Come the second weekend of April, the Kings will still be playing for the first time since 2006.
Mark it down, guard Buddy Hield suggests. He’s willing to put a large wager on Sacramento making the playoffs.
Asked what he thought about the team’s playoff chances Wednesday, he shared how he felt about the possibility.
“Very confident. I’d bet my house on it,” Hield said before adding, “I make a lot of money to buy the next one.”
While the statement was obviously said jokingly, his confidence in the Kings making the playoffs is no laughing matter.
Even if he had been serious, there are limits to what he’d be willing to lose.
“You can’t bet your dogs,” Hield said in response to whether he would include them in a bet. “I’m just confident. If I don’t say it, (the media) will say, ‘He’s not confident enough.’
“That’s how I was raised. I trust in God, and hopefully, he favors us.”
The Kings’ quest to end their postseason drought won’t be easy. It begins Thursday in Oakland against the two-time defending-champion Golden State Warriors.
“Right out of the gate, we have a tough one,” Hield said. “That’s the fun thing about the NBA, there are no easy games.”
Still, his confidence isn’t wavering.
“Everyone knows how dangerous we can be,” he said. “I like our chances, and I’d go to battle with these guys any day.”
The Kings (30-27) are a game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
Hield is very aware of where the Clippers and all other teams around the Kings are. He said he checks the standings regularly.
“I always do,” he said. “Even when we were under .500, I was checking the standings to see where we’re at. That’s human nature.”
He added that he hopes the teams near Sacramento in the standings lose each game, especially “both L.A. teams. Facts.” The Lakers are 10th in the West, one spot and two games behind the Kings.
Hield won’t apologize for rooting against those teams because, “They hope we lose, too.”