Skal Labissiere, the 28th overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft, established a remarkable performance in the Sacramento Kings’ 107-101 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. He finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and two steals on 73.3 percent shooting from the field.
”I wasn’t surprised at all,” Labissiere said. ”I’m being more aggressive, just thinking about the next play, going after every single board and getting back on defense and helping my teammates. It’s all about effort and the rest will come. They really trusted me out there.”
Most Kings fans expressed their disappointment with the Kings’ decision to trade DeMarcus Cousins. Despite his attitude problem, Cousins continues to establish an impressive performance every game and is still one of the best centers in the league. As most people think, the New Orleans Pelicans acquired “Boogie” at a discounted price as they only needed to send a package center on Buddy Hield to Sacramento. However, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive stood firm with his decision and vowed to step down if he’s wrong.
“That’s my job, and I take responsibility. And I totally understand why some fans would be upset. They supported DeMarcus, and I like DeMarcus a lot. But I believe we are going to be in a better position in two years. I want to hear again from these same people in two years. If I’m right, great. If I’m wrong, I’ll step down. But if I go down, I’m going down my way,” Divac said in an interview with Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee.
Kings made the right decision to trade DeMarcus Cousins
The Kings are 3-11 since Cousins’ departure but they noticed major improvements from their young players. Aside from Willie Cauley-Stein, other young frontcourt players like Skal Labissiere were given the opportunity to showcase their talents. Labissiere spent most of his rookie season in the D-League with the Reno Bighorns. After the Kings traded Cousins, Labissiere slowly earned playing time and became an official part of coach Dave Joerger’s rotation.
”He is a talented guy and we got it to him in spots where he could be effective,” Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said. ”Once you get a couple of easy ones, you feel a lot better about your game.”
Skal Labissiere stepped up in the Kings’ recent victory against the Phoenix Suns. He scored 21 of his career-high 32 points in the fourth quarter and knocked down his only 3-point attempt of the game.With his performance, he became the first Kings rookie to submit a 30-10 performance in 26 years.
After seeing his potential, Joerger will surely give him more playing time in the remaining games of the season. If Labissiere continues to improve his game, he could be the next big thing in Sacramento.
Photo courtesy: @skal_lab/Instagram