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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Articles tagged: Sacramento Kings

Report: 1 major suitor is no longer pursuing Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons handling a basketball

The Philadelphia 76ers’ odds of trading Ben Simmons before the Feb. 10 deadline appear to be going from low to lower.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday that the Sacramento Kings, who were one of the teams most aggressive for Simmons, have now ended their pursuit of a deal with the Sixers and are looking elsewhere for trades.

Wojnarowski adds that the Kings believe that Philly’s asking price for the former All-Star Simmons is too steep and that no pathway exists to a deal.

Simmons is about to enter the sixth month of his holdout from the team, but all indications are that the Sixers’ asking price is getting higher not lower. The Kings had plenty of compelling assets to offer as well like Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley, and rookie Davion Mitchell. Sacramento appeared to be valuing De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton more highly, but both could have hypothetically been included in a Simmons deal too.

Granted, the Kings were just one team on the long list of Simmons suitors. But if a team like Sacramento, who needs a big upgrade and has the pieces to trade, does not think a deal for Simmons can get done, it does not really look promising for anyone else either.

Photo: Dec 27, 2019; Orlando, Florida, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) drives to the basket against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NBA told Kings to stop trolling Russell Westbrook with music

Russell Westbrook dribbles

The NBA continues to get softer by the day.

The Sacramento Kings trolled the heck out of Russell Westbrook on Wednesday night by playing a song called “Cold as Ice.”

The song had a special meaning towards Westbrook, who has been cold from the field and struggling with his shot. Westbrook fired back against the Kings by pointing out how well he played previously in his career, suggesting they’re being opportunistic.

Whatever the case, it doesn’t look like the Kings will be able to get away with the stunt any longer.

KXTV’s Sean Cunningham reported on Thursday that the NBA told the Kings to cut it out and that what they were doing couldn’t continue.

That’s sad.

In our original post on the subject, we wrote that if it were an opposing fan, Westbrook would have had the fan ejected. It looks like the same principle applies in this case.

We have seen players take issue with mascots; players get fans ejected; and now we have trolling music being cut out. What’s next, all fans will be required to be silent during competition like it’s tennis or golf?

H/T Barstool Sports

Photo: Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) in action during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

De’Aaron Fox could soon have new team?

De'Aaron Fox

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox is one of the few remaining top picks from the 2017 NBA Draft who is still with his original team. But even that could be changing in a matter of weeks.

Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Friday that Fox’s name is circulating around the league as a big-name player who could potentially be moved before the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

Fox actually addressed the topic of a possible trade after a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

“You definitely think about potentially being traded because we’re struggling,” said Fox, per Haynes. “If you do have a change of scenery, it changes everything. I’ve been here for five years. I’ve built a life here, a family here. But once I’m on the court, all that is out the window. You’re not thinking about anything else that can happen outside of your control.

“But I’ve been through some deadlines,” Fox added. “I’ve seen people get traded at the last second. You try not to think about it, but you know it’s a business and anything can happen. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Obviously, you see reports on Twitter. Am I worried about it? No. Can it happen? Yeah, it can definitely happen.”

The 24-year-old Fox is a fine player. While he has regressed from last year, he is still averaging 20.9 points and 5.1 assists per game with a fairly weak supporting cast around him, thus making Fox the focal point of defenses. But it is clear that the Kings, who are 17-27 and have never had a winning season during the Fox era, are not going anywhere with the dynamic guard as their top option. Fox’s situation almost seems similar to that of DeMarcus Cousins, a homegrown Kings star who was among the best in the NBA at his position at one point but was still eventually traded after Sacramento consistently went nowhere with him.

Fox is in the first year of a five-year, $163 million contract, which makes him a bit hard to trade. But Fox is young and talented enough where the contract is far from an albatross. While the Kings have other potential trade targets on their roster as well, trading Fox would be by far the biggest earthquake that they could create at this year’s trade deadline.

Photo: Feb 8, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) warms up before a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook fires back after getting trolled during Kings game

Russell Westbrook warming up

Russell Westbrook is hitting back with a counterpunch after getting trolled during Wednesday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings.

The Los Angeles guard had another brutal game against Sacramento, going 2-for-14 from the field for eight points. Westbrook also missed all five of his three-point attempts, including a couple of momentum-killing misses late.

To make matters worse, the music operator for the Kings trolled Westbrook throughout the contest by playing a fitting dig at his terrible shooting. After the game, Westbrook responded to that shade from Kings game operations.

“I hope they played that the last 14 years too,” said Westbrook, per Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation. “It’s funny they play it now. That’s cute.”

Westbrook is in his 14th year in the NBA, so he appears to be saying that he had been torching the Kings for a long time before his struggles this season.

Nonetheless, Westbrook now has to face the music (no pun intended). It has been a disastrous first season for him in L.A., as Westbrook is down to 18.7 points a game on 43.7 percent from the field and 28.8 percent from 3 for the .500 Lakers. Even the team’s own fans are not happy with him, so a sound effect at an opposing arena is probably the least of his problems right now.

Photo: Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook prior to the preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Shaq makes big announcement about his Sacramento Kings ownership

Shaq sitting courtside

Shaquille O’Neal made a big announcement on Wednesday night regarding his ownership stake in the Sacramento Kings.

O’Neal has been a minority owner of the Kings since 2013. His partial ownership of the franchise was surprising at the time considering O’Neal had a big beef with the Kings since they were rivals of his Los Angeles Lakers during his playing career.

But O’Neal’s ownership of the Kings has ended.

The Hall of Famer announced that he has sold his ownership stake to comply with NBA rules.

