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Jersey Sure, or How I Spent the Lockout of 2011, Episode No. 6

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Oh-mi-God, oh-mi-God, oh-mi-God...it's Jimmer!!!

Aykis16: That's right, its time for another exciting episode of Jersey Sure (now with 100% less Will Solomon and only 6g of sugar!), and this time we take a look at *SPOILER ALERT* numbers 20-23.  

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I've been traded for Mateen Cleaves...and a 1st round pick?

20

betweentheeyes: Jon Barry. Irreverent JB. Namer of the Bench Squad.  A joy to watch if you like roller coaster rides: he would jump in the air and pass to someone or no one or sink a deadly 3 pointer. Never a dull moment with JB on the floor.

Exhibit G: Vitaly Potapenko wore the number 20. This is the last time I will mention him.

The two main candidates here are Donté Greene and Jon Barry. Donté gave us The Donté Greene Show. He also will forever be the guy who ran on the court celebrating Tyreke's half court game-winner in Memphis, confirming once and for all that Donté can see the future. Jon Barry went on to be Jon Barry, NBA commentator for ESPN. Advantage: é

section214: Borrowing from and adding to my post from four years ago: Beating out such luminaries as Bobby Hansen, Dennis Hopson and Vitaly Potapenko, Barry led the team in floor burns during his stay here, but the best moment was probably upon his first visit after he left, when Vlade good naturedly prompted the crowd (via the pre-game radio show) to boo JB, and the crowd playfully complied. Unfortunately no one had let Scot Pollard in on the joke. Pollard was inactive at the time and just happened to be on the telecast with Grant and Jerry and completely went off on the lack of class that the Kings fans showed his good friend, eventually slamming his head set down and storming off. Pollard had to apologize the next day, and Vlade promised to let him in on all future gags.

Vitaly Potapenko: Monia'd.

Aykis16:  Jon Barry had the definition of a rainbow jumper.  The arc on his shot was obscene some times.  Loved him on the Bench Mob.  Not so much on ESPN as a commentator.

Donté Greene's time with the Kings has been at times frustrating, thrilling, excruciating, and entertaining.  Basically the theme with Donté has been inconsistency.  Its not completely his fault (although he does shoulder some of the blame), as he's been asked to completely change his game in the NBA from a go-to scorer to a defensive stopper and spot-up shooter.  Perhaps this year with a more consistent role as a backup he'll be able to flourish.  He has the talent to flourish in this league, but it's up to him on whether or not he capitalizes.

Ziller: I will never rap in a boat without thinking of Donté. I will never eat at Benihana's without thinking of Donté.

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Aykis:  I love Vlade Divac, perhaps even more for what he did off the court than on it (even though he was great there as well). 

Vlade was part of one of my favorite childhood memories.  One year for my birthday, my parents got me a spot at his basketball camp as a gift.  At some point during the week we all got to meet Vlade and take a picture with him.  When I met him, he asked me my name and when he heard it he said "Ah, Greek?".  When I responded yes, he then asked if I could speak it.  Being a smartass 11 year old, I replied "Yes" in Greek, to which Vlade laughed and then deadpanned "I can't", also in Greek.  I'll never forget that.

And who remembers those hilariously stupid Vlade and Peja Folsom Lake Ford/Toyota commercials?  I wish those were on Youtube or something.

section: Six players wore the #21 for Sacramento prior to the arrival of Vlade Divac, but no one has worn it as well, or since, and they never will. Thoughts from 2007: "No contest, unless someone would like to pick up the Harold Pressley argument. I thought that Vlade was destined to be our 2nd greatest center in Sacramento history, as Brad Miller out scored, out rebounded and out assisted Divac over his first few years here. But Miller has fallen off greatly, and Divac provided the glue that held our best team in place. And he did it all while smoking and not working out." Of course the biggest difference between Divac and Miller cannot be measured in stats. Put it this way - if the Vlade Divac of 1998 was available today, you would offer him the max (or damn near), as he is exactly, exactly what this team needs right now in the way of skill, heart, passion, leadership, and camaraderie.

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Shelden Williams was a Sacramento King for 30 games in 2009.

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section: Lionel Simmons was a 17 and 8 guy (that's 8 boards from the SF position) during his first four seasons. Then his knees eroded, and he was done three seasons later at age 28. Simmons also missed a game with Nintendo-itis, the result of carpel tunnel from playing too many video game. But he's my guy at #22, beating out Rodney McCray.

I'm still surprised at the amount of love that Jimmy Jackson generated in his 63 games here in 2002-03. While proving himself to be a pivotal bench player, his contributions were still limited to 7.7ppg and 4.2rpg, as his minutes were limited behind Peja Stojakovic and Doug Christie. After the season, Jackson was looking for a 3 year, $21m contract, and the Kings wished him the best of luck. Jackson ultimately signed a deal guaranteed for two years with the Rockets for substantially less. I'm not trying to diminish JJ's contributions here, but I've never understood those that felt that we should have opened the vault for a guy that was destined to play behind Peja and DC, especially since Jackson was to turn 33 the next season.

