The Sacramento Kings Era in the NBA

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIJune 1, 2012

SACRAMENTO, CA - MAY 04:  Point guard Mike Bibby #10 of the Sacramento Kings huddles with his teammates in game 1 of the 2002 NBA Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks at ARCO arena in Sacramento, California on May 04, 2002.  The Kings defeated the Mavericks 108-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice : Copyright 2001 NBAE. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn /Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Looking back, the Sacramento Kings played complete team basketball from the 1998 season through 2004.  They may have never won an NBA Championship, but they always dazzled fans, reporters and spectators of the game.

The Sacramento Kings had a very complete team.  It was full of speed, athleticism and shooters.  Led by Mike Bibby, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Doug Christie, Bobby Jackson Peja Stojakovic and head coach Rick Adelman, the Kings showed fans that a superstar wasn't necessarily needed in order to be an elite team.

From 1998 to 2004, the Sacramento Kings were the most exciting team to watch in the NBA.  The players brought excitement to their city like no others, and for the NBA, that hadn't been seen since the days of Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls.

Other guys such as Jason Williams, Hedo Turkoglu and Scot Pollard made their impact as well.  Pollard was, oddly enough, known for his unique hairstyles while Williams brought a style of street-ball to the league. Turkoglu was an all-around player.

Sacramento was a young team then, but a decade ago, they still put on the greatest spectacle in basketball.  As their popularity continued to grow, the Kings seemed to be on their way to championships.  However, one team would always stand in their path—the Los Angeles Lakers.

Say what you want about the system being rigged in 2002, the Lakers were always a very tough out for the Kings.  Kobe Bryant, Shaq and company proved to be too much for the young guns in Sacramento time and time again.

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In that 2002 season, the Kings finished the regular season with a 61-21 record, including a 36-5 record at home.  The team made it to the Western Conference Finals but lost to the defending champion Lakers in seven games. 

The memories that guys like Williams, Bibby, Pollard, Christie, Webber, Divac, Jackson and Stojakovic gave us fans are remarkable.  They were a bright spot of the league.  It was a complete team, and it is unfortunate that Sacramento hasn't been the same since those days. 

It's even more unfortunate that they were never able to win the NBA Championship. 

Even if you weren't a fan of the Sacramento Kings, you still wanted to root for them.  All of those guys had different playing styles, and they were all able to bring in fans to the seats.

Sacramento, arguably, had the best crowd in the NBA during those years.  It was a loud, raucous crowd that wanted their team to win a championship.  There were even cowbells in the arena.  It was an unbelievable atmosphere.

Bibby and Williams had similar playing styles.  Both were able to make some incredible passes through their ball-handling.  Webber was more of a jump shooter/rebounder.  Divac was a guy in the post.  Christie was known for his defensive plays and effort.  Stojakovic was one of the best shooters in the game and could absolutely shoot lights out.  Jackson was a guy who was known for making the big shot, similar to a Chauncey Billups.  It was a very exciting team to watch.

And with that, check this out: a great mix from the days of the Sacramento Kings. 


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