The NBA Finals tip off just down I-80 in San Francisco on Thursday evening as the Golden State Warriors host the Boston Celtics in what has been an anticipatory meeting between the two clubs. Now, the best in the West and the standouts of the East will face off to claim their hardware and the title of champion in the 2021-22 season.
Before the action tips off, a reminder which players have Kings ties, whether putting in seasons of old or looking to the future joining the squad.
Newly named head coach Mike Brown will join the Sacramento Kings following the Dubs run to their sixth Final appearance in eight years. Holding the clipboard in Steve Kerr’s absence during the Western Conference semifinals, Brown’s defensive adjustments sealed a win for Golden State in Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies that was all but redemption for hiccups down the stretch.
It’s often hard to note the impact of an assistant coach in a specific game, but looking at the Warriors’ defense and how it shows up could be instructive for Kings fans.
On the other side of the clipboard is Boston Celtics’ head coach Ime Udoka, who spent one season as a player for the Sacramento Kings in the 2009-10 season. Udoka averaged 3.6 points through 69 games played. It’s somewhat forgettable that the first-year head coach was once in the purple and white, but his threads in Sacramento remain distant and fleeting as a single season was served.
A fan favorite, Bjelly stole the hearts of the Kingdom immediately with this standup professionalism and dedication to making the team feel like winners. Most famoulsy, Bjelica hit a game-winning three-pointer on the road vs. the James Harden-Russell Westbrook Houson Rockets. Following the win, he coined the term the Kingdom still uses: F*ck it we deserve this win.
Although most Kings fans refuse to support their Bay Area neighbors in the postseason, the sentiment of joy in seeing Bjelly get a ring is shared across the Kingdom.