It has been a long, tough, and historically dreadful past decade and a half for the Sacramento Kings and their fans. After being one of the more impressive teams of the early 2000s, the team from California’s capital has done very little of anything since.
After the Seattle Mariners broke their curse last season by making the playoffs for the first time in 21 years, the Kings became North America’s most abysmal franchise. They have not qualified for the playoffs in 16 years, an unfathomable drought when you figure that half (and now far more than half) of the teams in the league qualify for the post season every year.
Sacramento Kings Currently In 3rd Place In Western Conference
It hasn’t been just the on-court performance that has depressed the Sacramento Kings fans over the years. There have been poor trades, even worse scouting and drafting, and the team was very nearly relocated in 2013 before new ownership came in and built a downtown arena.
16 years is a long time. The last time Sacramento qualified for the postseason, their starting lineup consisted of guys like Bonzi Wells and Peja Stojakovic, and Corliss Williamson and Kenny Thomas were coming off of the bench. LeBron James was still four years away from his first departure from the Cavaliers, and Chris Paul had just wrapped up his rookie season.
WIN NO. 3️⃣5️⃣ FOR THE #BEAMTEAM 🔦 🟣
The Kings are 10 games over .500 for the first time since 2004-05 🙌 pic.twitter.com/9EZQDbZtXU
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 27, 2023
But something has finally changed for the Kings. Whether it is the addition of a star in Domantas Sabonis or a key role player like Malik Monk, the team seems to have found their flow. New head coach Mike Brown has instilled an offense that is currently ranked #1 in the league in points per game, and while the defense needs serious help, there are noticeable signs of improvement.
This season marked the first time since 2003-04 that a Sacramento Kings player who was not named DeMarcus Cousins be selected to the All-Star team, sending both Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox for the young point guard’s first appearance. They are currently sitting, somewhat comfortably, in the 3rd seed in the hotly contested Western Conference, and are 10 games over .500 for the first time since 2005.
Can they keep it up? They currently hold an 86 percent chance of qualifying for the playoffs, which will be an even more impressive feat if they are able to do so by staying in the 3rd seed.