The second half of the season has officially begun and with All-Star Weekend finally over we take a look back at how the young promising Kings rookies and sophomores faired against similar NBA talent down in the heart of Los Angeles.
Staples Center provided quite the show this past weekend whether it was LeBron James making the game winning layup for Team LeBron over Team Steph, Donovan Mitchell honoring the great Vince Carter during the dunk contest, or even Fergie providing a very unique National Anthem.
While all exciting and entertaining, Kings Fans can agree their sights were set on last Friday night where in front of a national audience three Sacramento Kings players were selected to be a part of the 2018 Rising Stars Challenge.
After very promising starts to their rookie and sophomore years respectively, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic were selected to be a part of Team World along with De’Aaron Fox playing against them for Team USA.
Buddy Hield (12.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 42.5 3PT%), De’Aaron Fox (11.3 PPG, 4.3 APG, 1 SPG), and Bogdan Bogdanovic (11.5 PPG, 3.2 APG, 40 3PT%) through 58 games.
In the words of Grant Napear, Sacramento Kings Announcer, “Boy! Oh! Boy!” we were not disappointed after watching the youth of the Sacramento Kings tear up the 2018 Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.
Bogdanovic made an immediate impact as soon as he came off the bench for Team World shooting from deep beyond the 3-point line impressively making 7-of-13 in 22 minutes of action.
Not many outside of Serbia or the Sacramento region even knew who this 25-year-old Serbian rookie was but after last Friday night, NBA fans were treated with a “Bogi” smile to go along with an MVP performance in the Rising Stars Challenge, finishing the night with 26 points, six assists and four rebounds.
Just as impressive for Team World was Buddy Hield, contributing 29 points, three rebounds, and three assists on 5-of-14 from beyond the arc making a case for why he should have earned MVP honors over Bogdanovic.
Between Hield and Bogdanovic they accounted for a third of the entire Team Worlds buckets leaving a lasting impression on a national audience that the future is indeed bright here in Sacramento once again.
Bogdanovic joked before the game that he hopes one day Hield as well as himself will take on the likes of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the 3-point contest.
Quietly asserting themselves as two of the finest young pure shooters in the league today, in Hield and Bogdanovic, all jokes aside this may one day become a reality as these two young Kings continue to improve upon their shots and knowledge of the game.
While a late addition to the Team USA roster and overshadowed by the performances of his fellow Sacramento Kings teammates, De’Aaron Fox, finished his Rising Stars Challenge performance with a measly four points, two assists and two rebounds.
Although not impressive and sporting a massive cut above his right eye from a previous game, Fox was holding his own running Team USA’s offense at a premium setting up teammates with proper passes to an eventual assister on a high flying dunk or easy layup.
Not a flashy performance but with time we will continue to see his improvement in each game but let’s not forget Kings fans, the young man is still only 20 years old with worlds of potential.
In the spirit of your 3 Sacramento Kings showing up and performing in front of a national audience last Friday night, we take a look back at your Sacramento Kings Alumni who played in the Rising Stars Challenge since its inception in 1994 and what these respective players went on to do with their careers.
NBA Rising Stars Challenge History
Brian Grant – 1994-95 Season
*8th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns
*12 year NBA career averaging 10.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 1.2 APG at the Power Forward position
*NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1995
*Number 33 Jersey retired by Xavier University
Michael Smith – 1994-95 Season
*35th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, Vancouver Grizzlies and Washington Wizards
*7 year NBA career averaging 5.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG at the Power Forward position
Tyus Edney – 1995-96 Season
*47th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers
*4 year NBA career averaging 7.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 1.0 SPG at the Point Guard position
*NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1996
*NCAA champion in 1995 with the UCLA Bruins
*EuroLeague champion in 1999
Michael Stewart – 1997-98 Season
*Went undrafted in 1997
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Atlanta Hawks
*4 year career for the California Bears and Bears’ all-time leading shot blocker with 207 blocked shots
*8 year NBA career averaging 2.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 0.3 APG at the Center position
Jason Williams – 1999-2000 season
*7th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic
*13 year NBA career averaging 10.5 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 1.2 SPG at the Point Guard position
*NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1999
*NBA Champion in 2006 for the Miami Heat
Hedo Turkoglu – 2001-2002 Season
*16th overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers
*15 year NBA career averaging 11.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 2.8 APG at the Small Forward position
*NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2001
*NBA Most Improved Player in 2008
Omri Casspi – 2009-2010 Season
*23rd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors
*Currently in his 8th year in the NBA with career averages of 8.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG at the Small Forward position
Tyreke Evans – 2009-2010, 2010-2011 Seasons
*4th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies
*Currently in his 8th year in the NBA with career averages of 16.1 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.8 RPG at the Point Guard position
*NBA Rookie of the Year in 2010
*NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2010
*NBA Rising-Stars Challenge Co-MVP in 2010
*One of only four players to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game in their rookie season in NBA history
Demarcus Cousins – 2010-2011, 2011-2012 Seasons
*5th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans
*Currently in his 7th year in the NBA with career averages of 21.5 PPG, 11 RPG, and 3.2 APG at the Center position
*4-Time NBA All-Star
*2-Time All-NBA Second Team
*NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2011
*2-Time Gold Medalist
Isaiah Thomas – 2012-2013 Season
*60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings
*Played for the Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers
*Currently in his 6th year in the NBA with career averages of 19 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 2.6 RPG at the Point Guard position
*2-Time NBA All-Star
*All-NBA Second Team in 2017
*NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2012
*Number 2 Jersey retired by Washington University
Buddy Hield – 2016-2017 Season
*6th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans
*Played for the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans
*Currently in his 2nd year in the NBA with career averages of 10.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 1.8 APG at the Shooting Guard position
*NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2017
*Naismith College Player of the Year in 2016