By Mark Haynes | OBSERVER Correspondent
The 2023 California Classic at the Golden 1 Center tips off July 3 and 5, marking the fifth time the Sacramento Kings have hosted this two-day NBA Summer League event.
Past California Classics included four teams. However, Sacramento welcomes two more squads to the party this year. The San Antonio Spurs, who drafted Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 pick, and the Charlotte Hornets, who picked Brandon Miller second, are in this year’s competition.
This year’s California Classic could’ve given fans a highly anticipated matchup right out of the gate. A Wembanyama-Miller faceoff was scheduled on day one at 5 p.m., but after news broke that Wembanyama wouldn’t play fans now have to wait for the Las Vegas Summer League on July 7th. Neither Miller nor the Hornets have announced if he’s playing July 3, but a source close to the 20-year-old told The OBSERVER he’s leaning toward playing in Sacramento and Vegas.
Even if neither high-profile rookie plays, a ton of talent will be on display. The California Classic will host six 40-minute games, offering a first look at tomorrow’s stars, as well as players trying to make an NBA roster or G-League team.
Two Kings’ rookies will compete. Colby Jones out of Xavier was the 34th pick, and Jalen Slawson from Furman was the 54th. Second-year wing Keegan Murray, center Neemias Queta, and Keon Ellis are also on the Summer League roster.
The Kings will face the Warriors on July 3 and the Heat on July 5, both at 7 p.m. All games will be broadcast on ESPN and KHTK 1140. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.