SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The future of the Sacramento Kings is settled.
After a long and often painful process, it was determined months ago that the Kings will remain in California's capital city instead of relocating somewhere else.
Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn knows firsthand about how passionate fans in Sacramento are about their team.
"I've played some playoff games where it's been extremely loud," Vaughn said as his team prepared for its game Friday night against the Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
"When I was with Utah and they allowed cowbells to be behind the bench, I couldn't hear coach [Jerry] Sloan talking in the huddle. A great atmosphere and deserving fans of keeping the team."
Vaughn has communicated with injured center Nik Vucevic since Vucevic traveled from Portland, Ore., back to Central Florida on Thursday.
Vucevic's return to the court will be governed by the NBA's concussion protocol, which calls for players to pass a series of neurological and physical tests and calls for team doctors to consult with a league-designated neurologist.
"He's doing OK," Vaughn said. "He's back at home. He knows the process. We just want him to get back to where he should be, and he'll get there. He's OK."
With Vucevic missing his second game in a row on Friday, the task of guarding Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was expected to fall primarily to power forward Glen Davis.
Even though he's shorter than his listed height of 6-foot-9, Davis has played center before, including during the Magic's playoff series in 2012 against the Indiana Pacers and their 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert.
"I just try to do my part," Davis said. "That's one of my characteristics, just making sure down low that we compete and that we hold our own in the paint and stay aggressive."
Cousins entered Friday night's game averaging 23.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
Jameer Nelson has seen Davis face bigger opponents before.
"He still brings a toughness to our team no matter what position he's playing or who he's guarding," Nelson said. "He's always going to make it as tough as he can on whoever he's playing against on both ends of the court."
Magic rookie guard Victor Oladipo got to know Kings rookie swingman Ben McLemore during the weeks leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft.
They even competed against each other during a predraft workout held by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and McLemore said the workout also included Otto Porter Jr., who went on to be selected third overall by the Washington Wizards.
"It was a pretty great workout," McLemore said. "It was intense. It was aggressive. I think that was one of the best workouts I had."
Oladipo tries to keep up with other members of his draft class.
"I'm aware of when they're doing well, and I watch basketball," Oladipo said. "When they're playing, I'm definitely watching. It's always good to see them doing well. It's always good for our draft class."
Oladipo said he admires McLemore for the way McLemore persevered as a teenager as his family faced poverty. Also, McLemore wasn't always considered a top high-school recruit.
"I love his story," Oladipo said. "He came from the bottom and now he's here. I wish the best for him, and he's going to continue to keep getting better as well."
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