In his statement, O’Neal said that he has a “new business endeavor” that required him to sell his interest in the team.

The league has strict rules about avoiding conflicts of interest. For example, Jay-Z once had to sell his ownership share of the Brooklyn Nets when he began working as a player agent.

The business venture O’Neal is participating in that required him to sell his Kings interest has to do with sports betting. Shaq is partnering with WynnBet, a gambling company that is trying to take advantage of the increasing legalization of sports betting throughout the US.

O’Neal likely saw significant returns on his investment in the Kings, which spanned around nine years. WynnBet must be paying him major money to convince him to sell his Kings stock. In our previous story on the subject, we shared more details about the size of O’Neal’s Kings investment.

Photo: Mar 10, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; NBA former player Shaquille O’Neal watches a game between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors in the third quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 105-99. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook trolled so hard by Kings music operator

Russell Westbrook dribbles

Russell Westbrook is feeling the hits from just about every angle these days.

Westbrook is in his 14th NBA season but first with the Los Angeles Lakers, who entered Wednesday just a game over .500. Westbrook has had several blunders while with the Lakers, including blowing some layups late in games. His scoring average is his lowest since his second year in the league.

The Lakers have reportedly even quietly shopped Westbrook in trade talks, though he remains with the team.

On Wednesday, Westbrook found himself the target of some mocking from an opponent.

The Lakers were in Sacramento to face the Kings. Lakers reporter Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported that the Kings’ in-game operations department played the song “You’re as cold as ice” when Westbrook was introduced before the game.

Buha says they played the song again after Westbrook missed the layup.

That is harsh.

If it were opposing fans saying that from courtside seats, Westbrook would probably try to get them ejected. But since they’re the game operations department, he just has to endure it. It’s a cold world out there.

Photo: Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) in action during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bad call in Lakers-Kings game led to ridiculous result for bettors

Alvin Gentry talks to an official

It was not quite the 2002 Western Conference Finals, but the officials certainly made a difference during the Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings game on Tuesday.

The Kings were on the receiving end of a very bad call in the fourth quarter. Down five points in the closing seconds, Kings guard De’Aaron Fox got an opportunity for a rebound off a missed free throw by the Lakers but did not pick up the ball in an effort to save time. The clock incorrectly started back up though, and Fox pointed out the mistake to the referees. Upon huddling up, the referees, instead of awarding possession to Sacramento, decided to do a jump ball. Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry was furious (video here).

Perhaps even more furious were certain sports bettors. The Lakers were -6.5 favorites in the contest. It was close throughout, and the Lakers were even trailing for much of it. However, the jump ball, which the Lakers went on to win, allowed them to further pad their lead through free throws. The final score ended up being 122-114, a ridiculous backdoor cover for the Lakers and pure pain for Kings +6.5 bettors.

Had the referees awarded possession to the Kings, they would have had a chance to score a basket and prevent the Lakers from covering. Even if they missed, there may have been so little time left that the Kings may no longer have fouled and the Lakers would have won by five. Instead, Kings +6.5 bettors ended up with the worst NBA beat that we have seen since this one.

Video: Kings players had heated moment on bench during loss to Dallas

Moe Harkless in his Kings uniform

The Sacramento Kings are looking more and more like a disaster film with each passing day.

The Kings got blown out Friday by the Dallas Mavericks for their eighth loss in their last 12 games. Fan video from the stands late in the fourth quarter showed Kings forward Moe Harkless exchanging words with a teammate before storming off to the locker room while the game was still going on.

Sean Cunningham of ABC10 in Sacramento reported that it was Kings center Chimezie Metu whom Harkless was upset at. Here is the video.

Metu is the player hunched forward on the right side of the bench with a purple towel on his neck.

It has been another frustrating season for the Kings, who fell to 15-22 with the loss. Head coach Luke Walton was fired in November, and Sacramento’s interim coach sounded hilariously defeated after Friday’s game. The team’s players do not appear to be having a much better time either.

Photo: Oct 27, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Maurice Harkless (8) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kings’ interim coach has incredible quote after bad loss

The Sacramento Kings lost a very frustrating game Friday to the short-handed Dallas Mavericks, and the outcome left interim coach Alvin Gentry absolutely fed up.

The Mavericks beat the Kings 112-96 despite not having Luka Doncic and several other players. Dallas pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Sacramento by 12 points.

Gentry could not contain his frustration after the game. He openly asked for suggestions for what to do with the struggling team, and concluded his remarks with an all-time great quote.

Sacramento had actually won two in a row coming into Friday’s game, but that does little to mask the fact that they have lost eight of their last 12. Gentry’s installation as interim coach had provided a bit of a boost, but it looks to have worn off.

The Sacramento job remains as frustrating as anything in basketball. One has to wonder if Gentry has the same conclusion that one of his predecessors came to.

Luke Walton fired as Kings head coach

Luke Walton

Luke Walton was known to be on the hot seat amid the Sacramento Kings’ poor stretch of play, and the head coach has now lost his job.

The Kings informed Walton on Sunday that he has been fired, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Associate head coach Alvin Gentry is one possible candidate to serve as interim head coach.

Sacramento has slid to 12th in the Western Conference after losing seven of eight games. There was some talk of Walton being on the hot seat last year, but his popularity in the locker room and relationship with general manager Monty McNair saved his job. It was not a secret that Walton would not be given the same leeway this season.

Walton finishes with a record of 68-93 in two-plus seasons as Sacramento’s coach. The team did not reach the postseason under him. Some believed a Kings player ripped Walton recently with his fiery comments, but that was not the case. Nevertheless, the coach is out.

Photo: Mar 5, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton reacts to a call during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports