Kings

‘Inexperienced’ Kings Won’t Get Respect Until They Win

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Let the trash talking begin!

It’s the NBA battle of northern California.  The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors are about to begin the I-80 Series.

It is a one-hour, 25-minute, 86.3-mile drive on I-80 from the Golden One Center in Sacramento to the Chase Center in San Francisco.

It is hard to believe the Kings and Warriors have been Northern California neighbors for 38 years, but have never been in the NBA playoffs at the same time.

That all changes Saturday, when Sacramento and Golden State meet in a first-round playoff game.

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KINGS STILL GET NO RESPECT

Even though the Kings are the third seed in the West, they will be underdogs.  The sixth-seeded Warriors may feel like they have won the lottery.  A number of teams in the West were lined up hoping for a first-round matchup against the Kings.

The Kings are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA.  They get no respect and that doesn’t sit well with most Kings fans…

Even Stephen Curry, who has grown to become one of the classiest guys in the NBA, took a shot at Kings fans in a TV “bit” with his family.

The ultimate disrespect of the Kings, however, came from what should be friendly territory— an East Sacramento SaveMart!  Inside the front door of the market was a massive point of sale display featuring… the Warriors!

One fan appealed to Sacramento morning-radio personality Carmichael Dave for help.

https://twitter.com/michaelskinner/status/1645492898912407553?s=20

Perhaps one supermarket’s blunder is another supermarket’s gain.

https://twitter.com/michaelskinner/status/1645528849529344002?s=20

The store obviously got the message.

LOTS OF OFFENSE, LITTLE DEFENSE

Both the Kings and Warriors have explosive offenses but struggled on defense.  The Kings were first in scoring (120.7 points per game) but 26th in points allowed per game (118.1).  The Warriors‘ finished similarly in these metrics, placing second in scoring (118.9 points/game) and 21st in points allowed per game (117.1).

STORIES APLENTY

There are many other interesting angles.  The Kings were the best team in the Western Conference on the road (25-16), but struggled at home (23-18) with loses to Charlotte, Washington and San Antonio.  All three are non-playoff teams.

The Warriors were just the opposite.  They were great at home (33-8), but horrible on the road (11-30).

The Kings have many ties to the Warriors.  Owner Vivek Ranadive was part of the Warriors ownership group before buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento. Mike Brown spent six years as an assistant coach under Steve Kerr with Golden State. Harrison Barnes, one of only two Kings with a championship ring, was a key member of the Warriors team that won the 2015 NBA Finals.

The ties between the two franchises goes even deeper.  Kings assistant coach Leandro Barbosa won a championship as a player with the Warriors and was later a player development coach with Golden State. Kings assistant coach Luke Loucks also worked for the Warriors as did Recee Caldwell, the wife of Kings’ All-Star point guard De’Aaron Fox.

The Kings will also see somebody during the playoffs that was in their locker room last year.  Warriors key reserve Donte DiVincenzo was not offered a contract by the Kings at the end of last season.  He eventually signed with the Warriors.

Sacramento lost three of four to Golden State during the regular season.  The Warriors are the defending champs.  The Kings are new to playoff basketball.  Will the Kings blink in the spotlight?

Draymond Green says the Warriors will try to pounce on the Kings lack of playoff experience right away.

The Kings may be underdogs, but the excitement in Sacramento is off the charts.  Playoff tickets for games 1-2 in Sacramento are a hot item among long-starving Kings fans.

And the trash talking will go on between Kings and Warrior fans.

All the posturing, all the banter among fans will mean nothing when the two teams take the floor Saturday evening.

Kings TV voice Mark Jones will be behind the microphone to call the game— for ESPN.

The referee will toss the ball into the air.  The Kings and Warriors will be flying up and down the court, firing away from long distance, driving down the lane.  Shots will go in.  Others will carom off the rim.

There will be joy.  There will be heartbreak.  It’s the NBA playoffs.  The Kings are excited to finally be a part of it after so many years of being on the outside looking in.

About Dave Andrade

Sports Director, KRCR-TV Redding 1968-81; Shasta College football & basketball play-by-play; marketing rep; retired, but still doing a daily sports report & commentary for KKXS 96.1 FM, Redding; contributor at Kings Lead

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