Prior to Friday night's preseason finale against the Lakers, Kings coach Michael Malone told Grant Napear on Sports 1140 KHTK that he still hasn’t slept through the night since the team’s return from China on October 15th.
The Kings dropped two games to the Nets in Shanghai and Beijing as part of the NBA Global Games.
Before the trip, Malone was hoping the Kings, with so many newcomers, would gel on and off the floor.
"It’s still training camp and we have to find a way to get work in with the distractions and obligations of the trip," Malone said. "China is a very long trip but a great time to bond as a team.”
For a franchise with 13 players that were not in last year’s training camp, the scheduler hasn’t exactly been kind to the Sacramento Kings, and it isn’t limited to just the preseason.
Seven of the Kings first ten opponents were playoff participants last season and Sacramento has only four home games in November.
Malone added that he’s been waking up between three and four in the morning and he suspects it’s the same for his players.
After Friday night’s 93-92 win over the Lakers in Las Vegas in their final exhibition game, the Kings' travel woes continued when their plane had a mechanical issue and the team didn’t arrive back in Sacramento until 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
Malone gave the Kings Saturday off from practice before resuming practice on Sunday in preparation for the Warriors' visit to Sacramento in Wednesday’s season opener.
One thing that is not a goal for Malone: sleeping like a baby – waking up every few hours and crying due to a rough start for the Kings.
Malone is hoping that the squad will not only shake the effects of the trip to Asia but also quickly coalesce around cornerstones DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.
The scheduler certainly has provided yet another challenge for Sacramento.