Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
We'll miss Francisco Garcia around these parts, primarily for non-basketball reasons.
So Francisco Garcia means a lot to Sactown Royalty in the respect that until Wednesday night he'd been the only Sacramento King to live through it all. He played in the playoffs with the Kings. The playoffs! It feels, honestly, like an eternity and a half ago. He was a member of the Skeleton Army!
El Flaco was always classy to fans, he has been said to be a wonderful teammate and he worked hard. He had some real misfortune, including the infamous exercise ball injury. And he played for some of the worst teams in Sacramento history. He deserved better while here, and we hope he'll get it in Houston and beyond. Much love to El Flaco. We'll miss you. -- Ziller
I will miss his professionalism. Professionalism has become so rare in this franchise that it is all but forgotten. The man logged the 5th most games as a Sacramento King, and he did it at three positions, as a starter and a bench player, and stayed integrated with this fellow teammates regardless of whether he was in or out of the rotation, or in or out of uniform, for that matter.
There were those that railed about his contract, and while it was not a good contract from the organization's perspective, it was never a contributing factor for why the Kings didn't sign other players. The fact that his mid-level contract would be a scarlet letter on the Kings payroll speaks much more to the penny-pinching way of the M*loofs - how many other teams would love for a $5-6M a year player to be their "worst" contract?
All told, the Kings got almost eight years out of their 2005 draft pick (#23 overall), and the $26.5m that they spent on him (doing some rough proration for this season) over that period breaks down to close to $3.5m a year. And during that entire time, which included the darkest stretch in Kings history, El Flaco has remained engaged and interested and a competitor to the end. I put him and Isaiah Thomas on my list of current Kings that are locks to be successful after their playing days are over. -- Rob (section214)
Like Rob, I will also miss Flaco's professionalism. Cisco has been here through some of the worst and most difficult times for the Sacramento franchise but you never heard of him being a malcontent or complaining. All he wanted to do was play, and it's a shame that various freak injuries like the medicine ball incident have limited his career somewhat. Once the old guard left and Cisco was left as the only real veteran on the team, he took it on himself to mentor the young guys, taking players like Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi under his wings. It was like having another assistant coach on the team and I could see him entering the coaching ranks when his career is over.
I'll also miss his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde impersonations. No other player could match Cisco in eliciting frustration followed by excitement and vice versa. On one side of the court, Cisco would launch a three just five seconds into the shotclock and miss badly, leading to an opponent fastbreak which he would then singlehandedly stop with a come from behind block.
Cisco finished his career as a King as one of the longest-tenured Kings in the Sacramento era, finishing 5th in Games Played at 462. I just wish he could have been a part of some better teams and better memories. I wish him all the luck in Houston and wherever his career goes beyond that. -- Akis
I wasn't a big fan of Cisco's when the Kings drafted him out of Louisville, but he quickly won me over. He always played hard, even when he struggled. I can't remember ever seeing Cisco take a play off.
He's been a pro's pro even when he had no reason to. I suspect Cisco will be appreciated more in absence than he's ever been during his tenure. He was always an easy guy to take for granted as the one constant.
Thank you, Francisco, for being the embodiment of what a Sacramento King should be. -- Greg