Domantas Sabonis’ leadership, willingness to win on full display with Kings

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How Domas’ leadership style, willingness to win uplifts Kings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

  • Programming note: Kyle Draper's "Kings Central" interview with Domantas Sabonis will debut Wednesday at 10:30 p.m., after "Kings Postgame Live," on NBC Sports California.

Since arriving in Sacramento, Kings center Domantas Sabonis has proved to be worth every penny in terms of on-court production and the leadership he brings.

Speaking with NBC Sports California's Kyle Draper on the latest episode of "Kings Central," the 26-year-old explained that while he might not be a true veteran, he "definitely" feels like one with the young Kings.

"I take care of Davion [Mitchell] especially, there's a lot of young guys," Sabonis told Draper. "They know I've been through a lot in this league and if I can share my experience with them and help them in any way, I'm really happy to be there for them.

"I feel like the guys respect me. They really listen to me."

When he's not putting up historic stat lines, Sabonis describes himself as a jokester and often messes around with his teammates. However, once the whistle sounds and the game begins, he is a different person.

"On the court, I like to speak up, talk to them, tell them sometimes what I'm seeing, what they see so we can figure this out on the court and get the win," Sabonis added.

More than halfway through the 2022-23 NBA season, the Kings (24-18) have brought a winning culture back to Sacramento as they sit fourth in the West.

Although Sabonis and Kings star De'Aaron Fox have been playing at an All-Star level this season, the duo will be the first to say it is an overall team effort. It should be noted that Sabonis has been playing with an avulsion fracture in his right thumb.

The most important thing to Sabonis, though, isn't his individual production, but rather if the Kings get a "dub" in the win column.

"Some days, I have to be more aggressive and depending on how teams are guarding me," Sabonis continued. "The most important [thing]: if we can get the win. No one cares about the stats at the end of the day as long as we're winning."

RELATED: Sabonis explains selfless bond with Fox 'since the jump'

With Sacramento comfortably in the thick of the Western Conference playoff picture, an All-Star selection would be the perfect way to cap off the first half of the season for the Kings' star center.

Nevertheless, the only thing on Sabonis' mind is winning.