Participating in the Kings' summer camp, Jorge Gutierrez (2), driving to the basket during his days at Cal, is making a mark playing tough defense.

Kings notes: Ex-Cal standout Gutierrez hopes defense is ticket to NBA

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013 - 5:01 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 - 12:09 pm

LAS VEGAS - Two days into the Kings' summer-league minicamp, Jorge Gutierrez is already doing what he does best - harass the opposition.

The former Cal standout wasn't drafted after winning Pacific-12 Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2012. Twice an all-conference selection, Gutierrez played for the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League, earning first-team All-Rookie and All-Defensive team honors.

The 6-foot-3 guard is now making practices tough for Kings second-round pick Ray McCallum.

"He's pushing Ray McCallum, getting into him, making Ray work, and he's also doing a good job of running his team like all good point guards do," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "He's been a nice addition to our summer-league team."

Defense is what Malone is known to preach, so Gutierrez fits in well with this group. It's also what Gutierrez believes will be the key to extending his time playing professionally.

"I believe in it, and defense has opened doors for me in a lot of places," Gutierrez said. "So I think that might be my ticket."

Malone credited director of player personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim with adding Gutierrez to the summer-league squad while leading the effort to put together the roster.

Abdur-Rahim, also a former Cal standout, won the conference Player of the Year honor in 1996.

"I think Jorge playing at Cal like Shareef did, there was a little Cal love there by (Abdur-Rahim)," Malone said. "We knew what kind of player Jorge was. He went down to the D-League and played hard, and we knew he'd come into this camp and push our guys as well as be a guy that could play. He's not just here to push our guys. He's going to get a chance to play and show what he can do."

Flashback - Dee Brown, the Kings' new assistant coach and director of player development, might be best known for his 1991 Slam Dunk Contest victory.

Brown famously "pumped up" his Reebok Pump shoes before winning the contest on an attempt in which he dunked the ball with his left hand while covering his eyes with his right forearm.

The Kings rookies are figuring out who Brown was as a player. First-round pick Ben McLemore finally saw a clip of the contest after not knowing about it before Tuesday's practice.

"(McLemore) said, 'I didn't know that was you with the pump-up shoes,' " Brown said Wednesday. "That's dating me ... . I don't think he was even born yet when I did that. It's good for those guys to remember me, but the most important part is I'm here for them. I can still dunk a little bit, but not like these kids out here."

McLemore was born in 1993.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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