Ben McLemore praises mentorship of new Sacramento Kings teammate Darren Collison

Sacramento Kings shooting guard Ben McLemore (right) and Los Angeles Clippers veteran Darren Collison. (Photo: Tobin Halsey)

Training camp is still a few weeks away, but that hasn’t stopped some members of the Sacramento Kings from returning to the capital city to prepare in advance. Ben McLemore is one of the players back in town, getting ready for this upcoming season of Sacramento Kings basketball.

McLemore returned to Sacramento to host his first annual youth basketball camp in Rocklin last weekend. We discussed that experience for him in part one of Cowbell Kingdom’s one-on-one conversation with the 21-year-old guard. In part two, we dive into more basketball talk, including his summer workouts with new teammate Darren Collison as well as the year to come.

CK: So who initiated that? Was it Darren who called you up to come work out with him?

BM: He definitely hit me up and was (asking) if I was in L.A. I said yeah and he said let’s get together and work out. Just get that chemistry together and get ready for the upcoming season. So I’m very excited to have him on the team and I know he’s the same way. The whole Kings organization and our teammates are excited he’s here. We’re just ready and getting prepared for this upcoming season to get started.

CK: You guys work out at UCLA?

BM: The rec center, yeah. Also (Loyola Marymount), we worked together (there). It’s been pretty good. This offseason, I’ve been working really hard and I’ve been showing it a lot. I just want to keep working hard on my game and get better and get ready for the upcoming season.

CK: What did you learn from that experience of working out with Darren this summer?

BM: He just wants to learn more and I wanna do it the same way. He also wants to teach a lot. He’s been teaching me a lot on where I wanna be on the floor. He’s been helping me a lot on (understanding) if this is a good spot for me to score here or (how to) play defense here. He’s a great passer and he’s a great guy.

He’s very intelligent and he knows his stuff, especially because he’s been in the league for a while. He knows what he’s talking about so just getting all (that knowledge) from him has been great, especially this summer. It helps a lot.

CK: What kind of conversations have you had with coach Michael Malone and the rest of his staff since Summer League ended?

BM: Just to keep working. They see that I’ve been working and (they encourage me) to just keep working. It’s all going to pay off. That’s all I’ve been doing is working on my game and trying to get better and be the best I can. I’m very excited. I can’t wait for the upcoming season, man.

CK: We talked about this at Summer League, but where is the chemistry at this point between you and Nik Stauskas? How has it developed since then?

BM: Especially during the Summer League, the chemistry, everybody sees it, was good together, playing together out there on the floor. Eventually we’re going to be out there together. But since we’ve been back doing workouts, we’ve been working out together, shooting together, doing everything together. Just getting that chemistry together.

As far as us playing pickup, it’s the opposite. We’re not on the same team (because) it wouldn’t be fair if both of us are on the same team. Either (way), we’re growing each other and we’re making each other better. It’s definitely going to pay off and it’s going to be good.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.