Sacramento Kings' All-Time Dream Team
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The Sacramento Kings franchise has built quite a history. It's been in existence for 65 years, made the playoffs on 29 different occasions and won five division championships and one NBA title. Through the years, it's also built a legacy of some excellent players.
But what would a roster of the franchise's best look like? Who would start at what position? Who would be the backups? Well, here are the answers to those questions.
Before we get to the Sacramento Kings' Dream Team, let's get caught up on the selection process.
First, this is the franchise's dream team. Therefore, players from different eras and different locations are eligible. You'll see players from the early days in Rochester all the way through the recent past in Sacramento.
Second, the totality of a player's career with the team was weighed more heavily than a player's peak value. So players who spent a significant portion of their career with the franchise and were also impact players during that time were ranked ahead of those who had short but elite tenures with the organization.
Third, since a whole roster was determined, positional breakdowns were considered. This isn't a power ranking of the franchise's best players, Therefore, positions like point guard, where the organization has had two Hall of Famers, were more difficult to determine than those like center, where there weren't too many stars in team history.
All stats used are from Basketball-Reference.com.
You can also find the franchise leaderboard at Basketball-Reference.com.
Starting Point Guard: Oscar Robertson
This was clearly the biggest no-brainer on the team. Oscar Robertson is by far the greatest player in franchise history. He's a Hall of Famer, one of three alongside Jack Twyman and Bobby Wanzer to spend the vast majority of their career playing for the organization.
The Big-O is also the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double throughout a season. He accomplished that feat in 1961-62, when he averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists.
Robertson also averaged a triple-double for his first six seasons in the NBA (1961-62 was the only year with one in an individual season's stat line). From 1960-61 through 1965-66, Robertson averaged 30.4 points, 10.4 assists and 10.0 rebounds.
Remember how big of a deal the media made out of Jason Kidd averaging a triple-double during the 2006-07 playoffs? Well, imagine doing that over a six-year period.
As for his accomplishments with the franchise, Robertson is the all-time leader in minutes played, field goals, free throws, assists, points, minutes per game, points per game and player efficiency rating. He's also the leader in win shares, posting 154.2 during his time with the organization.
Second place: Jack Twyman with 75.0.
So yea, you could say that Oscar Robertson guy was pretty good.
Starting Shooting Guard: Mitch Richmond
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If Oscar Robertson is clearly the greatest player in franchise history, then Mitch Richmond is the best player during the Sacramento era.
For years, Richmond was the only thing worth paying attention to in Sacramento. Even while toiling away on a bad team in a small market, Richmond was selected to six consecutive All-Star games (from 1992-93 through 1997-98) and won the 1994-95 All-Star MVP award.
The closest person to matching that feat was Chris Webber, who was named to four straight All-Star games. And he accomplished that on a much better team with much more publicity.
Richmond is third in franchise history in field goals, second in three-point field goals, third in steals, third in points, fourth in points per game and eighth in win shares.
He also has a good shot at being the first Hall of Famer in Sacramento history, as he was named a finalist in this year's Hall of Fame voting.
Starting Small Forward: Jack Twyman
Jack Twyman may not have the name recognition of recent Kings' small forwards like Peja Stojakovic, but Twyman's career with the organization is greater than anyone else at his position.
First off, Twyman is a Hall of Famer. Along with Oscar Robertson and Bobby Wanzer, Twyman is one of three men to be enshrined after spending a vast majority of his career with the franchise.
Twyman made six All-Star games during his career and was twice named to the All-NBA second team (1959-60 and 1961-62).
As for franchise ranks, he's second in games played, third in minutes played, second in field goals, second in free throws, second in points and second in win shares.
With his unorthodox shooting approach and his below-the-rim game, Twyman may not have been exciting to watch. However, he had a better career than any other small forward in franchise history. That makes him worthy of a starting spot on the Kings' Dream Team.
Starting Power Forward: Jerry Lucas
This was the most difficult selection of all. It was extremely tough to pick between Jerry Lucas and Chris Webber as the starting power forward on the Kings' Dream Team. Ultimately, though, Lucas' career with the organization was a bit better than C-Webb's.
Like Webber, Lucas spent a lot of his career with other franchises. However, six-plus years of his 11-year career were with the Cincinnati Royals, and they were also Lucas' best years.
Lucas is also a Hall of Famer. He didn't spend as much of his career with the franchise as did Robertson, Wanzer and Twyman, but the fact that he's enshrined certainly counts for something.
