Training Camp Begins with a New Tempo
The industrial doors to Golden 1 Center were ajar on Tuesday morning.
Not for a concert, comedy show or graduation, like has been a frequent occurrence this summer. Instead, it was for Day 1 of training camp for the Kings, an annual occurrence that signifies the start of another season.
You can hear the screeching shoes from the Downtown Commons plaza. Basketball was finally in the air, and the energy was palpable as the practice facility was packed with curious media members, clunky cameras and seemingly the entire organization.
It was the first day of school again, with four returning sophomores joining rookie Marvin Bagley III and an assortment of veterans of all types.
While the squad includes players of all experiences, they shared a common drill when outsiders were let into the practice courts.
It's like we never left.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) September 26, 2018
Run. Run. And run some more.
“Guys hate running,” said third-year guard Buddy Hield. “I don’t care what you say. No basketball player likes running…It’s a good test for us. Coach says we’re going to play fast…and I like it.”
Players were running rampant as media was let into the facility, executing a weaving drill that allowed for little to no relaxation.
All this is in preparation for a new-look Kings squad, one that hopes to flip the script on their pace and run the floor with their glut of young bodies.
"This is how we want to play," explained head coach Dave Joerger. "This is how hard we want to play. We want to be a greatly-conditioned team and we want to play fast."
One player who's especially synonymous with speed is point guard De'Aaron Fox, who's arguably the fastest player in the NBA.
Will the increased speed effect his game for the better this season?
"Definitely," said Fox. "Playing in the open floor. Not necessarily a 1-on-1 but just trying to get into the lane."
While the process is faster, that doesn't mean the results will come just as quick. Coach Joerger stressed the need for patience in this time of development.
"The fun is in the journey, and this is a year that there’s a lot of heavy lifting," Joerger said. "There’s a lot of development that needs to occur and there are going to be some pains in it, but the fun part of it is we have good guys who work hard and play hard, and they’re fun to be around.”
For the team and fans, that journey began on Monday.