Today we look at the power forwards. I must tell you, this list was a much bigger pain in the arse than the centers. Cousins notwithstanding, the centers list sort of fell into a natural order. No such luck here, especially when looking at 10 - 3.
A quick reminder about the criteria used here:
1. 50 game minimum.
2. Overall contribution. A look at the numbers.
3. Contribution beyond the box score. See Pollard, Scot for one example.
4. Subjectivity rules. And as it is my list, it is my subjectivity that reigns supreme. Save your subjectivity for the thread.
5. The selection of Joe Kleine cannot be argued...ever.
6. Was really hoping for something here that would have excluded our #10 power forward...
10 - Kenny Thomas Woof!
I really would have liked to have slotted Michael Smith or Anthony Bonner or Keon Clark or Yogi Stewart (who would look great next to Cousins) or Darius Songaila here, but Thomas is the "choice" at #10. The per 36 tells the story when it comes to my beef with K-9 (woof!). In his 26 games right after being acquired by the Kings (along with Brian Skinner and Corliss Williamson for Chris Webber, Matt Barnes and Michael Bradley), Thomas averaged almost 17 and 10 for the Kings. Sacramento went out and signed Shareef Abdur-Rahim in the off season and the pout was on. Thomas' per 36 dropped to 12 and 10 the following year, then 8 and 10, then 4 and 8, then 4 and 9, then 5 and 10. His efficiency numbers dropped from 19 to 15 to 10 to single digits.
Had Thomas been able to maintain his play, his 5 year, $38m contract would not have been a big deal. That was Petrie's plan when he traded Webber - to break one massive contract into three smaller ones. The contracts of Skinner and Williamson never harmed the Kings, but Thomas' deal was a dagger due to his backsliding play.
I almost went with Songaila here, but Thomas edges him out. And now I feel unclean. Woof.
9 - Lawrence Funderburke Now we're talking. The anti-Thomas.
Fundy (or L-Funk, as I used to call him without ever gaining any traction whatsoever) logged six seasons in a Kings uniform, but his 6 and 4 numbers don't tell the story.
Funderburke was drafted with the 51st pick of the 2nd round by the Kings in the same draft that saw the Kings select Brian Grant and Michael Smith. Whether concerns about his knees were legitimate or he was plundered by bad intel (there was a rumor Bobby Knight sabotaged Funderburke's value to spite him for spurning Indiana and going to Ohio State), Funderburke spent his first three seasons playing in Europe, joining the Kings in 1997. He was a member of the Kings best teams, albeit usually in the 4th or 5th big man chair (behind the likes of Webber, Divac, Pollard, and Clark). Funderburke could go long stretches without real minutes, but would always produce when called upon. He was a pro's pro in the mold of Corliss Williamson and Ty Corbin. When people remember Lawrence Funderburke, they remember him fondly.
8 - Carl Landry The bottom portion of the power forward list is really funky. Carl Landry 8th all time? Who's responsible for this drivel?
Landry has 99 games in with the Kings spread over portions of three seasons. He is averaging 12 and 5, though his per 36 would come to 16 and 7. He has been miscast and injured, but he has been fairly decent and at least somewhat efficient on those occasions when he has been healthy. The placement of Landry as 8th on this list speaks more to the power forwards that the Kings have (or have not had) than it does to the magnificence of Top Hat.
7 - Shareef Abdur-Rahim Rod Thorn knew something about his knees. Apparently Geoff Petrie did not. After the Nets pulled their contract offer to Shareef, the Kings swooped in and offered him multi-year, multi-million dollar contract. Abdur-Rahim responded with two reasonably healthy seasons where he averaged about 11 and 5 overall. His highlight was playing with his broken jaw wired shut...and somehow picking up a technical foul. Knee injuries ultimately forced him to take an early retirement.
