The Sacramento Kings brass couldn’t have been more excited when Ben McLemore ‘fell’ to them in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Many thought McLemore could be a top three pick, possibly even top five, so when his slide to seventh happened – it was a perfect situation for the Kings. What wasn’t a perfect situation was the role McLemore quickly found himself in.
Stuck behind a veteran like Marcus Thornton whom the Kings had to showcase to move, McLemore had to make the most of his limited time.
Thornton was eventually moved which did open up more time for McLemore, but any available shots were split between the Kings big three (DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Rudy Gay) leaving table scraps for McLemore. It was something general manager Pete D’Alessandro knew would be tough on the rookie, but seemed proud of his play regardless.
We have three high-scoring pieces on a team. How do you step up and be that fourth guy? It’s tough.
“I’ve said this from the beginning of the year, the guy works like no other young guy works. He and Ray together, I really give them a lot of credit for their work ethic. If you have talent, athleticism, and that work ethic – which he does – I think it’s a recipe for success. I really look forward to what has yet to come for him. I’ve been very happy with Ben. I’ve said it all year long, and I stand by it.”