Ben McLemore struggled through the NBA summer league last year and looked forward to playing better this year.
That wasn’t the case Friday night as McLemore had a shaky performance in the Kings’ opener, an 85-69 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at Cox Pavilion.
McLemore, the Kings’ first-round draft pick last year, had 11 points on 2-of-8 shootingwith four fouls, no assists and a game-high eight turnovers.
It wasn’t the kind of game Kings head coach Michael Malone expected after the team had practiced for four days.
“We were having two-a-days, and he was pretty good,” Malone said. “He was shooting the ball with confidence and playing hard, defending, handling the ball a little bit better. But (Friday), he didn’t play very well. (He had) eight turnovers, which is not what you want from your starting two guard.”
It’s a big summer for McLemore, who must hold off rookie Nik Stauskas, this year’s first-round pick, for the starting job at shooting guard.
Stauskas had 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting with three assists, two steals, two blocks and three turnovers.
McLemore said he was trying to be “unselfish and trying to play the game (right).”
“I’ve just got to be more aggressive and not passive,” McLemore added. “I’ve just got to watch film, keep working and learn from that.”
Stauskas tied forward Quincy Acy for the team lead in scoring. The Kings finished with 19 turnovers and only eight assists.
Corbin agreed to join the staff Monday as Malone’s lead assistant, but there had been no comment from the Kings because his addition was not official, even as Corbin was at summer league practices.
Chris Jent had been slated to coach the Kings’ summer league team for the second straight year.
Corbin came to the Kings after four seasons as Utah’s head coach.
General manager Pete D’Alessandro and assistant general Mike Bratz also were present.