Reno Bighorns make visit this week to adopt Sacramento Kings principles

Back in July, the Sacramento Kings announced a new hybrid-affiliation with the Reno Bighorns of the D-League. That partnership will give the Kings complete control over the Bighorns’ basketball operations for the next two seasons.

The D-League doesn’t tip off action until next month, but the Bighorns are putting in work to get acclimated with their NBA affiliate in Sacramento. Reno head coach Joel Abelson and members of his staff have been in town this week familiarizing themselves with Michael Malone’s system. They were in attendance at Sleep Train Arena for Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers and were spotted at the Kings’ previous two practices.

Coach Malone called the Bighorns “a microcosm of what we do.” Here’s what Malone said about having the Bighorns in Sacramento for a visit:

Vivek Ranadivé, our owner, he went and he wanted to have Reno be our hybrid, so that way it’s just our team. And we hired a coach in Joel Abelson (and) we have him and his staff here this week so we can make sure everything they do in Reno is basically…a microcosm of what we do.  Same terminology, same philosophies, offensively and defensively. And they can get a chance to see the drills that we do, our terminology and what our core system is. So they’ve been monitoring and watching us the whole week, and they’ll use it to help them out when they start their training camp in November.

The Bighorns will conclude their stay in Sacramento with open tryouts this Sunday afternoon. The tryouts will be conducted at the Kings’ practice facility from noon to 5 p.m.  More information can be found on the Bighorns’ website.


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.

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