Sacramento Kings Details
Though the Kings have only played in Sacramento since 1985, the team has been around for much longer. The franchise began in 1923—predating the NBA—as the Rochester Seagrams and won an NBA Championship in 1951 as the Rochester Royals. The Royals moved to Cincinnati in 1957 and then to Kansas City in 1972, where they changed their name to the Kings. The Kings currently play at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center, which opened at the start of the 2016-17 season.
Despite their long history, the Kings have only won a single NBA championship and have only played in one NBA finals series. The Kings’ best seasons in Sacramento came in 2002 and 2003 when players Mike Bibby, Scott Pollard, and Chris Webber led the Kings to two Pacific Division titles and a Western Conference Finals series in 2002. You probably don’t want to mention those 2002 finals to a Kings fan, though—the Kings took their division rivals, the LA Lakers, to a seventh game but lost after referees awarded the Lakers an incredible 27 free throw opportunities in the fourth quarter. A league review determined that, although the officiating was poor, there was no evidence the game was fixed.
The Kings have not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season; their 11 season drought is the second longest in the NBA. The rebuilding Kings traded their biggest star, DeMarcus Cousins last season for 23-year-old Buddy Heid and draft picks. The Kings continued to trend toward youth with three picks in the 2017 draft. They selected De’Aaron Fox, a point guard, with the 5th overall pick (acquired from the Sixers), and they selected Justin Jackson and Harry Giles with draft picks they acquired from Portland. In addition to all of Sacramento’s incoming and returning young players, future Hall of Famer Vince Carter will also suit up for the Kings—the team signed the 40-year-old to a one year deal this offseason. Coach Dave Joerger will head the rebuild in his second season with the Kings.