JaKarr Sampson’s hustle and energy are exactly what the young Sacramento Kings need on the team to set the pace for how a winning team operates.
Many will only mention JaKarr Sampson‘s name in regards to the huge dunk Zach LaVine threw down on him, but after the win over the Chicago Bulls, it’s clear that he’s an integral part of the Sacramento Kings‘ future success.
So far this season, the Kings have used Sampson in only small doses (10 games). He’s never forgotten on the court when he does play, though. According to NBA Stats, he leads the team in charges drawn per game and finds himself near the top of the rankings in almost every hustle stat category.
Energy and effort
Sampson, however, doesn’t play the kind of game that fills up the stat sheet. He just does exactly what he’s asked and always gives 100 percent effort when doing it. For a young Kings team that’s often criticized for its slow starts and lack of spirit, Sampson’s infectious energy may be an essential part of Sacramento’s equation for playoff basketball.
His energy was definitely the difference maker in the win over Chicago. The Kings seemed absolutely dead in the water during the early goings of the contest. Then, Coach Joerger called on Sampson to pull the team up. His stats (nine points, six rebounds, and a block) aren’t anything to write home about, but his hustle changed the momentum of the game in Sacramento’s favor.
Below is a Tweet from Jason Jones that sums up Sampson’s attitude on the court.
A hustle guy seems to be a staple of any championship caliber team. The Warriors have one in Andre Iguodala. The Kings seem to be making all the right moves for a proper rebuild, but all the talent in the world means nothing if they’re missing the guy who’s really to do whatever it takes and put his body on the line for a win.
For now, Sampson returns to Reno as part of his two-way contract. He’s only allotted 45 games with the NBA team this season. Sampson has shown more than enough in Sacramento this season, though. If the Kings know what’s best for them, he’ll be a roster mainstay come next season.