Sacramento Kings Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents, NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the Sacramento Kings.
Believe it or not, this franchise has been in the NBA since the NBA's first season in 1949-50. However, they were not known as the Sacramento Kings. The team began in Rochester, New York as the Royals. The team moved to Cincinnati before the 1957-58 season and moved again before the beginning of the 1972-73 season to become the Kansas City-Omaha Kings. The Kings remained in Kansas City until the conclusion of the 1984-85 season and then packed their bags for California's capital city, Sacramento. Despite all of their history, the franchise has not been a very successful one. Since winning the championship in their 2nd season in the NBA, the team has had little success. They have had a number of great NBA players during their time, but many of them found team success after leaving the franchise. Let's get to the Mount Rushmore.
Oscar Robertson (The Big O)
After the Royals moved to Cincinnati, the team was struggling and got themselves the number one pick heading into the 1960 NBA Draft and made the easy decision to draft University of Cincinnati star Oscar Robertson. The Big O would go on to become easily the best player in the franchise's history and a player that does not always get the recognition that he deserves. Robertson came into the league and instantly became one of the best players. He made the All-Star team in his rookie season as he cruised to the Rookie of the Year Award and made first team All-NBA. He even finished fifth in MVP voting that season. What he did do to garner such amazing accolades as a rookie? He put up 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per game. He would go on to dominate the NBA in this way during his time in Cincinnati. While Robertson put together incredible individual numbers, his prime coincided with Bill Russell's Celtics meaning that Robertson never got to the NBA Finals. Robertson is the only MVP winner in the history of the franchise, taking home the award in 1964. He is without a doubt the best player in the history of the franchise and still is the all-time leader in points and assists.
The Royals traded the Big O in 1970 and that season a rookie by the name of Tiny Archibald would debut for the franchise. Archibald would go on to put up some incredible numbers for the team including leading the league in scoring and assists in the 1972-73 season. Tiny put up 34 points and 11 assists per game for the franchise in their first season after leaving Cincinnati. He would go on to make All-NBA first team three times in four seasons. While Archibald had amazing success individually for the franchise, they managed to make the playoffs just once during his tenure with the team. Archibald still goes down as one of the best point guards in the history of the game. He ranks fourth all-time in points and third in assists for the franchise.
Webber was traded to the team after the end of the 1998 NBA season and was not thrilled about his new home. He reluctantly joined a Kings team coming off of a 27 win season. With Webber aboard, the team won 27 games again, but this time in a 50 game season. Webber would go on to lead the Kings to their most successful run in franchise history with four consecutive 50 win seasons from 2000-04 including a 61 win season in 2001-02. During his time with the franchise, Webber was a four time All-Star and made five consecutive All-NBA teams (including 1st team in 2001). While it may be easy for some to point to some of his playoff struggles as a way to argue against him on this list, he is one of the most decorated players in franchise history and had a huge impact on the trajectory of the team.
Richmond joined the Kings for his fourth NBA season after a successful three year stint with the Warriors that included a Rookie of the Year Award. During his seven year run in Sacramento, Richmond was one of the best two guards in the NBA and does not get a great deal of recognition because he was on some teams that were not great. The team made the playoffs just once during Richmond's time with the team, but Richmond made six straight All-Star games from 1993-1998, including an All-Star Game MVP Award in 1995. Richmond would also make the All-NBA 2nd team three times and the 3rd team twice during his run with the franchise. Richmond may have lacked team success, but he was one of the best players in the league during his run with the franchise.