After being selected 28th overall in last year’s NBA Draft, Skal Labissiere had a long road ahead of him. First, his goal was to impress the coaches enough to earn a spot on the roster. The Sacramento Kings were already loaded with former Kentucky big men DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein.
Once he solidified his spot with the Kings, Skal then had to compete for time on the court. His rookie season had a lot of ups and downs, with more ups towards the end of this season. After Cousins was traded to the Pelicans, Labissiere was able to earn more playing time. From there, Skal began to showcase his tendency to attack rebounds and block opposing shots left & right.
“Skal seems like a meek, humble, quiet guy off the court,” veteran guard Garrett Temple said, “but when he gets between the lines, he is a very different person. He attacks rebounds. He has immense talent and an excellent work ethic. He is receptive to coaching. He wants to be a great, great player in this league.”
With his first NBA season coming to a close, there’s much more room for improvement. This Summer, Skal plans to add more muscle mass in the weight room. He also looks forward to another great week in Las Vegas during the NBA Summer League. According to him, there’s no time to rest during the offseason. Here’s what he had to say about his pace for improving:
“I’m feeling a little more comfortable out there,” Labissiere said, with a soft smile. “It’s me learning at my own pace, not getting rushed, learning how to see things on the court. It’s not about the next three or four games, it’s about the next couple years, learning how to play with each, develop our chemistry. I’m nowhere near (physically) where I want to be. But this should be a fun summer. Lots of time with the weights, and working on all aspects of my game.”
It’ll be fun to watch how Skal improves in the years to come. He’s still a young player, with every intent to prove critics wrong for passing him up in the draft.
You can read more about Skal Labissiere’s rookie year in the following article by the Sacramento Bee: