The Sacramento Kings were a strong team in the NBA in the early 2000s. At the time Chris Webber, Jason Williams, and Peya Stojakovic were active, it was one of the most popular clubs representing the NBA at the time, nicknamed the ‘Millennium Kings’.
Point guard ‘White Chocolate’ Williams, who debuted like a comet in 1998, drew a lot of attention with his brilliant passing. At the time, Sacramento was a club that was shunned by national broadcasting in the United States, but it enjoyed such great popularity that an American terrestrial broadcaster organized an additional live broadcast during the season.토토사이트
The best NBA team in the early 2000s was the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Sacramento was the Lakers’ strongest opponent. In the 2002 Western Conference Finals, they had a close game going all the way to Game 7. Although it did not surpass the Lakers in the end, Sacramento advanced to the playoffs for 8 consecutive years until 2006 and rose to the ranks of strong players.
And the last time in 2006, I couldn’t step on the playoff stage for a while. The 2006 playoffs were also the first and last postseason stage for Sharif Abdul-Rahim, who at the time was dubbed “the greatest player ever without playoff experience.”
After that, Sacramento went down again and again.
Above all, there was a lack of insight into players in the rookie draft, which should be the basis for team reconstruction.
Quincy Douby (19th overall) in 2006, Spencer Horse (10th overall) in 2007, Jason Thompson (12th overall) in 2008, Tyrek Evans (4th overall) and Omri Caspi (23rd overall) in 2009, DeMarcus Couzon in 2010 (5th place), Thomas Robinson (5th place) in 2012, Ben McClemore (7th place) in 2013, Nick Stauskas (8th place) in 2014, and Willie Culley-Stein (6th place) in 2015. Of the players acquired with the top draft picks in 2018, very few are still in the NBA today.
All-Star center Cousins has struggled to put Sacramento on the postseason stage for about six and a half seasons since 2010. However, Sacramento was not able to make the playoffs even during the time when Cousins, who was called ‘the devil’s talent’ and was active as the league’s top center, endured.
In 2012, Robinson, the top nominee, wore the KBL Seoul Samsung uniform for the 2021-2022 season.
Sacramento began to have new hope when it acquired point guard De’Aaron Pax from the University of Kentucky with the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 2017 draft. One of the best guards in college, Parks was a promising prospect with exceptional talent and speed, dominating UCLA’s star Lonzo Ball in the NCAA Tournament.
Expectations for Sacramento began to rise again as shooter Buddy Hield, who was acquired through trade, developed into a top-notch shooter in a short period of time.
In particular, in the 2018-2019 season, when Pax was in his second year, he recorded a win rate of more than 50% until the middle of the regular league, raising the possibility of advancing to the postseason.
Heald showed confidence mid-season, saying, “If we don’t make the playoffs, this season is a failure.” However, this word eventually became ‘excitement’. Sacramento failed to advance to the postseason with a 39-43 record due to sluggishness in the last minute.
To make matters worse, Marvin Bagley, a big man prospect from Duke University, who was recruited second overall in 2018, failed to develop properly. I had a conflict with the club due to the problem of playing time, and it wasn’t long before I became a trade target.
After that, Sacramento continued to spend a season that was far from a .500 win rate, putting aside the playoffs.
Then came a huge twist for the Sacramento franchise. He hit the jackpot in the 2020 draft.
Sacramento acquired guard Tyrese Halliburton from Iowa State University with the 12th overall pick that year. Halli Burton took over as a starter upon his NBA debut and performed brilliantly. Halliburton’s performance was impressive enough that several clubs in the front ranks who did not recognize his talent received a stinging glare.
Halliburton was named an NBA All-Star alongside 2020 first overall pick Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves) in his third year and is growing into a top-notch guard in the league.
But Sacramento made the big decision to trade Haliburton to the Indiana Pacers in his second season. It was a trade to bring in veteran big man Domantas Sabonis to strengthen the bottom of the goal, but at the time, there was controversy over this decision. Because Halliburton was a player too good to give up.
The results of the trade became clear after a year. First, Indiana got a center to lead the team for a long time.
So what about Sacramento? In the 2022-2023 season, they recorded 48 wins and 34 losses in the regular league and finished third in the Western Conference, enjoying the excitement of advancing to the playoffs for the first time in 17 years since 2006.
Recording averages of 19.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season, Sabonis peaked Sacramento’s power with overwhelming control under the goal, excellent screen ability to help teammates, and the best passing ability of a big man.
It was a ‘previous’ trade that led to the revival of the franchise.
On the 16th (Korean time), Sacramento played an emotional return to the playoffs at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, USA.
The first home game of the first round of the playoffs (Best of 7) was held in a festive atmosphere while members of the Millennium Kings, including “White Chocolate” Williams, Vlady Divac, and Bobby Jackson, visited the basketball court.
The opponent is the Golden State Warriors, the champions of the previous season. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are in good shape and Andrew Wiggins is back, but that hasn’t stopped Sacramento’s rise.
Pax, the leader of Sacramento, who stepped on the postseason stage after 6 years of debut, won 126-123 by scoring 38 points, which is the second most ever in terms of playoff debut.
Malik Monk, Pax’s classmate at the University of Kentucky and the same time he entered the NBA, also contributed to Sacramento’s thrilling victory by scoring 32 points.
Sacramento is the 3rd seed in the Western Conference and Golden State is the 6th seed, so Sacramento has the homecourt advantage. However, many experts predicted that it would be difficult for Sacramento, who lacks big game experience, to beat the defending champion.
Sacramento, which launched a miracle in 2023, exceeded expectations from the first playoff game in 17 years.