The Sacramento Kings have had quite the offseason.
Their star player may or may not want out, their head coach wants to trade said star, the owner may or may not want to fire the head coach he just hired and to top it off, they’ve whiffed on multiple free agent targets and to top it off, they signed Rajon Rondo.
This is the type of offseason that Warriors fans are normally accustomed to: chaos on multiple levels with infinite losses on the horizon. Willie Cauley-Stein, the Kings first round selection, has been the lone bright spot in what has been a far too eventful summer.
There hasn’t been much to cheer about in Sacramento lately, but Cauley-Stein showcased exactly why the Kings selected him with the sixth overall pick. Finishing with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds and five blocks, the 21-year old draftee from Kentucky had the best game of the summer.
The Northern California rivals have had two completely different summers, with one franchise on top of the basketball world and the other just looking to escape the depths of ineptitude and conceit. The Kings won’t do much winning once the season arrives, so maybe this was just a fine gesture on behalf of Joe Lacob.
As for those Warriors, with a barrage of fans, Steve Kerr and even Jerry West in attendance, suffer a rare blowout loss. The defending NBA champions were defeated 90-71 in their second leg of a back-to-back. Scheduling? Effort? The absence of Ognjen Kuzmic? It was a forgettable game for Luke Walton’s squad, who now look towards Wednesday to bounce back from their second consecutive loss.
James Michael McAdoo didn’t have his most impressive game, but still showed the athleticism and energy that could earn him spot minutes when the regular season comes around. Kevon Looney flashed some of his offensive arsenal as he continues to get comfortable to the professional ranks. Neither were the two most impressive Warriors, however.
In just over 15 minutes, Stefan Nastic racked up 14 points and zero turnovers. The Stanford alum won’t make any NBA roster immediately, but his offensive prowess was visible early and often in his stint of minutes. Dominique Sutton, not known for his point totals, also finished with 14 points and impressed with his activity and defense once again.
Summer League means more to Sacramento than it does Golden State, but that’s no excuse for such a porous performance. Expect the Warriors to bounce back when they play their next opponent on Wednesday in the first day of the tournament round. Along with his players, Walton is trying to prove something as well, and a strong recovery from two consecutive losses would look nice on the Associate Head Coach hopeful.
The Warriors and Kings represent the last two Summer League champions, but only one looked worthy of such a title on Monday. The Warriors have the title that counts, which is all that matters. Regardless, no team should lose by 19 amicably, and with a franchise now synonymous with winning, it was an unacceptable showing.
With their owner watching courtside, the Kings and their top picked performed more than adequately. Maybe the Warriors need Joe Lacob or Rihanna sitting courtside to play to the best of their abilities. Either way, Sacramento is on top just this once. California is still very much Golden State’s.