The aura of excitement is palpable around the Sacramento Kings, with a stellar offseason under their belt heading into a highly-anticipated future. At the core of this excitement is a young group of talented players who have also now been surrounded with veteran leadership, including seven-year pro Garrett Temple.
Temple recently joined The HoopsHype Podcast with Alex Kennedy to discuss a variety of topics – including Sacramento’s offseason acquisitions, his role as a leader on the team and Kings fans.
“I really think we had the best Draft out of any team,” Temple told Kennedy. “Bringing in veteran guys like George Hill…Vince Carter…Zach Randolph – that shows what we’re trying to build in Sacramento. The fact that they’re here will help; it can’t do anything but help these young guys a great deal.”
As one of the more experience players on Sactown’s roster, Temple and this group of veterans will be leaned on by the youth as leaders, aiding them in adapting to the NBA lifestyle.
“[The veterans] know what it takes to be a professional in this league, to withstand the grind, and what it takes to make a good team,” said Temple. “So the biggest thing that we’re trying to do is understand that hard work, being on time, and that being a pro is more than just showing up on gamedays and playing. It’s about coming to practice with the right mindset. It’s about being at shootaround early,” said Temple.
“It’s different if you have lip service, but if young guys actually see people doing these things, they understand that this is what it is when you come into the League – this is what has to be done.”
Temple also touched specifically on some of his younger teammates, including rookie De’Aaron Fox – even comparing the former Kentucky guard to a former All-Star teammate.
“I think [De’Aaron is] a guy that has speed and that’s one thing you can’t teach in this League is speed. His ability to break down defenses and be a one man fast break will suit him well. He’s a guy that can pass the ball and get other people involved and has a charismatic personality and attitude,” Temple told Kennedy. “I see a lot of similarities in a guy I used to play with in Washington in John Wall. He has that speed – he has that charisma.”
Additionally, No. 17 shared his high praises for second-year forward Skal Labissiere.
“Skal has really taken to me. He’s a sponge – he’s always asking questions about what this guy did or what we should do in this situation. His talent is immense and he has a very high ceiling when it comes to this league,” Temple said. “One of his biggest assets is tenacity. When he gets in the paint, he’s the type of guy that’s going to try to dunk everything. That speaks volumes of what kind of mindset he has. Even though off the court, he’s a very nice, quiet, humble guy, when he steps in-between those lines, he turns that switch on and that’s something that you really can’t teach.”
Towards the end of his interview, Temple also made it known how he feels about the loyal fans in Sacramento and compared to those he’s experienced elsewhere in the Association.
“The fan support you get in this city is first and foremost the best. The fans show you so much love and they’re such great basketball fans. They understand the game and they appreciate hard work and they appreciate good basketball,” Temple said. “I haven’t been around a fanbase better than the Sacramento fanbase.”
To listen to the full interview with Temple, click here.