Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Buddy Hield 'trusts in God' as Sacramento Kings seek return to NBA playoffs

Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings did not hide his feelings when asked about his team’s playoff hopes this week.

“I’d bet my house on it,” he told a group of reporters Wednesday.

The Kings’ 12-year playoff drought is the longest in the NBA, but an influx of young talent in recent years has provided a reason for optimism. The team boasts a bevy of rising stars like De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III, and Hield is part of a solid core of players just entering their prime. Only one player on the roster is older than 30.

The Kings are 30-27 in a tough Western Conference and only a game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth and final playoff spot. They acquired Alec Burks and NBA-champion Harrison Barnes in trades at the deadline to bolster the team for a playoff push.

“Everybody knows how dangerous we can be,” Hield said. “I like our chances, man.”

Hield also gains confidence from Christ. He has an image of Proverbs 3:5-6 as his Twitter header, and once explained a pre-game Bible ritual to Sports Spectrum.

“I will read the Psalms [before every game], which is what my mother taught me to do at an early age,” Hield said in a Sports Spectrum Magazine article from 2016. “I know she will be praying, and so will I. It calms me down.”

Hield would often flip to Psalm 23, which speaks of God’s steadfast love and protection for His children. With God’s promises in his mind, Hield’s positive enthusiasm for life has long been one of his defining characteristics. It has served to help win over many Kings fans who were less than thrilled when their team traded away DeMarcus Cousins for Hield and a few other players in 2017.

Since that time, Hield has become one of the best shooters in the league and an irreplaceable part of Sacramento’s starting five. He made the trip to Charlotte for this year’s All-Star festivities, where he finished third in the 3-point contest. Hield was joined by Fox, Bagley III and Bogdan Bogdanovic for the Rising Stars game.

The Kings’ future is bright, with many playoff runs to come if they can keep their young talent in Sacramento. Whether those playoff runs begin in 2019, leave it to Hield to expect the best.

“If I don’t say it, [reporters] will say, ‘He’s not confident enough,'” he said this week. “That’s how I was raised. I trust in God, and hopefully He favors us.”

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