Chris Webber recalls Kings getting ‘cheated’ vs. Lakers in playoffs
One of the biggest scandals in NBA history happened in the early 2000s when the Sacramento Kings lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2002 Western Conference Finals. Chris Webber, who was a key member of the Kings in the early 2000s, recalled getting “cheated” versus the Lakers during an appearance on The Ringer’s Real Ones podcast with Logan Murdock and Raja Bell.
When Webber was asked about when he thought the Kings were capable of winning a championship, he flashed back to the 2001-2002 season. Sacramento advanced to the Western Conference Finals, only for Los Angeles to defeat them in seven games.
“I think it’s the, you know, I guess it’s the Lakers. I don’t know if that was 2002 or 03. That’s the year we got cheated I think in Game 6… The year Robert Horry hit a crazy shot… It was that year. It was that year. You know, me and Kobe used to talk about it all the time. (…) That was the team. We should have won the championship and we didn’t because we didn’t follow through after being disappointed in Game six.”
The series between the Kings and Lakers had plenty of controversy due to the shoddy officiating in favor of Los Angeles. Tim Donaghy, one of the officials involved in the series, was believed to have been betting on games he was officiating.
After a controversial ending to Game 6 of the series, Webber revealed that Sacramento felt defeated in Game 7, and the team lost on its home floor. Ahead of the 2001-2002 season, the Kings were the favorite to win the title due to their talented roster. Nearly 20 years since the series occurred, Webber still has negative thoughts about the heartbreaking defeat that prevented Sacramento from winning a championship.