McNair was promoted to assistant general manger of the Rockets before departing on Wednesday to join the Kings as their head of Basketball Operations.

Charlie O covers Sacramento Kings basketball and is a contributor to http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sacramento Kings podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: How Dumars will do as Kings new general manager

Sacramento Kings general manager Joe Dumars replaces outgoing GM Vlade Divac the 2020-21 season will be Dumars first year as the Kings GM (AP file photo)

On Headlines Sports podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 Former Detroit Piston Joe Dumars is back in an elevated role this time as the Sacramento Kings new interim general manager as Dumars will be replacing Vlade Divac at the helm. Do you see the change made because Divac just couldn’t get the team to pull the trigger and get into the playoffs for instance like what happened this month going 3-5?

#2 Dumars was a special assistant to Divac last season and worked in the Pistons front office from 2000-2014 does his experience give him the knowledge to do something that Divac struggled with and get the Kings to the post season?

#3 Was this a matter of the Kings looking at Divac and saying Divac had assembled these teams since the Vivek Ranadive ownership and despite five coaching changes the Kings just couldn’t sniff post season?

#4 Ranadive said after making the change on Friday, “Joe has become a trusted and valued advisor since joining the team last year, and I am grateful to have him take on this role at an important time for the franchise.”

#5 After losing five of six games and going 3-5 after the regular season re-start did that influence Ranadive to make the change in general managers?

Jeremiah Salmonson podcasts the NBA and the Sacramento Kings Saturdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings Take A Feel Good Win Home To Sacramento; Defeat Lakers 136-122

Sacramento Kings’ DaQuan Jeffries, left, defends against Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
By Barbara Mason
 
It’s finally come to an end for the Sacramento Kings.  It came in a Thursday morning basketball game to complete the NBA regular season.  It will be on to the playoffs for one and back home to Sacramento for the other.  The Lakers have wrapped up the number one seed in the West.  We will not be seeing De’Aaron Fox who missed Sacramento’s last game and there will most likely be limited time for LeBron James as well.  Regardless of what is or is not at stake, a win for the Kings would be a nice finish to their season.
 
The first quarter was a high scoring affair.  The Lakers led by ten points 40-30.  The Lakers called on their bench early with Howard, Cook, Smith and Waiters putting in some early minutes.  Their accumulative points were 16.  The Kings bench saw a lot of action as well with six players taking the floor.  Bodanovic had 12 points and Bjelica had 9 in that first quarter.
 
The second quarter saw much more aggressive play by the Kings and a few minutes into the second quarter the Kings trailed the Lakers by a single point.  In a little over 4 minutes Sacramento had scored almost 20 points and with 5:57 left in the half the score was tied at 50.  With four minutes left in the half  Markieff Morris entered the game for James.  The Kings led at the half 66-56 outscoring the Lakers 36-16 in the second quarter.  The Kings Buddy Hield came off the bench for 15 minutes in the first half and scored 17 points.  The Kings bench scored 34 points.  The starters played significant minutes and had 32 points.
 
The Kings continued to keep the Lakers in check outscoring them in the third quarter 41-28.  James played only 15 minutes in the game.  The Kings top scoring efforts came from Buddy Hield with 28 points and Bogdanovic with 27.  Harrison Barnes had a disappointing 3 points for the 25 minutes he was on the floor.  The final was 136-122 in favor of Sacramento. The Lakers did outscore the Kings in the fourth quarter 38-29 but it wasn’t enough to get past the Kings.
 
It was a tough run in Florida for the Sacramento Kings but this final game will make the flight home just a little easier.  There were some great performances in this game and it would have been nice to see that kind of basketball to start the season. (the shortened season that is) It also would have been nice to have Fox on the floor but the Kings are not the only team that is missing key personnel.   
 
So now the Kings and the entire league will enter the unknown as they look ahead to the 2020-2021 season.  Right now no one has a crystal ball that can predict what that is going to look like. We will just enjoy the playoffs and then cross the next bridge when we come to it.  

 


Kings Win!! After losing five of last six Sac back in win column defeat Pelicans 112-106

Sacramento Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica, right, handles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

he Sacramento Kings were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday afternoon. That did not stop the Kings from putting on a solid performance on Tuesday night picking up their second win since the re-start of the regular season 112-106 over the New Orleans Pelicans .

