Ask die-hard Sacramento Kings fans their thoughts on Ramon Sessions, and they will likely use words not fit for young ears.
A more appropriate assessment came on Sunday, when Sessions returned to Sleep Train Arena for the first time since leaving the Kings. The Washington Wizards point guard entered Sunday’s contest with 4:36 left in the first quarter. A few cheers were drowned by a bellow of boos. Unslighted, Sessions went on to score nine points on 4-of-8 field goals and five rebounds in a 23-point loss.
The beginning of the end for Sessions in Sacramento started last summer when the eight-year NBA veteran signed a two-year, $4 million contract and proceeded to play the worst stretch of his career. Sessions averaged 5.4 points on 34.4 percent shooting, 2.7 assists and 1.4 turnovers in 36 appearances with the Kings, before he was traded to the Wizards on February 19 in exchange for Andre Miller.
Since, Sessions has produced 6.2 points on 37.5 percent shooting, 2.5 assists and 1.2 turnovers per game, but the 28-year-old has been very happy with his change in scenery and ticket to the postseason.
“It’s a difference,” Sessions told Cowbell Kingdom before Sunday’s contest. “This team, you’re playing for the postseason so your season will definitely be longer. Just the games are a little more intense because you know you’re playing for something. Every game counts. It’s not one of those things where you know, maybe you’re not going to the playoffs.”
Sessions, who has played for seven NBA franchises, holds no ill will towards the Kings. In fact, he has no regrets over the wobbly stint and feels he has nothing to prove when he plays his former teams.
“If that was the case, every night I’d be trying to prove something,” Sessions joked. “I’ve been around for a while. I just continue to do what I do.”
What he does, for now, is back up both backcourt spots for the Wizards. Sessions occasionally runs the floor alongside John Wall, who is the best point guard he’s ever shared a locker room with.
“It’s great. Him and Beal in the backcourt, those guys are special,” Sessions exclaimed. “They’re young, definitely upcoming and one of the best backcourts in the league. It’s good playing with him, he’s a guy who penetrates, gets guys open, and it’s always good to play with a guy as unselfish as him.”
Always on the move, Sessions is comforted by the stability in Washington. Coach Randy Wittman has worked with the Wizards at various levels since 2009, while the Kings flipped through three head coaches in the journeyman’s short tenure.
“To be honest, I’ve never have (experienced two mid-season changes), and I’ve been on a lot of different teams, a lot of different scenarios, and that was kind of one of the most weirdest, different type of things I think I’ve seen in my career,” Sessions said.
Sacramento can be an eye opener. Having gone their separate ways, Sessions and the Kings have still struggled to right themselves. But both learned from the experience and are better for it.