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The Kings Are Alright

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Fool me once, shame on ... ... shame on you. Fool me -- You can't get fooled again.

-- President George W. Bush

***

We wailed when the Kings missed out on the top pick last year, and many wail tonight. I'm not wailing. Not just because the Kings ended up with the Rookie of the Year with the No. 4 pick this season, not just because the closest contenders for that honor were picked No. 7 and No. 10. I'm not wailing just because Michael Jordan was a No. 3 pick, or because Dwyane Wade went No. 5, or because Brandon Roy went No. 6 in a bad draft year, or because Steve Nash went in the middle of the first round.

I'm not wailing because the Kings are alright, and will be alright. The Wizards are a little more alright as of tonight, but that's OK. The Lakers never won the draft lottery in the late 90s or Oughts. The Celtics didn't win the lottery. The Spurs won one lottery a decade and a half ago. The Pistons didn't win a lottery, and the two top-5 picks they have this century were named Rodney White and Darko Milicic.

All the championship teams since 1999 have two homegrown No. 1 picks between them: David Robinson and Tim Duncan. It's not a requirement for excellence. Far from it.

This will be a great month for the Kings, a great summer and a great future. Breathe, and look forward.