Speaking practically, the Kings game on Tuesday night was a meaningless contest. The Kings and their opponent the New Orleans Pelicans had already been eliminated from playoff contention. So, Tuesdays game was more or less an opportunity for second unit players to thrive.

Kings players did just that. The Kings outscored the Pelicans in the second and third quarters to carry themselves to a win in the NBA bubble. Harry Giles was a notable performance for the Kings on Tuesday night. Harry, who had played sporadically throughout the year put together a solid performance. Harry had 12 points to go with 11 rebounds. Harrison Barnes was able to score 25 points to go with eight rebounds to lead the Kings to their second win in the bubble. Jabari Parker also scored 12 points in 14 minutes of action.

The Kings have one final game before they head home for the delayed offseason. The Kings will take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday morning at 10:45 AM PST.

 

Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Kings playing out the string face Pelicans tonight

Houston Rockets’ Austin Rivers (25) passes over Sacramento Kings’ DaQuan Jeffries (19) and Harry Giles III (20) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

On Headline Sports with Barbara Mason:

#1 Barbara another tough loss for the Sacramento Kings on Sunday this time to the Houston Rockets and they couldn’t hold the lead past the first quarter of play.

#2 The first thing that Kings head coach Luke Walton has to think of when in front of the bench is how he has to shut down the Rockets James Harden not an easy task seeing the Kings came into ESPN World Wide of Sports Arena having lost four of their last five games.

#3 Harden after that weak first quarter lit it up and left that first quarter as just a memory driving to the basket and taking some outside shots that got him 32 points for the game.

#4 The Rockets Austin Rivers had 41 points leading the Rockets and when you get Rivers and Harden with the hot hands the Kings would virtually need their entire line up to contribute on offense to catch up.

#5 The Kings will face their only team they defeated since the re-start of the regular season and that’s Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on tonight can the Kings do it?

Barbara Mason does Headline Sports each Tuesday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings can’t hold lead past first quarter lose to Rockets 129-112

Houston Rockets’ James Harden (13) shoots over Sacramento Kings’ Buddy Hield (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

It was a bleak outlook coming into Sunday’s game against the Rockets. The Kings fate was no longer in their hands. With a Portland Trailblazers win the Kings would be officially eliminated from my playoff contention. That is just what happened on Sunday night. Midway through the game the Portland Trailblazers won their game and eliminated the Kings hope for a playoff spot.

The game itself was what seemed to be a typical Kings game these days. The Kings got off to a great start out scoring the Rockets 36-23 in the first quarter. The Kings did a good job taking advantage of the Rockets defensive weaknesses to build a lead. However, the game went downhill after that. The Kings were our scored 38-20 in the second to start a string of bad minutes for the Kings. The rest of the way the Kings weren’t able to do much offensively and lost the game 129-112

With the Kings officially eliminated they can turn their focus to next season and hope to give Kings fans something to cheer about.

Up next: The Kings take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night at 6 PM PST.

Sac Kings podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: Kings take fourth loss while Nets clinch for playoffs 119-106

Brooklyn Nets’ Jarrett Allen (31) and Caris LeVert (22) react after a play against the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla (AP photo)

On the Sacramento Kings podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 The loss to the Brooklyn Nets sets the Kings back to 1-4 since the restart with just three more games left in the regular season and pretty much puts the final touches on the Kings?

#2 Jeremiah it was pretty much a close game but that second quarter really sank the Kings chances when the Nets outscored the Kings 39-26 on Friday.

#3 The Kings Bogdan Bogdanovic 27 pts, DeAaron Fox 21 pts, and Buddy Hield 17 were the three top scorers for the Kings but it wasn’t enough.

#4 With three games left for the Kings with the Rockets, Pelicans, and Lakers do they have enough in the tank to do some damage or just expect them to go through the motions at this juncture.

#5 The Kings had that one win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night and handled them with authority 140-125 it’s their only win so far.

Jeremiah does the Kings podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings lose momentum fall to 1-4 in bubble 119-106

Brooklyn Nets’ Caris LeVert (22) looks to pass the ball as Sacramento Kings’ Alex Len, left, and Harrison Barnes defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings played a solid game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. They came out of the gate strong and didn’t really look back taking their first game in the bubble. It was a glimmer of hope for Kings fans who hope the Kings can get to the 9th spot for a chance to play in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Kings could not keep that momentum going.

