Articles | Kings History

Tales from the Drought: Buddy Hield shows off shooting, sprinting and leaping abilities

In our series in which we revisit great Kings players or moments that got lost in the losing, we look back at a wild game-winner from the 2018-19 season.

Kings fans and anyone paying attention to the NBA already knew Buddy Hield was a threat from 3-point land, especially when he got rolling. What they learned on January 19, 2019 was that he was also a world-class sprinter and hurdler.

OK, not really.

After hitting a buzzer-beating 3 to stun the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena, Hield ran off the floor toward the tunnel — but had to leap over an extended camera cord en route to the locker room.

Hield was 7 of 9 from downtown and scored a team-high 35 points that night in the 103-101 win.

“All glory to God, He’s been blessing me in so many ways,” Hield told reporters in the locker room that night. “As a kid, you always dream of hitting one of those shots, especially at a high level like this, and it’s something I will cherish the rest of my life.”

I was in Detroit on that snowy night covering the game for The Sacramento Bee.

Hield’s backcourt mate knew it was money when the ball was launched.

“When he shot it, it looked good the whole way,” De’Aaron Fox said. “I mean he was hot. ... I had no doubt that it was going in.”

The shot was impressive — Hield took an inbound pass with 3.4 seconds left and no timeouts, fumbled the catch but corralled it, spun free and put up a shot off his left leg for the all-net game-winner. But the leap Hield took to avoid the wire while in full stride made the moment that much more memorable.

“The lady almost tripped me. I think she was trying to trip me,” Hield said. “She put it up high. Thank God for my track background, I was able to hurdle over the wire.”

It was the ninth time that season the Kings won a game after trailing by double digits and cemented a season sweep over the Pistons, who lost at Golden 1 Center nine days prior.

It was also the Kings' second buzzer-beating victory of the season. Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a 3-pointer as time expired in a 117-116 home victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 27, 2018.

Hield had another game-winner with the Kings — a tip-in at the buzzer in overtime to beat the host Nuggets in the 2020-21 season opener — but his run off the court was unobstructed this time.

Despite being the franchise leader in 3-pointers made, Hield often was a source of frustration for Kings fans. Still, it's safe to say that they all remember and maybe even cherish his sprint and leap off into the Detroit tunnel.

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Klam
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Nostradumbass 19
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August 4, 2022 8:15 am

The 2018-19 season was the last time I felt the Kings were headed in the right direction finally. There were so many times where I looked at the opponent before the game started and would just assume that they would lose, and would be shocked to see the win. They were slightly above .500 until maybe early March when they just ran out of gas at the end, but it was a very nice, enjoyable season to watch with many surprise wins.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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August 4, 2022 8:55 am
Reply to  Klam

I was just about to post the same thing. Rookie Bagley still looked promising and was 3rd in scoring, 2nd year Fox looked to be the real deal while shooting a career best 37% from 3, Buddy was the leading scorer while shooing an insane 42% from 3, Kings made a very solid trade for Barnes, and Joerger increased the win total by 12 games taking the team to a playoff drought best 39 wins.

Then they had to go and shoot themselves foot that summer by canning Joerger and hiring Walton. So Kangz.

alec26
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August 4, 2022 6:54 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

All they had to do was win 3 more games to go over .500 for the first time since 2006. And no draft pick that year. Absolutely no point in tanking. It was three years before I went to a game again.

andy_sims
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August 5, 2022 9:12 am
Reply to  alec26

You thought the Kings were tanking that season? I seem to recall (subject to reality) that the Kings were pushing hard to get into the top eight, but by the last game of the season, had been eliminated. Joerger pulled the starters around halftime, but I wouldn’t consider that a tank job.

jay14bay
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August 4, 2022 9:00 am

fun shot, but i don’t see how that is not a double dribble violation

markdog333
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August 4, 2022 9:23 am
Reply to  jay14bay

Maybe he never had possession before the first bounce? I’m sure that would have been reviewed.

jay14bay
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August 4, 2022 10:03 am
Reply to  markdog333

to me it was one bounce (bobble) second bounce (dribble) third bounce (double dribble which caught the Piston players off guard and freed him up).

the video above can be played from 0:51 at half speed to see all three bounces clearly. I guess the question is if the second bounce he had control, and imo yes.

but i am just a guy in a chair

Last edited 9 days ago by jay14bay
markdog333
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August 4, 2022 9:27 am

I really wasn’t frustrated with Buddy. I was frustrated with Buddy being given roles that included things that he was not good at. If Buddy finds the right situation, he can become an elite role player.

I love his personality though.

