After 16 long seasons, the Sacramento Kings will finally return to the NBA’s postseason. They clinched a berth after Wednesday night’s dominating 120-80 win over the Portland Trailblazers.
Thus ends the team’s streak for the longest active playoff drought within the four major North American sports: basketball, football, baseball, and hockey.
The world is a lot different than it was the last time the Kings were this good. With only six games left in the regular season, we wanted to take a look at how exactly we got here.
The road traveled
- The Kings pulled off a massive trade in February 2022 to land Domantas Sabonis (who currently averages 19.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game).
- Last May, the team hired Mike Brown, the 2008-2009 NBA Coach of the Year.
- The Kings selected Keegan Murray No. 4 overall in June’s 2022 NBA Draft — he was then named the NBA 2K23 Summer League MVP in July (Murray currently ranks No. 6 in voting for Rookie of the Year after setting the rookie record for three-point shots made).
- On September 16 — 916 Day — the team unveiled The Beam, inspiring a rally cry for both fans and the city at large.
- Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox were named to the 2023 All-Star roster.
The road ahead
- The Kings are currently in third place in the Western Conference with a 46-30 record.
- Six games remain on the team’s regular season schedule, including two home games.
- If the season ended today, the Kings would play the Golden State Warriors in the first round with a home court advantage.
- If the Kings are able to clinch the No. 2 seed ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies, they would play the winner of the No.7-No. 8 seed matchup in the league’s play-in tournament.
Can’t get enough of Sac’s sports? Check out our guide to our city’s teams.