Meet the new Sacramento King: Jermaine Taylor.

Last week the Sacramento Kings made a quiet move that helped the Houston Rockets clear a roster space before they made a larger three team deal that yielded swingman Terrence Williams.  By giving up a future (highly protected) 2nd round pick, the Kings received second year shooting guard Jermaine Taylor out of Central Florida as well as cash considerations.  The 24-year-old Taylor is what can be described as a high flier with tremendous upside-  upside Rocket’s coach Rick Adelman did not have the time to mold.

On Monday, I had a chance to sit down with the confident and athletic Jermaine Taylor.  Here is that interview in its entirety.

TPP: What was your experience like in Houston?

Taylor: I had a real good experience.  I had fun.  There are a lot of good people out there- coaches, teammates, everybody.  I don’t think I was given a fair opportunity, but other than that, I loved it.

TPP: Coach Adelman has long been known as a coach who likes to let young players learn from the bench.  Do you think you kind of fell into that category with the Rockets?

Taylor: I think so.  I was told that I was  caught up in a numbers game.  I kind of saw it from the start.  My first year I wasn’t really worried about it because I was a rookie, I was just trying to get adjusted.  My second year, I came into the season thinking that I was going to play.  I was ready to go, I spent my whole summer working out, but then I could tell from my first practice that  they had the starting five on one team, then the second five on another team and I was on the third team, so I was starting to see that this was going to go the same way as last year.  That’s when I could kind of tell, but I thought I could show them in practice that I deserved to be out there but it didn’t happen that way.

TPP: How tough is it to come in on the first day of camp to that realization that, oh boy, here we go again?  How do you keep yourself up?

Taylor: It wasn’t that hard because it was the first day and I thought that maybe by the end, I could show them that I belong to be out there.  It seemed like no matter what I was doing on the practice court, I wasn’t going to play.  That’s what it seemed like to me.

TPP: I have watched some YouTube clips of you – you are definitely a slasher and a dunker.  Do you consider yourself more of a raw scorer or do you think you can be a shooter in this league as well?

Taylor: Yes, I can most definitely be a shooter.  I just don’t shoot because there hasn’t been too many people who can stop me from getting to the rim.  In college, I was forced to shoot jump shots and I shot, what, 40%.  I have three point records at my college, so I can shoot the ball, I just choose to take it to the rack and get fouled, but if someone stops me or they clog the paint up and I have to shoot it then I’m real comfortable shooting it.

TPP: Where are you at as a defensive player?

Taylor: I admit, in college, I wasn’t a defensive player.  I saved myself for offense, always.  To get into this league, you have to play defense.  I have all the tools to play, I’m athletic, I get down, I’m competitive and I think that’s all you need to be a good defensive player.  I’m getting better.  I don’t want to say I’m the best, but I’m not a bad defender.

TPP: Do you prefer the two or the three or do you think they are interchangeable?

Taylor: It doesn’t matter.  On the teams I’ve played for, they are pretty interchangeable.

TPP: You averaged 26 points a game as a senior in college.  What kind of scorer can you be in the NBA?

Taylor: The same kind.  I have a knack for getting to the rim.  If I’m not scoring by shooting or if I can’t get to the rim, I can score in other ways- fast breaks, getting out in transition, getting a rebound, snatching it and going back up.  Scoring in different ways.

TPP: Who do you think your game resembles or who do you model your game after?

Taylor: I really don’t know, but I’ve heard in the past that I remind people of Dwyane Wade when he first came in the league, but I think that is because we are the same size and we both have that scoring mentality.  Just raw talent.

Taylor is a very confident young guy.  He’s not obnoxiously confident, just a guy who knows he can score.  Coming out of the University of Central Florida, Taylor measured at 6′-4.75″ with an impressive 6′-8.75″ wingspan to go with a 37.5″ max vertical.  He is an elite athlete who plays well above the rim, which the Kings haven’t really had in a long time.  Hopefully we will get a chance to see Jermaine Taylor and Pooh Jeter put on a fast breaking, high flying show off the bench for the Kings sometime in the near future.



About: James Ham

James Ham is the senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".