He was named to six different All-Star teams as a member of the Royals. He was also 1963-64 Rookie of the Year and the All-Star MVP in 1964-65. In addition, Lucas was named to the All-NBA first team three times and the All-NBA second team three times while with the franchise.
Lucas ranks fourth in minutes played, second in total rebounds, seventh in points, second in minutes per game, first in rebounds per game and fifth in win shares.
Also worth noting, he averaged 19.7 points and 19.2 rebounds per game during his six full seasons with the organization, including two seasons with 20-20 averages.
Starting Center: Sam Lacey
In terms of awards and accolades, Lacey doesn't have a ton going for him. He was only named to one All-Star team during his career (1974-75). That's the same amount as Vlade Divac during his time with the Kings. The main difference between the two was Lacey's longevity with the team and his defensive prowess.
Offensively speaking, Lacey doesn't seem like he's worthy of inclusion. His career average of 10.3 points per game certainly doesn't stand out. His career high was 14.2 points per game in 1973-74. The same can be said of his career PER of 14.2, which is slightly below average.
But Lacey was such a difference-maker on the defensive end of the court that he was a lock to make this team.
He leads the franchise in defensive win shares with 39.8; Chris Webber is in second place with 25.0. Lacey also is the franchise leader in defensive rating at 95.7.
Lacey's defensive dominance doesn't just show up in advanced statistics—he impacted the game in all areas as a defender. He's the franchise leader in blocks per game, blocks, steals, total rebounds, offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds.
He's also played more games with the organization than any other player and is second in franchise history in minutes played.
One could make an argument for Divac because of his value on offense, especially as a facilitator from the high post. However, Lacey gets the nod because he played longer with the team, and he's overwhelmingly the best defender in franchise history.
Sixth Man: Chris Webber
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Deciding between Chris Webber and Jerry Lucas as the starting power forward was the most difficult choice in compiling the Kings' Dream Team. Therefore, whoever wasn't starting was pretty much a shoe-in to be the team's sixth man. Since Lucas got the starting nod, Webber is the sixth man.
Lucas made more All-Star teams with the franchise and was named to the All-NBA first team more times than Webber. Still, Webber's 2000-01 season might be better than anything Lucas ever accomplished. C-Webb was named to the All-NBA first team and finished fourth in MVP voting that season. He averaged 27.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
Despite playing for the Kings for less than half of his career, Webber's also etched out a nice place on the franchise leaderboard. He is second in defensive rebounds, sixth in steals, fourth in blocks, fourth in minutes per game, third in points per game, fourth in rebounds per game, third in blocks per game, second in PER, second in defensive win shares and first in usage percentage.
If Webber played in an era with less dominant power forwards, allowing him to make more All-NBA first teams, or if he played more years for the Kings, he'd clearly be the best power forward in franchise history. However, being the sixth man on the Kings' Dream Team isn't an insignificant accomplishment.
Backup Point Guard: Nate 'Tiny' Archibald
Nate "Tiny" Archibald is an NBA Hall of Famer. He only played six of his 13 seasons with the franchise, which partially explains his backup role. In reality though, even if Archibald had played his full career with the organization, he still wouldn't be able to overtake Oscar Robertson. That's not a knock on Tiny; it's a credit to how great The Big-O was.
The real argument with Archibald is whether he or Mike Bibby would be a better option as the backup point guard. Archibald gets the nod because his peak was better than Bibby's.
Speaking of peaks, Tiny's came in 1972-73. That year, he led the NBA in scoring with 34.0 points per game and assists with 11.4 per game. For his efforts, he was named to the All-NBA first team, a feat he would also match for the next two seasons.
Archibald was also named to three All-Star games while with the franchise and was on the All-NBA second team in 1971-72. Bibby was unable to match those accomplishments during his career.
Tiny is fifth in franchise history in field goals, third in free throws, third in assists, fourth in points, third in minutes per game, second in points per game, tied for second in assists per game, fourth in steals per game, third in PER, fourth in offensive win shares and sixth in overall win shares.
Backup Shooting Guard: Bobby Wanzer
Bobby Wanzer was an excellent player during his day. As was previously mentioned, he's also one of three players to make the Hall of Fame while playing the vast majority of their careers for the franchise.
Given the scope of today's game, it's hard to see how a player like Wanzer would make the Hall of Fame. His career average of 12.2 points per game certainly seems lackluster. The same can be said of his 39.3 percent career field-goal percentage.
But you have to remember the game was different back then. In fact, Wanzer's first season was in the BAA, before the Rochester Royals were part of the NBA. He started his career in 1948-49 and finished it in 1956-57.
