Mini-Camp: Day 4
Following the final tune-up for Summer League action, Coach Malone and McLemore discuss leadership and the team’s system.
With a full season under his belt, Kings guard Ben McLemore is ready to take on more of a leadership role.
That much was evident Wednesday night as Sacramento scrimmaged Toronto inside Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
McLemore was aggressive early in the game, getting to the hoop with ease. He also knocked down a three and mid-range jumper – all in the first quarter – while carrying the team for a solid three-minute stretch before his teammates started to heat up.
But the shooting guard knows it’s just the beginning of his NBA ascent.
“I think I did OK,” stated the Kansas alum. “Especially getting back on the court, playing up and down [and] scrimmaging a team. I think I could have done more last night [but] we watched film today and saw [a few] things we can work on.”
Head coach Michael Malone stressed talking on defense and offense during the morning session of Sacramento’s final day of Mini-Camp.
Whether it’s explaining the offense to a rookie or calling out a switch on defense, McLemore took the advice to heart.
“[I’m just trying] to be a leader,” said No. 16. “Just talk a lot – I think it’s the biggest thing I need to do for us this year… just being out there and being more vocal.”
After learning a new system last season, the team hopes Year 2 will be smoother.
“The biggest positive is that not everything is brand new,” stated Malone. “Last year… was the first time we introduced our terminology and our philosophy on both offense and defense. So now, Ben, Ray [McCallum], Quincy [Acy], Derrick [Williams], DeMarcus [Cousins] and Jared Cunningham – those guys know us. So the fact we have a year under our belt, and there’s definitely some corporate knowledge, will only help us out in Summer League.”
The team’s leader says the system will allow the Kings to have multiple scorers on the floor at the same time.
“Instead of positions… [the NBA is] really becoming a lot of position-less basketball,” said Malone. “Ben, Ray and Nik [Stauskas] are all basketball players – they can put the ball on the floor, make plays, [and] make shots.
“What I’ve seen is that Ben and Nik can play together without any problems. They both have a pretty good understanding of the game and they play well off of each other. When you have two guys who have the potential to shoot as well as they do, it’s going to pose problems for other teams.”
Fans will soon get their first look at Sacramento’s rising stars, as the team tips-off its 2014 Summer League schedule Friday night against San Antonio at 7 p.m. inside Cox Pavilion.
Summer League Interviews:
Summer Training: Acy