The Other Side: Sacramento Kings
For those who think that the Washington Wizards have had it bad this season, at least they aren't the Sacramento Kings. This has been a completely horrendous season for the Kings, as they bring perhaps the most poorly assembled team in NBA history -- it has no current or former all-stars and no players selected higher than No. 9 in the draft -- to Washington in an epic, ping-pong ball classic between the teams with the two worst records in the league. Toilet Bowl II at an arena near you.
The Kings have dealt with problems on and off the court this season. The team has the league's worst record (14-51), and recently dumped two of its best players (Brad Miller and John Salmons) in a salary dump trade with Chicago, then bought out the best player it got in return (Drew Gooden) to save more money. The problems off the court are even more unsettling. The Kings are in a heated battle for a new arena and may be forced to relocate. The team is in so much financial woe that owners Gavin and Joe Maloof announced that they had to abandon their private jet to fly (gasp) commercial on Southwest. And rookie forward and Baltimore native Donte' Greene is involved in a possible illegal recruitment scandal that could damage Syracuse.
Sacramento will kick off a four-game East Coast road trip this evening against the Wizards. It is coming off a terrible 126-123 overtime loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in which the Kings blew a 14-point second-half lead. The Kings have lost two in a row overall, including a 99-98 loss to Oklahoma City in which new King Andres Nocioni airball a potential game-tying jumper with less than five seconds remaining.
The Wizards beat the Kings 110-107 on Jan. 21 and a win tonight would give them their second season sweep of the season (Minnesota was the other). Here's what else you should know about the Kings as they prepare to play the Wizards tonight at Verizon Center:
1. The Kings Are 0-For-The-Eastern-Conference
Sacramento is on pace to finish with the fewest wins in franchise history - including the Cincinnati Royals, who won 19 games in both 1958-69 (when a full NBA season was 72 games) and 1959-60 (when the NBA season was just 75 games). But the Kings have already made NBA history this season. After losing to the Cavaliers on Friday, they are 0-25 against Eastern Conference teams -- the longest any team has gone in a season without posting a win against the opposing conference, according to Elias Sports Bureau. They have a chance to become the only team to ever go 0-30 against the opposing conference.
2. The Maloofs Believe An Arena Deal Will Get Done
The Kings are one of several small market teams that have been hit hard by the economy, but they are also struggling to build a new arena. The Maloofs have been losing millions and Bill Bradley of the Sacramento Bee recently dubbed 21-year-old Arco Arena the NBA's worst. The team has flirted with Anaheim and San Jose, and other cities, such as Kansas City might be interested in luring the franchise back. But on Friday, Joe Maloof announced that after meeting with the best point guard in city government, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a new arena deal will get done "eventually" to keep the team in Sacramento.
3. The Kings Are Vicious Pranksters
The Kings' veterans have taken out their frustrations on the rookies this season. After forward Jason Thompson refused to bring donuts and bagels to practice, he found his SUV filled with popcorn. When Donte' Greene stopped bringing fruit to practice, he met the same fate -- except Greene retaliated by dousing veteran Bobby Jackson's white Mercedes with a mixture of dog food, soy sauce and condiments. Greene is dealing with more serious problems with his former college but he later apologized to Jackson (likely realizing that it could've gotten really ugly). Jackson is dealing with other problems as well, after suffering a fractured left cheek bone late in the fourth quarter. Jackson did not travel with the team to Washington.
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Posted by: DjB55 | March 15, 2009 4:13 PM
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