Gregoryl
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August 4, 2022 9:56 am
Reply to  markdog333

I hated Buddy’s final couple years in Sac, but he certainly looked better once he got to Indiana. I imagine a lot of that was due to him being in a role that best suited him.

aplumley
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August 4, 2022 9:32 am

This was the year Buddy earned his payday. His defense was even passable at that time, and he even had moments where his on ball defense looked good. His offensive rebounding was solid that year too. He still had the starter/not starter question marks but there was great hope. The contract came, and he turned into just a guy that could hit 3s, and added virtually nothing else on the court. And even that seemed to wane in the coming years. The Kings really needed, and still need, one of their young guys to make a leap to get out of this rut. Here’s hoping Fox, Mitchell and/or Keegan outperform expectations.

Kosta
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August 4, 2022 9:46 am

Was this Buddy Hield shot the beginning of the Detroit/Sacramento twitter war?

TerzoM
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August 4, 2022 9:52 am

Nice one Buddy
comment image

Will we add DMC’s 55 pt game against Portland? The mouth-piece mania + post game Conspiracy-theory interview with kayte_c. Truly a bizarre tale

Last edited 9 days ago by TerzoM
Rover24
August 4, 2022 11:57 am
Reply to  TerzoM

I second adding this game…probably the most exciting basketball game I ever attended.

JackassCentral916
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August 4, 2022 1:11 pm
Reply to  Rover24

I was there too! Totally bananas.

JackassCentral916
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August 4, 2022 1:13 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

I don’t know why we let Buddy off the hook for that nut grab. That was some dirty shit. And then we had Reggie Evans for a minute. We were like the Jail Blazers but for nut grabbers.

TerzoM
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August 4, 2022 6:29 pm

That was NOP Buddy before DMC trade. His teammate AD later posted this

754AADAE-FDAB-4A40-82C3-F8483BDA0AD2.png
Roaddog
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August 5, 2022 2:40 am
Reply to  TerzoM

the fact that you can remember this, find the exact picture and post it is amazing.

Gregoryl
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August 4, 2022 9:57 am

Any predictions on the crowd reaction when Buddy returns? I believe our fans are often too forgiving, but would we really give Buddy a nice ovation?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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August 4, 2022 11:58 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

I don’t see any reason not to. He was a class act while he was here, was as durable as any player in the league, and did what he was supposed to. It’s not his fault Walton liked to play at PG at times or that the teams he was on were just generally bad. Would he be any less deserving of someone like K-Mart returning on a different team?

Sacto_J
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August 4, 2022 12:49 pm

Ah, the conundrum that is Chavano Rainer “Buddy” Hield. For all the things he did right there’s just as much where you had to wonder where his head was at.
I agree with whoever mentioned him being given roles that were completely out of his wheel house. Some of that was necessity (see Chavano dribble the air out of the ball filling in at PG while Fox was out) but some of it was borne out of his overextended confidence levels. I think he felt that being on a bad team should have given him leeway to be a chucker / points getter. He certainly didn’t seem to understand his own limitations at times. And why the coaches let him shoot us out of games I’ll never understand. And his propensity to say stupid shit whenever the media was looking for a soundbite for a couple of years. But you know, every now and again he could put the ball in the hole more often than not.
Anyway, addition by subtraction ultimately. Seems like he’d be fun to hang out with tho.

UsedToLoveTheKings
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August 4, 2022 9:19 pm

Over at Sactown Royalty, they haven’t had any news in days. Rehashing the inglorious past seems like a clever way to generate news and clicks.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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August 4, 2022 10:01 pm

Or to foster community and fandom. I’m fairly certain the creators of this site aren’t in it for the “clicks,” they are fans like the rest of us who have full times jobs and lives elsewhere. If anything the ads and clicks are there to just keep the lights on. There is no Vox media overlord dictating mandates.

Klam
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August 5, 2022 7:46 am

These kinds of look-back articles have always been a thing, even when this staff was working at the-site-that-shall-not-be-named. It’s not just something that’s done for “clicks.” It’s a nice way to have content on this site and give something for commenters to discuss during the slow period of the NBA when there isn’t much topical news going on. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have articles like these during the slow month rather than zero articles at all. If you’ve looked at the comments since these “Tales from the Drought” started this month, it brings out a lot of interesting comments and discussion, and it’s because people want to comment on it. There’s a reason why 95 percent of this community migrated from the old site to here because this community is genuinely one of a kind.

And as Adam said, TKH is a completely independent site with no monetary backing of a huge corporation. In order for this site to stay online, you have to produce stuff that will get people to visit and support (which by the way, no one is even forced to give money to read the articles here), but enough people do support the site because of the community that has been built up since it started in the mid 2000s.

Last edited 8 days ago by Klam
andy_sims
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August 5, 2022 9:07 am

Ahh, it was nice seeing Dave Joerger happy and healthy. I’ve heard that he’s doing pretty well with his treatments, has he turned the corner?

JoeEnzyme
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August 5, 2022 5:20 pm

I have always agreed with Buddy that the camera woman intentionally raised the cord, actually risking injury to a player. She should have been properly admonished for that decision that was just wrong, even though she may have done it instinctively without much thought.

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