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Vlade Divac hoping young Kings team can end 12-year playoff drought, experience postseason as he once did

Vlade Divac, Kings

Sacramento Kings legend and general manager Vlade Divac has recently turned doubters into believers, as the once-promising early-season youngsters have managed to keep themselves in the playoff race, only trailing the L.A. Clippers for the last spot by a half game.

At 30-26, the Kings find themselves within striking distance and capable of ending their 12-year playoff drought, proving Divac’s naysayers wrong and bringing a new era of hope for Kings’ faithful.

“We would love to (make the playoffs),” Divac, told Sam Amick of The Athletic on Friday. “Now fans are buying in, finally trusting. Now it’s happening.

“But I told the guys, this is nothing. Experience the playoffs in Sacramento. When you walk through that tunnel in Arco Arena, where it happened to me, and then an earthquake starts — that’s priceless. So I want my kids to experience that, because that’s the moment when they’re going to grow up. What we try to build here from now until the next three, four years is going to speed up the process, because when you taste that (playoffs) …”

With only 26 games left in the season, the Kings could see themselves in a similar situation than they experienced during the 2005-06 season, finishing in eighth place and below the sixth-seeded L.A. Clippers and the seven seed Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers, though, could wind up slipping after trading away their leading scorer Tobias Harris, while the Lakers (two games behind the Kings) are expected to make a major push at the end of the season with LeBron James back in full health.