Shelden Williams was the key piece to the Mike Bibby deal...other than ridding ourselves of Bibby's massive remaining contract, of course. In his short time here, he led StR in name misspelling (Sheldon), holding the record until it was broken by a young Donte Green.

Aykis:  I never got to watch Lionel Simmons but before Tyreke, he was the best Kings rookie ever, averaging 18 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.4 steals and a block, losing out on Rookie of the Year to Derrick Coleman.  It was too bad injuries cut short what looked to be a promising career.

Rodney McCray only played a couple years for the Kings but put up some decent numbers during that time. He also managed a couple triple-doubles in 1988-89.  McCray was a very good rebounding guard-forward, averaging about 8 a game while in Sacramento.

Jim Jackson was a decent player I thought but I wasn't upset when we didn't retain him.  He provided depth to what might have been our deepest team ever.

Shelden Williams was supposed to be the saving grace in the Mike Bibby trade, a young big man prospect who could defend and rebound.  You all know how that turned out.  All we're left with now are forehead jokes (We should have kept him and built the new arena on his forehead. Plenty of room.)

Ziller: Lionel Simmons is still on the payroll, right? <goes to check ShamSports.com>

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Tizzy

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bte: Wayman Tisdale. His best attribute was his engaging smile, His second best -the Tizzy Flip. A very big man who shot his left hand jumper and otherwise seemed to just go through the motions always ready for his career as a musician.

Aykis:  This has been a great number for the Sacramento-era.  Aside from Tyrone Corbin, a veteran roleplayer, each of the players who have worn it have averaged 20+ points a game in a season for us (perhaps multiple seasons if Marcus Thornton re-signs).  I didn't get to watch Tizzy, but there's no doubt that he was a gifted scorer.  His numbers remind me of David West.

Speedracer was another talented scorer and the only reason to really watch the team for a few years.  Kevin had a knack for having the quietest scoring nights you ever saw, mainly because half of his points would come at the Free Throw line.  This was especially evident when you were watching the game at the arena and didn't have a box score in front of you.  He'd hit a shot in the 4th quarter, you'd look up at the scoreboard and say "Wait, when did he score 34 points?"

Perhaps the best part about watching Kevin is that we got to see him grow from barely used rookie to scorer extraordinaire.  His path is the one everyone wants their late first round picks to take but rarely ever comes to fruition.  Martin was an exception to the rule thanks to his extremely dedicated work ethic.

Frequent injuries led to Kevin getting labeled by some as soft.  I say this is nonsense.  A huge part of his game is getting other players to foul him and getting to the line, and his body would take a beating doing so.  He also broke his wrist in a game, kept playing, and scored 48 in an overtime win.  The next game he opted to play again and scored 29.  It wasn't until after that game that it was discovered his wrist was actually fractured and that he would need surgery.  Unfortunately that surgery kind of signaled the end of his time with the Kings, since it opened up the door for Tyreke Evans in a big way.  For better or for worse, it didn't work out with Kevin here and we've moved on.  I wish him the best of luck in Houston (where he happened to play 80 games last season).

Marcus Thornton was a breath of fresh air when we traded for him last year.  It didn't take long for him to capture our hearts, particularly in a spirited performance in his home debut for "Here We Stay" Night, as well as his ability to hit clutch shots at the end of games.  I look forward to hopefully seeing Marcus in a Sacramento uniform for many years to come.

section: Now this is a quality number, worn first in Sacramento by Wayman Tisdale. In his five years here, Tizzy established himself as the best power forward that Sacramento had seen, and that would stick until Chris Webber came to town. I had the honor of seeing Wayman control the baseline at ARCO and the bass line at the Radisson. What a phenomenal talent.

Ty Corbin wore #23 in 95-96 and 99-2000. What I loved about Corbin is that he could log about two dozen consecutive DNP-CD's, and then come off the bench and provide the team with insanely quality baseline to baseline minutes when called upon, the early day version of the later day Corliss Williamson. He was just a guy that had the look of a future head coach (like Corliss or Francisco Garcia). He has huge shoes to fill in Utah, but I wish him the best.

Kevin Martin was perhaps the best draft pick that Geoff Petrie has ever made, when you consider that he was the 26th pick in the draft. Martin proved to be an insanely efficient (albeit fragile) offensive player, and he was the only good thing about Sacramento basketball for a couple of years. It's too bad that events prevented the Evans/Martin backcourt from ever materializing.

And now the number (hopefully) belongs to Marcus Thornton (NaMonia). Fingers crossed.

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Aykis:  Once again, if you have a story or comment you'd like to share feel free to e-mail me or section214 and we'll do our best to include it.  I just know there's an awesome story out there that involves you, Darius Songaila, a disgruntled 7-11 manager, and a box of Franzia Sunset Blush.  We want to hear it.