Oct 29, 201412:39 PMThe City

Five questions for the Kings' new point guard Darren Collison

Five questions for the Kings' new point guard Darren Collison

Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings will open their 30th season tonight, and we caught up with the team’s new starting point guard Darren Collison, who has been tearing up court since he was an MVP player at UCLA. Here’s what he had to say about his new teammates, the Kings’ recent trip to China and their upcoming year.

Last season, you were with the L.A. Clippers. How did you feel about joining the Kings?
Well, for one, it was a blessing. I was thankful for the opportunity to really just have my game get recognized because I work hard on it, and then to come to a team like Sacramento where they have great fans and the fans are very loyal to their players, it’s another blessing, so everything has been so surreal for me. I’m actually having as much fun as I’ve had since I’ve been playing in the NBA.

My team is everything I thought they would be. Ben [McLemore], Nik [Stauskas], those guys are young guys who can really be something special early on in their career, and then you have DeMarcus Cousins, who to me is the best big man in the league right now. And Rudy Gay is still one of the best wing players. So I’m enjoying the fact that I get to play with those guys. DeMarcus is already one of my favorite teammates to be around. He’s definitely maturing into a good leader. He’s always joking around in a good way just to keep everything light. You need that sometimes. 

What’s your first impression of Sacramento?
The city fits in really well with my lifestyle. Sacramento is a place where you can just chill and relax with your family. It reminds me of where I used to live back home in Southern California. I grew up in [Rancho Cucamonga, a suburb of the] Inland Empire near Los Angeles. So I feel right at home. I think it’s a good place to be, and I hope I’m here for a long time. I can’t complain about where I’m at right now.

Off the court, what’s something you want fans to know about you? Any favorite hobbies?
I’m not sure everybody needs to know about it, but I play video games a lot, and I especially like NBA 2K. That’s a video game on Xbox One. Fans will know about that game.

How has the preseason gone for you guys?
It’s actually going well. I think we are getting out our growing pains pretty early, and I think some of the losses in the preseason kind of helped to mold us together pretty fast. We got a chance to come closer together on the China trip. We played a couple of games [there] against Brooklyn. [The Kings played the Brooklyn Nets in two preseason games in China earlier this month as part of the NBA Global Games.] People were really nice and genuine and it was cool to get away from everything and just have the time as a team to bond and joke around and see things together. And we went to the Great Wall. That was cool. I’d never been, so just to be there and see that part of history, it meant a lot to me and all of my teammates.

What can Kings fans look forward on the court this season?
I just think it is going to be our year. I mean, you look at the talent that we have on this team right now—if we work hard and if everything comes together, we can do something special. There are some naysayers that say we’re not going to make the playoffs, but I’m looking forward to proving a lot of people wrong because I know what we’re capable of. [My teammates have] told me that the fans will always be there. Win or lose, they will be loyal. And it’s only going to get better if we continue to win more games. So that’s what I’m looking forward to, to try to win as many games as possible and continue to sell out crowds.

The Kings will take on the Golden State Warriors during the season opener at Sleep Train Arena tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com.

Related Links
—Kings president Chris Granger talks about the team's trip to China.
—Sactown's profile of Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé
—Kings release first round of arena renderings

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