6 - Jason Thompson
OK then. Jason Thompson has 460 games under his belt as a King, averaging 10 and 7 along the way. He is currently 6th in games played as a Sacramento Kings, 16 games out of 3rd and 59 games from the #1 spot. 4th in rebounds. Has never missed more than seven games in a season, and has suited up for an outstanding 97% of the schedule over his six years in a Kings uniform under five different coaches. He has been far and away a better contributor than anyone previously mentioned on this list. Jason Thompson deserves the coveted crown of 6th best Sacramento Kings power forward of all time.
5 - Antoine Carr The Big Dog, and I don't mean "woof!". Carr was a King for half of Pervis Ellison's rookie year, and all of the four rookie draft of 1990 (Simmons/Mays/Causwell/Bonner). Those were miserable teams under the "tutelage" of Dick Motta. Carr arrived along with Sedric Toney for Kenny Smith and Mike Williams. Carr would average almost 20 and 6 in his 110 games as a King, putting up the best efficiency numbers of his career. He was not a great rebounder, but he was a fierce offensive player. Antoine Carr was one of the few good things to watch when the Kings played under Motta.
4 - Otis Thorpe Otis Thorpe had no nickname that I can recall. Not OT. Not "Otis - my man!" Not Friar Duck. In spite of this, I bestow the 4th slot on the power forward list to him.
Thorpe had two stints with the Kings. His second was a 27 game cup of coffee when he was traded here in 1998 along with Chris Robinson for Bobby Hurley and Michael Smith. Thorpe would be dealt a few months later with Mitch Richmond for Chris Webber. His first stint was as one of the players that migrated from Kansas City in 1985. In his three seasons as an inaugural King, Thorpe averaged roughly 17 and 9, including a 21 and 10 campaign in 1987-88. Thorpe would have his off nights, but he was also pretty durable, playing in every game over his final two seasons in Sacramento. Thorpe was traded before the beginning of the 88-89 season for Rodney McCray and Jim Petersen.
3 - Brian Grant The #8 draft pick out of Xavier. This was Geoff Petrie at his best, selecting a small college guy when small colleges were still largely overlooked in the early portions of the draft (your occasional Scottie Pippen or Karl Malone notwithstanding). Grant was a 13 and 7 man during his three years in Sacramento, adding over a block per game. He was part of the 95-96 playoff team his rookie season, adding to the team's reputation for tough, bruising play. Grant would leave via free agency after his third season (old CBA rules, ya' know?), and he wound up playing 12 seasons in the NBA.
2 - Wayman Tisdale The late, great thumb-popper! Tizzy came to Sacramento during the 89-90 season along with that Bimbo Coles / Rory Sparrow pick for LaSalle Thompson and Randy Wittman. Six seasons and 370 games, averaging about 18 and 7 a game. The standard operating procedure seemed to be for Tisdale to get off to a hot start most games, as teams seemed surprised that he was left handed (advanced scouting had apparently not been invented yet). I also have fond recollections of Tisdale hitting the big shot late on a couple of occasions, his ginormous smile lighting up the arena. The Kings released Tisdale after the 1994 season, and he would finish his basketball career in Phoenix before embarking on a phenomenal career as a jazz bassist. Tisdale passed away in 2009, having achieved in two professions what most of us never attain in one. RIP, Wayman Tisdale.
1 - Chris Webber Surprise!
Chris Webber unwillingly arrived in Sacramento in 1998 in exchange for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe. He was the best player on the best teams to ever play in Sacramento. Seven seasons and 377 games. 23.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 1.5 spg, 4.8 apg (1.6/1 a/to ratio). Efficiency rating of 22.3. He was a tipped shot / better officiating / better team free throw shooting away from an NBA title, and a blown knee away from perhaps one or two more. At his peak, he was considered to be on a par with Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. For those that have become Kings fans during the Kevin Martin or Tyreke Evans or DeMarcus Cousins eras, it is difficult to comprehend the rock star status that Webber attained while in Sacramento.
Commence strafing this list in the threads. You'll get little quarrel from me - I was pulling this list out of every orifice on my body.