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Kyle Draper, Sacramento Kings Broadcaster

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April 17, 2023 8:41 pm

Kyle Draper, Sacramento Kings Broadcaster

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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April 17, 2023 8:41 pm

Kyle Draper joined Zach to discuss his reaction to the Kings Game 1 victory over the Warriors and preview Game 2. 

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Do the amazing. Help save lives. Donate today at your local CSL plasma center and be rewarded for your generosity. Welcome back in. This is Zach Gelb's show Coast to Coast on CBS Sports Radio. We'll see if the Kings could take a commanding 2-0 series lead on the Golden State Warriors coming up at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Pacific. Let's head out to the guest line right now. Welcome in. Play-by-play announcer for the Sacramento Kings.

You'd also catch him pre- and post-game live at NBC Sports California. And that, of course, is Kyle Draper. Kyle, appreciate the time. How are you? Yo, what's going on? How you doing, man? Thanks for having me on.

Well, I'm doing fantastic. And we know how long the playoff drought was for the Sacramento Kings. Just to see that scene unfold on Saturday night. Watching it on television was pretty damn special.

But give me the vibe out there in Sacramento. Oh, man. It was like a movie, man. It was something that I've never seen in my years of covering basketball. I've been in big playoff games. I used to work for the Celtics.

PD Garden was always rocking. But this was 17 years of pent-up frustration. 17 years of anger. 17 years of jubilation came out on Saturday. And whether it was inside the arena, outside, just the whole city, you could just feel it the morning you woke up in Sacramento that this was going to be a game and a night that they'll be talking about for years to come.

I'll get to the national sentiment in just a second. But locally, heading into the year, what did Kings fans think that they had? And when did they really start to believe that this team could be special?

I think going into the beginning of the year, everyone was hoping play-in, maybe that's 60. I do believe people felt that this team could snap the streak, break the drought. But third in the West, I don't think anybody expected that. And things really changed in November when they went on a seven-game winning streak. And you've got to understand, this Sacramento Kings franchise, they haven't had something like that since the Weber days.

And so that's what really changed people's minds and thinking about this team. And they went on the road and won at Memphis. They beat Golden State.

These are big name franchises that the Kings handled. And my only concern back then was, could they sustain it? Could they play at this high level all season long?

And they have. Is this a group, do they get motivated by the disrespect? Do they show that when you talk to them in the locker room? Because nationally, all throughout the year, it was like, great story what Mike Brown's doing, but they're not an actual threat to get to the finals.

Oh yeah, I think so. I think it's definitely a motivator. And even in the series, all you hear is talk about the Warriors going in. And I think this team has a chip on its shoulder. And I give Mike Brown a lot of credit because he came in and said, we're not just hoping to end this drought.

We're trying to win a championship here in Sacramento. And that changed the thinking, the mindset of some of these players. And when you listen to them throughout the season after games, it's sort of like that chip on the shoulder in their post-game press conference. It's us against the world mentality. And you know what? We're not on national TV a lot, but we'll show them when we are on national TV, like that game earlier in the season against the Brooklyn Nets in which they dominated on the 150 on them.

I think it's, you know, they definitely are motivated by the lack of respect. Kyle Draper here with us. And I know De'Aaron Fox has been a good player for a long time, finally made an all-star game this year. But when you get a player like that finally into the postseason, it's like, all right, the rest of the world gets to start to throw his flowers to him and certainly could do so after that Game 1 performance. Yeah, it's amazing because, you know, I get to see De'Aaron every single night and I understand how great he is. But what we saw on Saturday night was arguably the most important performance of his entire career.

Think about it. First playoff game for him. First playoff game for the franchise in 17 years.

You're going against the world champs. Steph Curry, you know, maybe a top 10 player of all time. And on that night, De'Aaron Fox was the best player on the floor. And when it came winning touch, clutch situation, fourth quarter, De'Aaron Fox outscored Steph Curry 15 to 13 in that fourth.

He stood toe to toe. Remember, Curry had that big three in the corner. Fox tracked him down, was right there with him, and that looked like it would be a dagger three that would just break the king's heart. And with this Fox 2, he comes right back down and hits a three of his own. And remember, he's not known for his outside shooting. He's not known for his three-point shot. But in that moment, the biggest for the king in 17 years, he delivered.

Kyle Draper, we make a lot about experience. And I know it's only one game and this series is far from being over. But with the Warriors having that experience, the king's not really having it.

How big of a factor is that, do you think, in this series? You know, going into game one, I thought it would be a big factor. I thought, especially in a close game, the Warriors know who they are and know what they want to do. They've been there before.

But the king showed me something in game one. You know, first of all, they didn't get rattled early. You would think your first playoff appearance, you would come out slow and kind of rattle. They got down by 10, but they never gave up. But then, in the fourth, to make the plays down the stretch.

