SACRAMENTO -- Cameras surrounded 19-year-old Marvin Bagley III as he struggled to finish getting dressed following the Kings' overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday evening.
As the Kings medical staff moved in and immobilized Bagley's injured left knee with a straight brace, media relations staff asked reporters to step back. When they didn't move back quickly enough, Buddy Hield asked more forcefully.
No one likes to see a teammate go down with an injury, but the tension in the Kings' locker was different. The group knows where they're at in the standings and they know how much Bagley means to the team.
"We are certainly thinking of Marvin as we go forward," coach Dave Joerger said. "That is definitely a cloud over our locker room."
It all happened in a flash. The No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft was tracking back in transition. Veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon moved in to set a pick and buried the 6-foot-11 power forward from the back.
Marvin Bagley goes down after a hard screen in the 3rd quarter. pic.twitter.com/GCZ8edDhOP— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) February 28, 2019
Initially, it looked as if Bagley injured his right knee, but the replay showed a potential larger issue. The left knee, which the former Duke star injured earlier in the season, stuck to the floor and twisted awkwardly.
"He'll be fine, God's got him, he's just gotta relax and let his body do what it's supposed to do and he'll be fine," fellow rookie Harry Giles said.
Giles kneeled down by Bagley and kept him calm as the team's medical staff rushed onto the floor. After a few minutes, Bagley was helped to his feet by Giles and big man Kosta Koufos, who helped him off the floor and into the Kings' locker room.
"He didn't have to say nothing to me, I didn't want him to, it wasn't about me," Giles said. "I was there for him."
The early word is a left knee sprain, but an MRI is set for Thursday morning and Bagley's immedient future is unknown.
Bagley missed 11 straight games during late January and early February with a sprain and bone bruise in his left knee. He bounced back quickly from the injury and has played his best basketball as of late.
"I hate to see that, when he's playing at his best, he goes down," Buddy Hield said. "It's happened to him twice when he's turned the table."
On the season, Bagley is posting 14 points and 7.2 rebounds in just under 25 minutes per night. But in nine game sin the month of February, the high flyer is averaging 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game.
He's become an integral part of the Kings' rotation and he's showing improvement almost every time he steps on the court.
The team is expected to have the results of Bagley's MRI before their 1pm practice on Thursday. We'll have further follow up on the injury as it becomes available.