23-35 • 12th in WESTERN CONFERENCE
The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team that plays in the Pacific Division of the National Basketball Association's Western Conference. The Kings were established in 1923 in Rochester, New York, and they now play their home games in the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Throughout its long history, the Kings franchise has won one championship. This was during the 1950-51 season, which happened to be just the second year of the NBA. Then the Rochester Royals, they won the title after defeating the New York Knicks in the 1951 NBA Finals.
The Kings have had many great players throughout nearly a full century of existence. Some of the names that come to mind when talking about the greatest players in franchise history include Oscar Robertson, Mitch Richmond, Tiny Archibald, Bobby Wanzer, Jerry Lucas, Jack Twyman, Chris Webber, and Sam Lacey.
The Kings haven't been very good in recent years. In fact, the last time they made the playoffs was 2006.
Things have been looking up for Sacramento in the last couple of years, though. In 2017, they used their fifth overall pick to select De'Aaron Fox in the draft. The 6-foot-3 point guard has since emerged as one of the brightest young stars in the NBA, embracing the role of Sacramento's cornerstone star. One year later, they picked Marvin Bagley III second overall, and while the big man has yet to fully establish himself as a real threat for the Kings, there's no denying that the former Duke standout holds a ton of promise.
In the 2020 NBA Draft, the Kings brought on Tyrese Haliburton from Iowa State as the 12th overall pick. The 6-foot-5 guard has proven to be one of the steals of the draft as Haliburton thrust himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation.
The Kings continue to be a work-in-progress, but the future is certainly bright in Sacramento.
Sacramento's season ended in disappointment in 2019-20. Despite being invited to the Disney World bubble to contend for a postseason spot, the Kings won just three out of their eight seeding games in Florida.
While the 2020-21 campaign presents itself as an opportunity for a fresh start, a playoff run still appears to be out of reach for this young team.
In the offseason, the Kings signed cornerstone star De'Aaron Fox to a massive five-year max extension worth $163 million. He's a star-in-the-making, but at this point in his career, he isn't capable of carrying an entire team on his shoulders.
Of course, he’s not alone; Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and standout rookie Tyrese Haliburton have all impressed, but it’s clear this team lacks the star power needed to succeed in the NBA -- even more so in a ruthless Western Conference.
Unfortunately for the Kings, they are likely going to tie the 1977-1991 Los Angeles Clippers for the longest playoff drought in NBA history (15 seasons).
Based on what we've seen from Tyrese Haliburton early in his rookie season, the 20-year-old point guard is looking like an absolute steal for the Kings as the 12th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Sacramento knew what they were getting when they scooped up the Iowa State product with their 12th pick, but they probably didn't think that he would be this good this soon.
In his first 20 games for the Kings, Haliburton averaged 11.8 points (on 48.4 percent shooting), 3.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.2 steals, while also connecting on 2.3 triples per game on a 43.3-percent clip. That's been good enough to make the 20-year-old a contender for the Rookie of the Year award behind LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets.
There's no denying that Haliburton has flashed enough potential to say that he indeed has superstar potential. However, it is also worth noting that the Kings have a cornerstone point guard ahead of him in De'Aaron Fox.
Sure, these two can work alongside each other to become a formidable backcourt duo in the near future. However, it's also very much possible that Fox serves as a huge roadblock for Haliburton's potential to emerge as a true superstar in Sacramento.
Shaquille O'Neal has been making waves as an entrepreneur through the years. What not many know is that the Hall of Fame big man actually purchased a small stake of the Sacramento Kings franchise back in 2013. To this day, Shaq remains a part owner of the team.
O'Neal came into the picture at the same time current owner Vivek Ranadive purchased the franchise. Shaq reportedly bought an estimate of somewhere between 2% and 4% of the team. The value of the purchase was not revealed, but for what it's worth, Ranadive bought 65% of the Kings in 2013 with a total franchise valuation of over $534 million. Two to four percent of this amount ranges from $10.7 to $21.4 million. Eight years later, the Kings are worth $1.83 billion
During the 2018 NBA Draft, the Kings passed on the opportunity to draft Luka Doncic. Now serving as the cornerstone superstar of the Dallas Mavericks, Doncic was selected third overall by the Atlanta Hawks (and then immediately traded to the Mavs for another rookie, Trae Young). For their part, Sacramento selected Duke standout Marvin Bagley III as the second overall pick -- just one spot before Doncic.
