SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings hosted their annual Media Day Friday afternoon at the team’s practice facility attached to Golden 1 Center. It was the first look at the newly formed squad after a long summer of changes.
Plenty of the Kings’ players have met up over the summer, be it with Team USA, the Serbian national team or just in pick-up games in Sacramento or elsewhere. A pair of Kings even received an invite to Kobe Bryant’s private camp at the Mamba Sports Academy facility in Southern California.
Sacramento’s starting backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield were both in attendance to absorb information from Bryant and Lakers skills coach Phil Handy.
“It was really good information we got there,” Hield told NBC Sports California on Friday. “I think all of the guys are there asking questions that can help themselves get better.”
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Thomas, John Collins, Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jordan Clarkson were just some of the names at the camp.
The focus was on strength and conditioning, as well as specific drills to improve performance and some video work.
“They pay close attention to detail with everything,” Fox told NBC Sports California. “So like, footwork, not wasting any kind of movement, things like that. Just being efficient with every step that you take when you’re on the court.”
Hield and Fox were the Kings’ two leading scorers last season and are expected to carry a huge load for the team this season as well. The fact that they got an invite to the elite camp is good news for Sacramento as the team attempts to snap its 13-year playoff drought.
“I think every guy that went there got better just by the knowledge that he gives us,” Hield added.
This isn’t the first time the duo has met Bryant. Hield worked out with the 18-time All-Star before the 2016 NBA Draft. Fox spent time with him last summer at a Nike camp, but said that this season the future Hall of Famer was more hands-on.
“I think it’s fun,” Hield added. “I think you get to compete against the best players in the world and you get to learn the best information. Basketball is always growing so you always want to learn new stuff. Learning from guys like Kobe Bryant and Phil Handy, you can’t go wrong with that.”
Both Hield and Fox said they would love to do the camp again. They have high hopes for what comes next in their careers and they are looking for any advantage they can get.