It has now been five years since the Kings era of “the greatest show on court” ended.
It was an era in which Sacramento thrived, leading the league in wins one year and making it to the conference finals.
The team was known as an offensive juggernaut, loaded with shooters and great passers. The ball was thrown all over the court, producing a brand of basketball that was both entertaining and highly successful.
It was widely considered that the team played no defense or at least not enough. For the most part this was true, but it overlooks the fact that they did have one lock- down defender; Doug Christie.
Christie was acquired from the Toronto Raptors for Corliss Williamson.
At the time, Christie was somewhat of a journeyman player. He had been on a few teams, but had yet to find his niche in the league.
His arrival in Sacramento would provide him the opportunity he needed with a team that desperately needed him.
Christie arrived and became a perimeter stopper. While the rest of the team was focused on the offensive end, Christie focused on his defense. Every night it was his job to guard the other team's best perimeter player. And he did it... very well.
His skills on the defensive end allowed the Kings to do incredible things on offense, knowing that Christie had their backs when the other team tried to run back at them.
Christie was also no slouch on the offensive end. He had (for the most part) a reliable jump shot and point guard-like vision and passing skills. This made him the perfect compliment to Mike Bibby, who was really a shooting guard masquerading in a point guards' body.
Christie focused on defense and then catered his offensive game to the team's needs, making him a versatile and valuable player on one of the league's elite teams.
As the Kings' focus on rebuilding, perhaps they should consider finding their own Doug Christie.
Current Kings shooting guard Kevin Martin is one of the elite scorers in the league, however, he is an average defender at best.
Francisco Garcia demonstrates many of the same qualities Christie had. He is already the Kings' best defensive player and, at times, is a matchup problem for opposing defenses.
The problem here is that he is still very young and has yet to develop a consistent jump shot. The future will tell whether or not Garcia can be the answer.
On a young Kings team that has already found its strength to be on the offensive end, the Kings must find a perimeter stopper. They must find their next Doug Christie.