At that time, the Kings decided to pass on Doncic (and Young) primarily because they already had their cornerstone point guard in De'Aaron Fox, who they selected fifth overall a year prior. What Sacramento needed at that point in time was a big man, and Bagley appeared to fit the bill.
It is also worth noting, however, that according to reports now former Kings general manager Vlade Divac's personal relationship with Luka's father, Sasa Doncic, turned out to be a factor in Sacramento's decision to pass on the Slovenian. Divac apparently didn't like Sasa, which may have contributed to the team's decision not to scoop up Luka in the draft when they had the chance.
Last summer, the Kings signed Richaun Holmes on a two-year deal worth $9.8 million. The 6-foot-10 big man's contract is set to expire at the end of the season, which begs the question: should Sacramento bring him back for the long haul?
Based on what we've seen from Holmes during his time with the Kings, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Over his first 20 games of the 2020-21 campaign, the 27-year-old averaged 13.0 points (on 66.1 percent shooting), 8.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game. He's been a key cog for the team's relative success early in the season. Holmes has been so good that he's kept free agent signing Hassan Whiteside on the bench.
The Kings will likely face some (or a lot of) competition for Holmes' signature come the offseason. They might need to dig deep into their pockets to re-sign the big man, which at this point appears to be the right thing to do.
As of this moment, the franchise cornerstone tag has been placed on 23-year-old point guard De'Aaron Fox -- and rightfully so. Now in his fourth season in the league, the fifth overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft has emerged as one of the most promising young players in the league.
Fox is in the midst of another breakout campaign for Sacramento. Over his first 20 games of the season, he put up averages of 22.1 points (on 47.0 percent shooting), 3.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.3 steals, while also connecting on 1.8 triples per game on a 35.0-percent clip. Fox has also been quite durable to open the campaign.
It goes without saying that Fox's further development over the next few years will directly correlate with the Kings’ success as a franchise.
The fact that Sacramento signed Fox to a massive five-year max extension worth $163 million during the offseason proves just how much confidence they have in this young man.
The Sacramento Kings franchise is worth $1.83 billion as of February 2021, per Forbes.
This team's valuation has taken a sharp increase from the time it was purchased by the current owner, Vivek Ranadive back in 2013. Eight years ago, the Indian-American businessman purchased 65% of the Kings at a total franchise valuation of $535 million.
The Kings reported a $245 million revenue by the end of the 2019-20 season and an operating income of $45 million.
The Kings currently play their home games in the Golden 1 Center located in downtown Sacramento.
The arena, which had an estimated construction cost of $558.2 million, broke ground in October 2014. It opened its doors in September of 2016.
The Golden 1 Center is a publicly owned arena that holds a capacity crowd of 17,608 fans for basketball games, which can be expanded to 19,000 for concerts and other events.
The Kings franchise is currently owned by Vivek Randive, an American businessman of Indian descent. Born in Mumbai in 1957, Randive earned his bachelor's and master's degree in MIT before obtaining his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Randive made his fortune in technology. Among other lucrative business ventures, he founded TIBCO Software Inc. in 1997, which is now a multi-billion dollar tech giant.
Along with his partners, Ronald Burkle and Mark Mastrov, Randive purchased a 65% stake of the franchise back in 2013 for $348 million.
Prior to the purchase, Randive was a part-owner of the Golden State Warriors. He had to sell off his share with the Warriors before buying the Kings.
Randive is the first person of Indian descent to own a franchise in the NBA.
The Kings are currently coached by Luke Walton, who is currently in his second year in charge. Walton took over in Sacramento at the start of the 2019-20 season, following a three-year stint as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Walton's reign as the top shot-caller in L.A. resulted in 98 wins and 148 losses. Last season with the Kings, Walton guided the team to 31 wins in the shortened campaign.
It is also worth noting that Walton spent two years as an assistant to Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors. Walton was part of the Dubs' memorable 2015 championship run. He also deputized for Kerr during the start of the 2015-16 season, with the latter dealing with back problems early in the campaign. Walton played a significant role in Golden State's historic 72-9 season, which resulted in him bagging Western Conference Coach of the Month honors in November of 2015.