Judging against the competition of his day, Wanzer was clearly one of the best players in the NBA. He was named to five consecutive All-Star teams. He was also named to three straight All-NBA second teams. Perhaps most importantly, Wanzer was one of the best players on the franchise's only team to win the NBA championship.
Wanzer is also third in franchise history in career win shares, third in offensive win shares and sixth in games played.
Backup Small Forward: Peja Stojakovic
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Like a lot of Geoff Petrie's successful draft picks during the early 2000s, Stojakovic was relatively unknown when he arrived in Sacramento. But by the end of his third year in the NBA, Peja was a household name.
Stojakovic was always an excellent marksman, but in 2000-2001 he started to prove that he could do more than just knock down three-pointers. That year sparked a five-year run that saw Stojakovic average 21.1 points per game. He was also incredibly efficient during that stretch, shooting 47.2 percent from the floor, 40.8 percent from three-point range and 89.3 percent from the charity stripe.
The rest of the league took notice. Peja was named to three straight All-Star games, and he won back-to-back Three-Point Shootouts at All-Star Weekend.
The 2003-04 season was the pinnacle of his career. He averaged a career-high 24.2 points per game. He was also named to the All-NBA first team, finished fourth in the league's MVP voting and posted a league-high 11.4 offensive win shares.
Because Stojakovic doesn't have the same longevity with the franchise, Twyman is a better selection as the starting small forward. But Peja has still carved out a nice spot on a lot of the franchise's leaderboards.
He's the franchise leader in three-point field goals, sixth in points, first in free-throw percentage, fifth in effective field-goal percentage, fifth in offensive win shares, fourth in total win shares and fifth in win shares per 48 minutes (although he only trails Oscar Robertson among players who played significant minutes with the team).
Backup Center: Vlade Divac
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Vlade Divac is another player on the Kings' Dream Team who played during Sacramento's golden era. He's probably the best offensive center in franchise history, especially considering his passing ability. And if Vlade had spent more of his career in Sacramento, he'd probably overtake Lacey in the starting lineup, even considering Lacey's defensive acumen.
Only six of Divac's 16 NBA seasons were spent in Sacramento. But what a six-year run. He averaged 11.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game with the Kings.
He also impacted the team in other ways that don't show up in a box score. He was a glue guy in the locker room who was able to bring everybody together. His background in Eastern Europe allowed him to forge a special bond with the Euro transplants like Stojakovic and Hedo Turkoglu, But his wit and longtime residency in the United States also allowed him to draw in the American players.
In terms of franchise rankings, Divac isn't featured too prominently, but that's largely a function of him only playing six years in Sacramento. He's fifth in offensive and defensive rebounds, fifth in blocks and fourth in defensive win shares. He was also named to one All-Star team as a member of the Kings (in 2001). It's the only All-Star game selection for Divac.
Third-String Point Guard: Mike Bibby
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Less than half of Mike Bibby's career was spent with the Kings. That partially explains him only being included as a third-string point guard. However, the best explanation is that Bibby is a point guard, and the franchise has had two all-time greats spend significant portions of their career at the position.
Bibby was never an All-Star with the Kings or any other team. He never finished higher than 16th in MVP voting. His only inclusion on an All-NBA team was when he was on the All-NBA rookie first team. Yet Bibby was one of the league's better point guards during his career, especially during his time with the Kings.
During his six full seasons in Sacramento, Bibby averaged 17.8 points, 5.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. If those numbers aren't All-Star worthy, then they're certainly close. There aren't too many point guards filling out box scores like that.
Bibby is third in franchise history in three-point field goals, fifth in assists, fifth in steals and ninth in offensive win shares.
He was also an incredibly clutch player for the Kings. In fact, he's probably best remembered in Sacramento for hitting the game-winning shot in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals in 2002.
Because of his shot and his excellent play with the team, Bibby will always have a special place in the hearts of Kings fans. He also has a place on the Kings' Dream Team.
Third-String Small Forward: Scott Wedman
Scott Wedman was a jack of all trades while with the franchise. Although he only played seven of his 14 seasons with the organization, his all-around impact was enough to earn him the final spot on the Kings' Dream Team.
With the exception of his defense, Wedman never possessed an elite skill set. Yet he still averaged 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals with the organization. Wedman was good enough to make two All-Star teams with the Kings and was named to the All-NBA defense second team in 1980.
He has also carved out a nice place in franchise history. Wedman is seventh in games played, sixth in minutes played, sixth in field goals, fourth in offensive rebounds, sixth in defensive rebounds, fourth in steals, ninth in points and eighth in defensive win shares.
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