Sacramento Kings Prepare for Training Camp, Work on Team-Building


For the past couple weeks the Sacramento Kings have been all over Sacramento doing team-bonding and chemistry-building exercises as they prepare for training camp which begins Sept. 29. The Kings went from the Sacramento State football field to Urijah Faber’s midtown mixed martial arts gym and were most recently seen training with Sacramento city firefighters.

It’s definitely a new twist on team-building, but nonetheless, it could prove to be very effective.

If you look at the Kings training camp roster from last year and compare it to this season’s, you’d probably be surprised to see that the only remaining Kings are Omri Casspi, DeMarcus Cousins, Darren Collison, Rudy Gay, and Ben McLemore. That leaves 10 new Kings, including David Stockton, who was with the Kings affiliate, Reno Bighorns, the majority of last season. Thus, this is where the team-building begins.

Last week, the Kings, as well as plenty of students, posted photos on Instagram of the Kings at Sac State. The team was there doing some training, including resistance exercises and overall conditioning before playing some friendly games of football to cap off the day.

In storybook fashion, Rajon Rondo, who’s expected to start at point guard for the Kings, was seen playing quarterback during the pick-up game. The players looked like kids on the field while throwing the ball around.

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Then earlier this week, the Kings Instagram page posted photos of the Kings at Faber’s gym (Faber is the founder of Team Alpha Male, a team of MMA fighters which includes UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] champ T.J. Dillashaw), and then most recently the page posted photos of the Kings doing firefighters’ training in full firefighters gear.

The responses the Kings have been getting the past few weeks have included much excitement from fans thinking this team-bonding is a good sign which it certainly could be. But who’s to know if the team-bonding can translate to the court? One thing’s for sure, though, it can’t do any harm.

The Kings haven’t had quality chemistry since the glory days in the early 2000’s and, in fact, the team has been quite the contrary when it comes to their chemistry. From locker room rumors of fistfights to player-coach drama practically every year since 2011, chemistry and the Kings has been quite the juxtaposition.

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However, this is a new-era, a new page to turn, and it’s the rule of Vlade. Vlade Divac, of course, who’s one of the most beloved Kings players in Sacramento history. It’s fitting that the team-building exercises began with one of the players who was most influential to the Kings team rapport during their constant playoff runs during that 1998-05 span.

While it’s something nice for fans, the only way the training has tangible effects is if the players buy in and, from the video, from Cousins to new rookie Duje Dukan, the notion was repetitive. It’s all about chemistry-building for a team looking to get out of the nest they’ve made at the bottom of the standings. It’s just the beginning, but it’s the first step that they had to take.

Whether they need to pull a teammate out of the fire, so to speak, give a solid leg-sweep, or need a last-minute trick play drawn up, the Kings will be ready. If they’re ready on the hardwood when the season starts, that’s still unknown. Chemistry is all about how properties interact and change. When the whistle is blown with games on the line, hopefully the exercises performed the past couple of weeks by the players will prove to be beneficial.

Next: Confidence High Among Sacramento Kings Players, Fans