Luke Walton is currently in his second season as Sacramento's head coach. Working under him is a competent team of assistants, which is led by former New Orleans Pelicans shot-caller Alvin Gentry. Gentry signed with the Kings prior to the start of the 2020-21 campaign, and his veteran presence will be a key addition to Walton's staff.
Roy Rana is Walton's Chief of Staff, while Rico Hines serves as his Director for Player Development. Under Hines are former NBA players Bobby Jackson and Stacey Augmon. Lindsey Harding also serves as a Player Development coach.
Rex Kalamian and Jesse Murmuys are Walton's two other assistant coaches.
Cotton Fitzsimmons served as the Kansas City Kings head coach between 1978 and 1984, spending six seasons at the helm. The Kings made it to the playoffs four times under Fitzsimmons, including each of his first three years in charge. The team went all the way to the Western Conference Finals in 1981. Throughout his tenure as the Kings’ head coach, Fitzsimmons amassed a 248-244 win-loss record (.504).
The Chris Webber-led Kings of the late 1990s/early 2000s are the most memorable rendition in recent history. That team was coached by the great Rick Adelman. At 395 regular-season wins, Adelman is the proud owner of the franchise record for most wins by a head coach.
Adelman was at the helm for the Kings for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006. Their most memorable season has to be the 2001-02 campaign, when Sacramento pushed the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers all the way to seven games in an epic Western Conference Finals series.
Arguably the greatest coach in Kings franchise history, Les Harrison led the charge for the team during the early days. Formed in 1948 as the Rochester Royals, the franchise's first-ever head coach was Harrison.
Harrison served as the squad's top shot-caller for seven seasons (including one year in the BAA). He holds the distinction of being the only coach to lead this franchise to a championship, which was in 1951. Harrison owns a total win-loss record of 250-166 (.601) with the franchise in the NBA.
When you think about the Kings in the late 1990s to early 2000s, Chris Webber is the name that stands out the most. The 6-foot-9 power forward/center led Sacramento during one of their more successful stretches in franchise history, which included a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2002. In seven seasons with the franchise, Webber averaged 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks.
The Kings have only won one championship in franchise history, dating all the way back to the 1950-51 season. The great Bobby Ranzer played a pivotal role for the team -- then the Rochester Royals -- during that historic title-winning season. A five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA team member, Wanzer spent his entire nine-year career with the Royals.
Another product of the 1990s Kings is 6-foot-5 shooting guard Mitch Richmond. Now a Hall of Famer, Richmond led the charge in Sacramento for seven seasons while being named an All-Star in six of them. In terms of franchise records, Richmond currently ranks second in three-pointers made (993), third in field goals made (4,230), third in steals (670), and third in points (12,070).
One notch above Richmond on Sacramento's all-time scoring list is 6-foot-6 wing Jack Twyman, who plied his trade with the team between 1955 and 1966. Having spent his entire 11-year career with the franchise, Twyman also ranks second in total games played (823). Twyman retired with career averages of 19.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
Finally, we have one of the greatest ever in Oscar Robertson. The Big O spent the first 10 years of his career with the Cincinnati Royals. Robertson won the MVP award during the 1963-64 season, where he averaged 31.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 11.0 assists. Robertson holds more than a few franchise records, which includes minutes played (33,088), field goals made (7,713), free throws (6,583), assists (7,731), points (22,009), and of course, triple-doubles (176). For a bit of context, Chris Webber ranks second on this list with 14 career triple-doubles for the Kings.
The Kings of the late 1990s to early 2000s were an iconic group that made its mark in the NBA despite not winning a title. They had no shortage of outstanding players who gained legendary status with the franchise. Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, and former general manager Vlade Divac all have their jerseys retired by the team.
From the early days we have the likes of Bob Davies, Maurice Stokes, Jack Twyman, and Sam Lacey.
Tiny Archibald made his name for the franchise during the 1970s, while the same can be said of Mitch Richmond in the 1990s.
Arguably the greatest player in franchise history, Oscar Robertson, is a key figure that we cannot overlook when talking about Kings legends. The Big O is the all-time leader in career triple-doubles (181), with all but five of them coming during his tenure with the franchise.