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‘This is just the appetizer’: Harry Giles says he’s driven to improve after ejection

Kings forward Harry Giles (20) reacts to a foul call during a summer league game against the Phoenix Suns in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 7, 2018.
Kings forward Harry Giles (20) reacts to a foul call during a summer league game against the Phoenix Suns in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 7, 2018. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Harry Giles is learning something new with each summer league game.

Wednesday’s lesson was in protocol with officials. Giles was called for two technical fouls in the fourth quarter, both double technicals along with Cleveland’s Billy Preston, and was ejected from Sacramento’s 96-84 loss to the Cavaliers at Thomas & Mack Center.

The defeat eliminates the Kings (1-3) from the summer league tournament. Sacramento will finish play in Las Vegas on Friday in a consolation game.

“I apologized to my team for kind of bringing some negative air in there into the mix, especially when we’re trying to win the game at this point in the tournament, too,” said Giles, who also received a technical foul during Tuesday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. “So I took that one in the chest.”

Giles has been chatty with opponents throughout summer league, but Wednesday was a case where Giles needed to do a better job of reading the room.

The officiating crew called a total of seven technical fouls and had been telling players to cut back on the trash talk.

“That’s something that a player has to learn to feel,” said Kings summer league coach Larry Lewis. “A lot of the game is feel. He’s so passionate and he has a lot of energy so his competitive nature will cause him to get riled up at times. He’ll learn to channel it – this is his first two weeks on the NBA court.”

Giles watched last season while recovering from knee surgeries and saw the Kings needed more tenacity. Giles’ personality brings that to the court, and in general the Kings like it. Wednesday showed Giles what happens when his emotions are too much.

“I think emotionally he’ll learn to balance things out, but I’d rather a guy be feisty,” Lewis said. “Not overdoing it to where they’re in the red. I like that emotion and I like the energy.”

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Giles and Preston were fine after the game and laughing about what happened when they saw each other during media sessions for both teams.

Giles also said the referees were doing their job and calling the game as they saw it.

“I was just out there competing, that’s all,” Giles said. “Trying to go out there and have some fun, but I guess I was having a little bit too much fun and playing too hard, but it’s all right. The ref made a good call, and between me and Billy there’s no problem. We’re just two competitors trying to be great, trying to compete and show we’re the best.”

Part of Giles’ frustration was about his own play. The Kings shot badly (35.8 percent) and Giles contributed to that by shooting 3 of 12, and he had a team-high four turnovers.

Giles finished with seven points, five rebounds and six assists.

“Patience” is his biggest takeaway from summer league, he said.

“Every game I’ve been thrown a different challenge,” Giles said. “From people trying to get in my head, to not being able to score the ball, to passing the ball, to getting it on the break. I just took away that I’m taking the right steps, I’m getting better each game.”

Giles’ competitive nature meant he was upset with the loss, but he’s also glad he’s been able show other aspects of his game, like his passing against the Cavaliers.

And he’ll know better when to calm down and not draw the attention of the officials for the wrong reasons.

“I’m just getting more comfortable; more of my confidence is coming out the more games I play. So I’m just anxious,” Giles said. “When I get back to Sac, as soon as I get back home I’m going to work. I’m just ready to get it down, and when the season comes around I’ve got more to show. Stay tuned, this is just the appetizer right here.”

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