The Sacramento Kings are one of six teams that will compete for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference in Orlando starting next month. The Kings (28-36) are 3.5 games back of the No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies (32-33) — the same number of games that the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans trail the Grizzlies by.
So why is it, then, that the Kings seem to be an afterthought in every national conversation about the playoff picture in the Western Conference? Have people forgotten that the Kings are going to Orlando?
During ESPN’s NBA schedule release special on Friday, a panel of analysts — including Maria Taylor, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams, Paul Pierce and Adrian Wojnarowski — debated which team had the best shot of contending for the No. 8 seed. The Kings were not mentioned once during that conversation, not even a snarky “Sacramento doesn’t have a chance, so we won’t mention them.”
After the show, The Ringer put out a pull asking which team has the best shot of taking the No. 8 seed: the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers or Pelicans? Again, no mention of the Kings, which caught De’Aaron Fox’s attention.
I see 2 teams we’re tied with... & another we were 3-1 against but whatever https://t.co/m5HZbek4V9— De'Aaron Fox (@swipathefox) June 26, 2020
To add to Fox’s point, the Kings went 10-5 in the 15 games they played before the season was suspended, which was the fourth-best record in the NBA during that stretch. Meanwhile, the Pelicans went 8-7 and the Trail Blazers went 6-9. Even the Wizards were hotter than the Trail Blazers before the season was suspended!
I get that it’s a star-driven league, and Damian Lillard, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are some of the biggest names in the NBA, but the Kings are a good basketball team — or at least they looked like one going into the break — and have as good of a shot as the Pelicans or Trail Blazers do to sneak into the postseason. If that wasn’t clear before, hopefully the Kings make that clear when their season restarts on July 31.
Until then, they’ll just have to laugh it off.
Lol— Buddy Love !!!! (@buddyhield) June 26, 2020