With the Seattle Mariners’ victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings officially own the record for the longest playoff drought in major professional sports.
Seattle hadn’t made the playoffs since 2001, but given that fewer teams make the playoffs in the MLB, the drought is less embarrassing than Sacramento’s. The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-2006, season when they made it as the No. 8 seed and lost to the San Antonio Spurs in six games.
Back then, the Kings were led by Mike Bibby, Brad Miller, Bonzi Wells and the player formerly known as Ron Artest. All of these guys are long gone from the NBA. 2006 was a different world. The iPhone had not been released to the world, Twitter had just been founded, and the No. 1 song on the Billboard top 100 was Bad Day by Daniel Powter.
In the NBA, where 16 out 30 teams (53%) make the playoffs, the Kings not stumbling into the dance one of the seasons is a mathematical improbability. But Sacramento has defied the odds and gotten to this point.
The Kings have a chance to put an end to this 16-year stain once and for all this season. Finally, they have a roster with enough talent and depth that you could envision this being the team that sneaks in. On the other hand, if it is not this year, then when does it happen? The Kings are pretty “all-in” for a team that has no realistic chance to win it all.
The season is right around the corner, though, and pretty soon, we will get an idea if there is a chance for this year to be the year the Kings finally get rid of this embarrassing distinction. Until they do, they will stand alone in current infamy.