And so, experience is a factor. But let's just talk about talent and how good this team is. Remember, the Sacramento Kings team did not back into the playoffs.

They didn't get hot at the right time. They've been better than the Warriors all season long. And I think that's something they're hanging their hat on. And so, while the Warriors may have the experience, I think the Kings have the belief that they belong and they can beat this team. But we know the Warriors have been god-awful all throughout the year on the road. Down 0-1, we talk about that experience. What type of effort, what type of game do you think we're going to see tonight out of Golden State?

Hey, they got to be desperate, right? I mean, you know, they're 30-10, I think, with this group. You know, Draymond, Steph, and Klay after losing the game in the postseason. And so, I just think you'll see a desperate Warriors team out there, you know, as important as game one is.

If I'm Sacramento, you haven't done anything yet. This is the most important game of the series because we know the numbers and the statistics when a team goes up 2-0. And so, you mentioned the Warriors struggle on the road. If they could somehow get this game, then they rustle away home court advantage and they're starting to feel good about themselves.

And so, I think this is just going to be a dogfight again. I think, you know, I thought game one was hugely important for Sacramento and I think this game is important equally for both teams. What do you think we'll see from Sabonis tonight? You know, it's interesting because you're talking about an all-star, a three-time all-star who really is the engine for the Kings offense.

You know, he facilitates a lot. But yet, in game number one, he only had two assists, which is shocking to me. This guy is, you know, especially over the last month or so, he's been flirting around triple doubles every single night. And he'll be the first to tell you he missed a lot of shots that he probably normally makes. He was 5 of 17 in game one. But Sabonis has never been the guy that comes out and gets you a 30 or anything like that. I expect a 20-14 rebound and like an 8 or 9 assist kind of game, flirting with that triple-double.

But a more efficient game, too. There's no way this guy who shoots better than 60% from the field should be 5 of 17. Give the Warriors some credit, obviously. But I think it'll be a big bounce-back game.

I'm not expecting a 40 and 20 or anything like that. But more like his regular season numbers, maybe even a bump off 23 and about 14 with 7 or 8 assists. Wrap it up with Kyle Draper, does a great job covering the Kings play-by-play, pre and post as well. When I look at Malik Monk, I was a big fan of him coming out of Kentucky. Didn't make any sense to me why he went 11th overall. I know he's not had the career that a lot of us have expected. But to see him get 32 in that game one and being around him night in and night out, what stood out to you the most about that performance?

Just his aggressiveness, man. And I thought, when you look at Malik Monk and when you look at Jordan Poole, to me, those are the two ex-factors for the team. Whoever wins that matchup, I think, will win the game. And game one, it was Malik Monk. But he brings sort of a swagger, an edge to the Sacramento Kings team. And you could argue he's the heart and soul of this team.

And I just, you know, it's amazing that, you know, him and Fox in their first ever playoff game, combining for 70 points. You know, when you look at this Kings team, I think Malik Monk is sort of the litmus test. We can tell how this team is playing if Malik Monk is going.

And so, what does he do to back it up, right? I mean, you know, he's a six man, obviously scored 32 in game one. He can't come out to have a pedestrian 8 points, 10 points.

He has to play at a high level, I think, for the Kings to win. I know what you said earlier in the conversation, Kyle Draper, that going into the year, you thought maybe a 6 seed play in tournament was probably more of the goal. When you go back to when Mike Brown was hired, I'm sure a lot of people weren't thrilled about it because it's a retread. We know how long he's been around this league and what he's done. But what was your reaction initially when they hired Coach Brown?

You know, I was kind of indifferent. I thought great, you know, a good hire. You know, when you look at who he's coached in the past, he's coached all the game's greatest players. You know, when he was in Cleveland, he was obviously young. And I think, you know, his time with the Warriors really helped him out. And so, you know, I was okay with the hire. But then when you talk to him, and when you see him in action, and when you see how he connects with the players and how enthusiastic he is and how, you know, he builds people up.

I was talking to an assistant coach with one of the squads, the other team, earlier this season. And they said, one thing about Mike Brown is whether you're guy number one or guy number 13, he's going to touch you. He's going to make you feel important. He's going to make you feel a part of this.

He's going to inspire you. And that's what he's been able to do, man. And so, you know, a lot of teams are hiring young guys, you know, young assistant coaches as head coaches. Mike Brown's a veteran who's been around. And I think he was perfect for this team.

Because they needed somebody that came in with a sort of resume, a cache, to really touch these guys. This is play-by-play for the Kings, also host of Kings pre- and post-game live at NBC Sports California. He, of course, is Kyle Draper. Kyle, enjoy the environment, enjoy the game coming up later tonight. Thank you for doing this. All right, my man. Thanks for having me on. And be rewarded for your generosity.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-17 22:48:46 / 2023-04-17 22:54:28 / 6

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