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Young Kings Squad Faces Questions As Preseason Starts

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Garrett Temple answers questions from reporters about the 2017-18 Sacramento Kings season and possible national anthem protests.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Only four of the players on the 2017-18 Sacramento Kings preseason squad played for the team in last year's season opener.

Of the 19 players on the Kings' pre-season roster, nine are rookies.

Head Coach Dave Joerger said he hopes the players who make the regular-season squad provide depth and quickness at all five positions.

"I'd like to play fast and so I think we get it up and down the floor. We've got some guys that can push it," Joerger sais. We've got some guys that can run both from the wing and as big guys."

Younger players who ended the season on a high note, like Skal Labissiere and Buddy Hield, will be expected to improve and lead the team on the floor. 

Former All-Stars Zach Randolph and Vince Carter will be asked to provide leadership on and off the court to younger players including De'Aaron Fox from the University of Kentucky, Justin Jackson and Frank Mason III from the University of Kansas, and Bogdan Bogdanovic from Turkey.

Joerger said he appreciates having two accomplished veterans on the club.

"It's great. It saves my voice a lot," he said. "They see the same things I do, a lot of the same things and they're proactive in coaching guys up and still having their own game and finding their own game. But, the way we're going about our business, again, they're being able to just after one practice, grabbing guys and going, 'This is how we do it.'"

The coach will also rely on key role players like Garrett Temple.

Temple says the team will consider whether to protest during the national anthem, but currently has no plans to. Many NFL players joined on-field protests this weekend following comments from President Donald Trump.

"I don't stand for the injustices in this country, especially against minorities, particularly blacks," Temple said. "But, whatever we do, we're gonna talk about that as a team and whether we do it individually or as a team. You know, you'll see what we do, if we do it."

Temple said the team has not discussed the idea. Joerger said he has no thoughts on the matter.

The Kings will play six preseason games. Their first is Oct. 2. The regular season opens Oct. 18 at home against Houston.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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