How the Kings divide playing time at point guard could change with Ramon Sessions healthy for the first time in almost a month when the Kings played the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.
Sessions had missed the previous 12 games because of a low-back strain. He last played Dec. 22 at Golden State.
Second-year guard Ray McCallum backed up starter Darren Collison during that time.
“I think he’s done well,” Kings coach Tyrone Corbin said of McCallum. “He’s worked his tail off for his opportunity, and he was ready when the opportunity presented itself, and that’s all you can do as a young guy in this league – make the most of the minutes that you get.”
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Sessions was signed in the offseason to back up Collison and play alongside him at times, but he began the season in a slump. Before the game against the Blazers, Corbin was unsure how much he’d use Sessions, if at all.
“He hasn’t really gone through a full practice yet,” Corbin said. “We’ll see how the game develops, but he will be in uniform.”
Corbin doesn’t want Sessions doing too much, too soon and risk being sidelined again.
“The trainers will give me some direction,” Corbin said. “(Ramon will) give me some direction.”
Rookie trials – First-year guard Nik Stauskas didn’t play in Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Corbin said the decision was dictated by playing against the aggressive Clippers guards.
“It’s a tough matchup,” Corbin said. “It’s one game.”
In the first half Monday, Stauskas didn’t come off the bench to spell starting shooting guard Ben McLemore. McCallum was the first guard off the bench.
It’s been a tough season for the rookie from Michigan. Stauskas averages 3.6 points and is shooting just 33.3 percent. He was expected to help improve the Kings’ three-point shooting but is hitting 27.2 percent from three-point range.
MLK Day recognition – The Kings wore special shooting shirts with “DREAM” across the front for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Some of the players for both teams who wear adidas wore shoes for the holiday that are part of the company’s Black History Month collection.
The shoes by adidas honor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career and have “sepia tones, inspirational quotes and details of Abdul-Jabbar’s career, broken down to four key eras represented by each shoe in the collection,” according to the company.
The Kings’ Collison, McLemore and Reggie Evans wore the shoes, while Portland’s Damian Lillard wore his signature version of the Black History Month shoe.