In 27 games with the Kings, Marcus Thornton averaged 21.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals, while showcasing a consistent ability to perform at his best with the game on the line – helping the Kings overcome five fourth-quarter deficits to win.
Before he departed for his home in Baton Rouge, La., Kings.com caught up with the sharpshooter to get his take on his time in Sacramento, the team’s potential and his summer training plans. Plus, find out what aspect of DeMarcus Cousins’ game most impressed his veteran teammate.
What are your initial plans for the offseason?
“(I’ll be in) Baton Rouge and spend some time with my family – (enjoying) Down South cooking and all that good stuff. I’ll take a couple weeks off and watch a couple (Playoff) games. I’m probably going to be frustrated because I’m not playing in any of them, but just take like two weeks off and then get back to it.”
How important is it to have a bit of downtime to get refocused and reenergized for offseason training?
“It’s very important. Rest it probably one of the most important things when you’re in the NBA – you play 82-90 games a year. It’s going to be very good for me to get myself back to where I need to be.”
Do you have a specific regimen you maintain in the offseason?
“Not really, besides taking about two to three weeks off. Then, I get back to conditioning and get myself ready for the next season.”
What stands out to you most about the time you’ve had with the Kings?
“(What stands out most is) how hard the team plays. Our record didn’t show it, but we are a very hard playing team, and we don’t give up. I think if we keep playing this hard things will get better.”
How do you think your late-season production has set you up for the coming years in the League?
“I think it’s been good, but (now) it’s out of my hands. I thank God for what happened and hope for the best.”
What area of your game do you plan to focus on during the offseason?
“Everything – just training to tune everything up. I’m not focusing on one thing. I’m just trying to become a better player individually and collectively.”
How would you describe the feeling you have when you’re in the zone during crunch time?
“It’s great. It feels great when your teammates and coaches have confidence in you. When you deliver, it feels even greater.”
How have you prepared yourself to be able to produce like you have in the closing moments of the game?
“When the ball is in my hands – just making plays. It doesn’t matter if I’m scoring, or I’m getting someone else open, as long as I’m making plays it sets me up to get the chance to win the game.”
Which Kings teammate has most impressed you?
“In my short time, all of them have shown me different aspects of the game they are very good at. I would say one person would be DeMarcus (Cousins). I didn’t know he could pass like that – the guy has point-guard vision for a post. He’s really surprised me since I’ve been here.”
How would you characterize the team’s potential?
“Once I get a whole year with the team and have a better feel for it, I think it’s going to be great. The sky is the limit for this team.”
Many Kings fans have suggested nicknames for you online. Do you think you’ve earned a new nickname since coming to Sacramento?
“I saw a lot of them on Twitter. Ice Man, or whatever they want to call me, is cool with me.”
What message would you like to share with the team’s fans?
“Thank you, all, very much for supporting us.”
When Marcus Thornton arrived in Sacramento, he divulged “Lil’ Buckets” had been his moniker. Upon scoring 29 points in his River City home debut, 42 points in a thrilling win over the Warriors and relentlessly scoring on the opposition in the game’s final minutes, fans began recommending a variety of original aliases for No. 23 – though he more than lived up to his previous billing.
Now, we’d like to hear from Kings fans on Full Court Press – Do you think Thornton deserves a new nickname? If so, please share it below.