It’s been a long time since the Sacramento Kings were the Kings on the basketball court. Sacramento hasn’t been to the Playoffs since 2006, and hasn’t sniffed a Conference Finals since 2002. They won the league once, as the Rochester Royals in the 1950-51 season.
While it’s been a while since they were truly a good team, Sacramento has still had it’s share of great players in Franchise history. Here are the top five players in Sacramento Kings franchise history.
Top Five Players in Franchise History: Sacramento Kings
5. F/C Jerry Lucas (1963-64 to 1969-70)
Jerry Lucas was the teams territorial selection in 1963, a star player from Ohio State who averaged 24.3 points per game and hit .624 from the floor. He was a three time 1st Team All-American and was placed into the lineup immediately with Oscar Robinson and Jack Twyman. The team went 55-25, loosing the Eastern Division Finals, the first and last time he would get so close to a division title in his career.
Lucas was a six time All-Star with the franchise, who at the time hailed from Cincinnati. He was the 1963-64 NBA Rookie of the Year, and the 1965 All-Star game most valuable player. He was a three time 1st Team All-NBA selection, and led the league twice in shooting percentage. Jerry Lucas is the second leading rebounder in franchise history and eighth in points.
4. F Peja Stojakovic (1998-99 to 2005-06)
It’s hard to believe that Peja Stojakovic was the star on this Sacramento team between 2002 and 2004. The Croatian forward was the 14th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, and didn’t debut in the NBA until February 5th, 1999. Stojakovic ended up meshing well with his team, and won the starting job in time for the 2000-01 season. Sacramento would advance to the Conference Semi-Finals the next four seasons under the leadershup on Stojakovich, who was an outstanding shooter. He led the league the 2003-04 season in free throw shooting percentage when he hit .927 from the line.
Stojakovic appeared in three all-star games (2002-2004) and was 2nd Team All-NBA the 2003-04 season. He hit 240 3 point shots that season, which led the league. Stojakovic got hurt the 2004-05 season, and then was traded the following year midway through the season to the Indiana Pacers. He is the franchise leader in three point shots.
3. G/F Jack Twyman (1955-56 to 1965-66)
Jack Twyman was one tough son of a gun. He played in every game six of his eleven season in the NBA, all of which he spent with this franchise. Twyman was a solid piece with this team until the addition of Oscar Robinson in 1960-61. The team went from being 19-56 in the 1959-60 season to 33-46 in the 1960-61 season. That year, Twyman averaged 25.3 points per game in an era without a three point shot.
Twyman and Robinson proved to be an extremely effective duo, averaging 50 points per game together between 1960 and 1964. Twyman himself played in six all-star games (1957-1960, 1962-1963) and was a two time 2nd Team All-League player. He finished 6th in League MVP voting for his efforts in the 1959-60 season. Twyman is second in most categories in franchise history behind Robinson.
2. C Sam Lacey (1970-71 to 1981-82)
Not the most prolific scorer on the list, Sam Lacey was the star apparent after the team let Oscar Robinson go. Cincinnati took him with the 5th overall pick in the 1970 NBA Draft, and then moved to Kansas City-Omaha and rebranded as the Kings in 1972 with Lacey as the star at the helm. In 1975, they removed Omaha from the name.
Lacey is the teams rebounding leader in every category, which is impressive because his defensive and offensive rebounds weren’t recorded the first three seasons he played. Not only was he an efficient rebounder, Lacey was also a defensive specialist. His 96.4 career defensive rating ranks 8th in NBA history. He is the career leader in blocks and steals as well for the Kings franchise.
1. G Oscar Robinson (1960-61 to 1969-70)
Oscar Robinson is hands down the best player in Sacramento franchise history. Going back to the Cincinnati days when they were the Royals, Oscar Robinson was the go to player who carried the team into the playoffs year after year after year. It was by far the most dominant period in franchise history, as Cincinnati traveled to the Eastern Conference Finals twice in six years, and playing in the Semi’s the other six years they didn’t go to the Finals.
Robinson led the league in assists per game seven of his ten seasons in Cincinnati. He is the runaway career leader in franchise history, registering 7731 assists during his time there. Second place is Sam Lacey with 3563. No one has hit as many field goals or played as many minutes in franchise history, and it isn’t even close. Robinson played in the NBA All-Star game every season during his tenure in Cincinnati.
It isn’t even close. It’s such a shame that Oscar never got to win a title.
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