Kings guard Buddy Hield didn’t have any second thoughts about going public with his displeasure over his situation last year and doesn’t believe his relationship with head coach Luke Walton needs to be fixed, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.
“I have no regrets,” Hield said today during a Zoom session with the media. “There’s nothing to be worked on. I never had a problem with nobody here, so everything that was being heard, it wasn’t put out by me. I love everybody here in this franchise and this organization, so I don’t regret nothing I said. I’m going to keep it 100.”
Hield’s unhappiness first emerged when Walton began leaving him on the bench in the fourth quarter of some close games, and it got worse when he was removed from the starting lineup in January. Hield contributed as Sacramento won 13 out of 20 games prior to the shutdown, but he remained upset about how Walton was using him.
The departure of Bogdan Bogdanovic, who signed an offer sheet with Atlanta that the Kings didn’t match, may open the door for Hield to become a starter again. However, Walton wasn’t ready to commit to that as training camp began.
“Even last season, Buddy started more than half of the season, and when he didn’t start, he played a huge role for us coming off the bench and being a dynamic 20-point-a-night scorer,” Walton said. “Every decision is always based on what I feel is best for the group and best for the team, and with this training camp, this is part of what we have to see. What do we have? What groups are playing well together? Who complements who? And at the end of the day, every decision that gets made will come down to what I feel as the head coach is best for this team and giving us the best chance of winning.”
Hield responded to Walton’s statement by saying he’s ready to earn a starting role and will do anything the coaching staff asks of him.
“I always love competing and it doesn’t matter,” Hield said. “That’s not my job. I don’t control that. The head coach controls that. They brought me here to play basketball and win basketball games, so whatever they need me for, I’m going to do it and try to compete at the highest (level) I can.”