The Sacramento Kings had a chance to be well-represented in the Olympics. So what is the silver lining for the postponement of the games?
Along with the NBA’s current hiatus with an unknown timetable, the 2020 Summer Olympics that were set to take place in Tokyo have been postponed until at least 2021. Depending on how you view international competition, the postponement could be beneficial for the Sacramento Kings’ immediate future.
Despite their history of ineptitude and current state of disappointment, the Kings are actually one of the teams with the most potential Olympians. This is largely due to the international presence on their roster. Not only do both guard Bogdan Bogdanovic and forward Nemanja Bjelica play for Team Serbia, but assistant coach Igor Kokoškov is the newly appointed head coach of the Serbs.
Kokoškov was the head coach of the Georgian and Slovenian national teams before being given his current gig back in November of 2019. He has obviously never got the chance to hold a practice, but given any unforeseen circumstances, Kokoškov should be Serbia’s head coach when the Olympic games are actually held.
The Serbs are one of the strongest teams in the world and were one of the favorites in the 2019 FIBA World Cup before underwhelming in the tournament. Still, they have a handful of NBA players including All-Star Nikola Jokic, as well as seven-foot three-inch Boban Marjanović.
The Kings’ Bogdanovic was arguably Serbia’s best player in the World Cup, and was on a tournament-MVP trajectory before they were bounced in the semis. He averaged the second-most points of any player and scored the most total points with 183 in eight games.
But the Serbians aren’t the only ones that have representatives from the Kings. De’Aaron Fox certainly should be in the conversation, but it seems as though he burned his bridges with his decision to leave the World Cup Team last year. He was not on the invite list for tryouts.
The player who was one of the 44 invitees was Harrison Barnes, who participated with Team USA last year. As we have documented on multiple occasions, there are few players whose legs were warier than Barnes’ when the NBA started its hiatus. While the competition for a wing spot on the National Team would likely have been fierce, there is a chance that Barnes would travel to Asia yet again this offseason and play a couple of weeks of competitive ball.
There is no good that comes out of postponing the Olympics for a worldwide epidemic. But all we’ve been really doing lately is finding silver linings to the bad news that continues to roll in. Kings players getting more rest than they originally would have is the silver lining in this one.