By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer

This season will be the first time De’Aaron Fox, left and Malik Monk, right, have played together since their college days at the University of Kentucky. Monk signed with the Kings as a free agent during the summer while Fox is entering his sixth season in Sacramento. Antonio R. Harvey, OBSERVER

A day before the team’s first day of training camp, the Sacramento Kings started their 2022-2023 campaign with media day on Monday, Sept. 26 at the Golden 1 Center’s practice facility. 

With 20 players on the roster, many competing to remain on the NBA’s mandated 15-man list, the Kings are looking to do a lot better than its 2021-2022 season where they finished 32-50.

The Kings have not appeared in a postseason game since playing the San Antonio Spurs in 2006, and finished in last place in the NBA’s Pacific Division in seven of 16 seasons. It’s currently the longest drought in the league’s history. 

Days after the Golden State Warriors won the NBA title last summer, Mike Brown, one of the assistant coaches for the champions, showed up in Sacramento to be introduced as the team’s head coach. 

Sacramento Coach Mike Brown, left, has a brief chat with forward Harrison Barnes after the team’s first practice on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at the Kings’ practice facility. Antonio R. Harvey, OBSERVER

The hiring marks Brown’s fourth head-coaching job in the NBA. He coached the Cleveland Cavaliers on two occasions and the Los Angeles Lakers. 

The Kings finished 27th in defensive efficiency last season, an area the team has been tied to for many years. The Warriors were the second-best defensive team in the NBA last season. 

At media day, Brown said that he is “excited” about the start of training camp. He and players have noted that they had begun training individually in Sacramento shortly after his hire to get everyone on the same page.  

“This summer was great, communication was great from us to the players, from the players to us,” Brown said. “There is a great spirit and energy that we want to be playing at a high level. I can’t wait until this journey begins.”

The Kings preseason opener will begin on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, Oct. 3. Sacramento will host Portland on Sunday, Oct. 9 before wrapping up the remaining preseason games against Phoenix on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and a rematch versus the Lakers on Friday, Oct. 14.