Here is the lineup:
PG: Oscar Robertson
SG: Tiny Archibald
SF: Peja Stojakovic
PF: Chris Webber
C: Jerry Lucas
Robertson is a no brainer. During his 10-year run with the team, the Hall of Famer almost averaged a triple-double, putting up 29.3 points, 10.3 assists, and 8.5 rebounds a game when the franchise was based in Cincinnati, and was named an All-Star every season. Robertson was named the 1963-64 MVP.
Tiny Archibald was also an easy choice. Sabreena wrote an in-depth piece on the shooting guard, outlining his accomplishments with the organization.
Stojakovic is one of the purest shooters to ever play the game. The 14th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft took a couple of seasons to find his footing once he came over from the Greek League before the lockout shortened 1998-99 season. Stojakovic’s scoring average jumped from 11.9 in 1999-00 to 20.4 the following year. Peja’s best season with the club came in 2003-04, when he averaged 24.2 points while shooting a ridiculous 43.3% from the deep. Stojakovic was named second-team All-NBA that season and also led the league in 3-pointers made. His arrival coincided with the most successful run in franchise history, where Peja helped the Kings to the playoffs before being traded to the Indiana Pacers during the 2005-06 season.
Webber is the greatest Kings player of the modern era. He averaged 23.5 points and 10.6 rebounds over his 6.5 seasons in Sacramento. Webber’s passing ability was ahead of its time, and his dominant low post game early in his tenure made him a matchup nightmare for opponents. His best statistical season came in 2000-01 when he put up a monstrous 27.1 points and 11.1 rebounds, helping the Kings to a 55-27 record. Webber was so good that year, that he had five first-place votes in the MVP race, ultimately finishing fourth.
Lucas joined Robertson in Cincinnati prior to the 1963-64 season. The 6’8 center won Rookie of the Year, while Robertson was named MVP as the pair led the team to a 55-25 record. Lucas’ stat line during his run with the Royals. He averaged 19.6 and 19.1 rebounds in just over six seasons, helping the team make the postseason four consecutive years.
There are a few players that have a case to be on this list, a couple of which could be due to recency bias. The names that come to mind are: Mitch Richmond, DeMarcus Cousins and if we are going old school, Jack Twyman, who is second in points scored in franchise history.
What do you think of ESPN’s list? Which player would be your sixth man?
On to some more links:
The chemistry the early 2000s Kings teams had was something special. A man who was part of that team, and is now Sacramento’s player development coach, Bobby Jackson, talked about how the members of those teams have managed to stay close after all these years. (h/t NBC Sports’ James Ham)
It looks like the NBA is close to finalizing its plan to continue the 2019-20 season. Jackson is insisting that the current Kings players want to finish out the year, despite the risks and long layoff. (h/t Ham)
In sad news, the Kings family lost one of its own. Longtime Sacramento Bee writer Martin McNeal passed away, and was honored by Vlade Divac. (Kings.com)