The Kings played an unfortunately typical Kings game this year. The Kings have been notorious for giving up a big quarter. For this team it has mostly been in the first quarter of the game. On Friday afternoon, it was e second quarter. The Kings were leading after the first quarter 27-24. However, the tide would turn in the second. The Kings and their sloppy defense would be out scored 39-26. At that point, the Kings had mailed in the game.

The rest of the game the Kings would battle but not be able to make up the ground lost in the second quarter. The Kings would lose 119-106. A bright spot for the Kings was the continued good play Bogdan Bogdanovic. After a career high 35 points in Thursday, Bogdan scores 27 points on Friday.

The Kings fall to 1-4 in the bubble and playoff hopes are slim to none.

Up next: The Kings take on the Houston Rockets on Sunday afternoon.

Kings game wrap: Kings come out firing on all cylinders get first win in re-start 140-125

Sacramento Kings’ Bogdan Bogdanovic (8) drives against New Orleans Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday, back right, and JJ Redick (4) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings have had a forgettable experience in the bubble going 0-3 in their first three contests. That is until an early afternoon victory on Thursday against the New Orleans Pelicans 140-124.

The Kings came out of the gate red hot and didn’t look back. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings in a 48 point first quarter that put the Kings into an enviable position in the game. The Kings did allow the Pelicans to score 39 points in the first, but that did not stop the Kings.

In quarters two through four the Kings were able to maintain a healthy lead over the Pelicans. At times the Pelicans would shrink the lead, but the Kings would expand it to double digits again. The Kings scored 28 in the second, 40 in the third, and 23 in the fourth quarter to wrap up the double-digit victory.

The Kings received an incredible career-high performance from Bogdan Bogdanovic. Bogi scored 35 points with four rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes of action. It was Bogdan who scored 19 first-quarter points to lead the charge out of the gate. De’Aaron Fox, who is no stranger to great performances in the bubble, added 30 points for the Kings. I’m sure Luke Walton was happy with his starting backcourt combining for 65 points.

Up Next: The Kings prepare to take on the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at 2 PM PST.

Sacramento Kings game wrap: Kings fall to Dallas for their third straight defeat 114-110

The Sacramento Kings just couldn’t execute down the stretch losing to the Dallas Mavericks and Dorian Finney-Smith (10), Luka Doncic (77) and Tim Hardaway Jr (11) in overtime on Tuesday at Lake Buena Vista Florida (photo from the Dallas Morning News)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings experience in the NBA bubble has been a lot like the performance from Bogdan Bogdanovic on Tuesday. Bogdan finished the game 1-15 from the field and couldn’t buy a bucket. Similarly, the Kings have come up short in every game in the bubble not able to squeeze out a win in overtime against the Dallas Mavericks 114-110.

It was really a tale of two games on Tuesday afternoon against the Dallas Mavericks. The Kings, having dropped the first two games in the bubble came out with the energy we hadn’t seen in the prior games.

The Kings came out in the first quarter immediately taking the lead and not really looking back. The Kings held the lead from much of the game. The Kings had a ten point lead as late as two minutes into the final quarter. From there, the past came back to haunt the Kings. The Kings would lose the lead and the game would be tied at 95 with seven nine seconds remaining. De’Aaron Fox had a shot at the end of the game to win it for the Kings, but it wasn’t able to fall and we were headed to overtime.

In overtime, the Kings were never really able to muster anything and were playing the foul game. Buddy Hield was able to hit a couple of clutch three-balls but in the end, it wasn’t enough to overtake the Mavericks. Sloppy foul trouble and not getting to the line enough themselves was one of the major factors in the loss. The Kings were only able to make it to the line 12 times compared to the Mavs 50 trips.

The Kings received solid performances from Fox (28 points), Hield (21 points), and Bazemore (16 points). For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic had a very nice game. Doncic scored 34 points, 20 rebounds, and 12 assists to lead the Magic.

Up Next: The Kings have their backs against the wall. Having lost the first three games in the bubble they need to right the ship in a hurry to have any shot at making the playoffs. That won’t be an easy task as they take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday morning.