Confidence High Among Sacramento Kings Players, Fans


It’s no easy task to change the mindset of a team who’s been on a downward spiral for a decade, but the Sacramento Kings may have finally gotten a fresh dose of one of the most important things to a team: confidence.

When you’re able to boast a Hall of Fame-caliber coach, two Team USA players, and perhaps the best center in the league, why wouldn’t you be somewhat confident?

Not only that, but the Kings also added multiple NBA Finals champions in Rajon Rondo and Marco Belinelli during the off-season. While many say Rondo is only a shell of his former self, the thought among the Kings is that he’s ready to prove the critics wrong and have a breakthrough year in Sacramento.

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Belinelli, on the other hand, is coming off a season in which he suffered a groin injury which limited him to 62 games. However, he shot 37.1 percent from beyond the arc, a facet the Kings desperately needed to add to their arsenal.

The Kings also added some excitement to their front court when they selected Willie Cauley-Stein with their first-round draft pick this year, and they expect him to be a solid force around the rim to pair with All-Star DeMarcus Cousins.

However, the Kings weren’t done as they signed Kosta Koufos for even more front court depth. And it’s Koufos who believes that the Kings have more than enough talent to contend in the Western Conference.

Koufos will likely play limited minutes with the Kings, but he’s never been short on production. During his career, he’s had a per-36 average of 12.7 points and 11 rebounds, according to Basketball Reference. Pair that with 1.9 blocks per-36 and you’ve got yourself a solid bench option.

It’s not only the new Kings who believe the current roster can excel, Omri Casspi, who the team re-signed this off-season, also believes the talent on the Sacramento roster can do big things and surprise people.

Casspi was quoted in an interview with James Herbert of CBS Sports saying:

"“I feel like we have a good team. I felt I want to be a part of something that’s growing and competing for the playoffs next year and being in the playoffs, putting ourselves in a position to win championships.”"

Now, the likelihood of the Kings competing for an NBA championship this year, especially with the extreme levels of talent in the west is sort of far-fetched, but the notion that the Kings can challenge for an eighth spot is believable.

The team has solid building blocks in place with Cousins and Rudy Gay both locked up for multiple years, as well as Ben McLemore who’s improved year after year, and it’s not so extreme to say the Kings have a legitimate chance at pushing for a playoff spot.

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It also helps that Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has somewhat taken a backseat to Vlade Divac, who’s made the decision-making when it comes to the roster of the team. While Divac doesn’t have the experience that Pete D’Alessandro may have had, he does have a cult-like following in Sacramento. Divac is one of the most renowned players to ever throw on a Kings’ uniform, and that is something that gives Kings’ fans confidence.

On paper, the team Divac has assembled is very talented, but it’ll be camaraderie that’ll take the team where it hasn’t been in 10 years. But, it’s nice to know the team is on the same page right now, that has to count for something.

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