Months of offseason preparation and roster reshuffling were put to rest, as today, the new-look Kings took the court for the first time.
Less than a week from their first exhibition contest, it’s safe to say the offseason is over for Sacramento with the team coming together for the first time at the Kings Practice Facility on Tuesday.
Head coach Dave Joerger spoke with media following the morning session, sharing that the Kings initial time on the hardwood was fully non-contact. While the squad will have to wait for full-contact practice until the evening, Coach Joerger addressed that the mental aspect of the game will be a crucial part of preparing for the season – something the team began working on today.
“It’s not so much about the Xs and Os so much as it as about how we go about our business,” said Joerger. “What we do want to be about now? What do we want to be about four months from now? What do we want to be about three years from now? That needs to be the same so that there’s consistency.”
Sacramento’s roster is brimming with young talent which has made the presence of veterans all the more crucial. Among the returning vets is Garrett Temple, who spoke highly of the young players on the Kings.
“They’re being professional…they understand that they don’t know, they’re not coming in with an entitlement,” said No. 17. “They have a couple of vets that know what it takes to be a professional in this league and they’re taking advantage of that.”
Temple also touched on how the unity of a team can translate into an enjoyable experience.
“We have a group of guys that are good guys – nobody has any hidden agenda,” Temple said. “When you have teams like that, especially when you have guys that are young and are yearning to learn, it makes basketball fun.”
The most senior member on Sactown’s squad (and the most experienced active player in the NBA) is Vince Carter, who was signed this offseason after a multi-year stint with the Memphis Grizzlies.
VC, now entering his 20th NBA season, enters Sacramento as an influential leader for a young team that has injected a feeling of youth in him as well.
“It makes me feel young. I try to stay young but at the same time this helps me be who I am – a mentor,” said Carter. “It’s great to be out here and to see the energy in the gym. These guys are young and it keeps me motivated, keeps me going, and pushes me as well.”
The squad will continue their grind in training camp this week heading into the pre-season opener against the San Antonio Spurs at home on Monday, October 2.