Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

January 24, 2009
Opening tip: Ten years and forever ago

Kings (10-32) at Bucks (21-25)

Scoring: Kings 13th (98.8), Bucks 17th (98.3).
Shooting: Kings tied for 24th (44.5 percent), Bucks 19th (44.8).
Scoring defense: Kings 29th (107.7), Bucks 13th (98.1).
Shooting defense: Kings 29th (47.8 percent), Bucks tied for 18th (45.6).
Rebound differential: Kings 28th (minus-3.7), Bucks seventh (plus-1.8).

The link: Bucks coverage in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The almanac: On this date in 1956, Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks won the first of his record four All-Star game MVPs. On this date in 1985, players announced plans to donate their share of the money for playing in the All-Star Game to aid famine victims in Ethiopia. The league matched the amount to make the total donation approximately $100,000. On this date in 1990, Pat Riley of the Lakers reached the 500-win plateau faster than any coach in history, his 684th game.

__________

A fun one. You can use a fun one.


Ten years ago this week, the league and the players signed the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to end the lockout, the unprecedented 50-game schedule was being put in place and the Kings signed Vlade Divac and Jon Barry. The foundation of the greatest success of the Sacramento era was in place.

Really, it was that entire lengthy offseason that set the course, month after month mostly of nothingness as the labor dispute chopped away at the first half of the season. The lockout started July 1 and officially ended Jan. 20 and there could be no player business in between, but what happened just before and just after changed the Kings forever.

Even during, actually. Rick Adelman was hired as coach during that time.

May 14, 1998 -- Chris Webber acquired from Washington for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe.

June 15 -- Peja Stojakovic, a 1996 first-round pick who had been playing in Greece, signed.

June 24 -- Jason Williams drafted seventh overall.

July 1 -- Lockout begins.

Aug. 18 -- Eddie Jordan fired as coach.

Sept. 18 -- Adelman hired.

Jan. 20, 1999 -- Lockout ends.

Jan. 22 -- Divac and Barry signed as free agents.

Done, 10 years ago this week. Between the final game in of 1997-98 and the first of what is listed as 1998-99 but is actually just 1999, the core of the future playoff regular was put in place: Webber, Divac, Stojakovic, Williams and Adelman were all added to returnees Corliss Williamson, Lawrence Funderburke and Tariq Abdul-Wahad. Scot Pollard was signed about a month later.

That team went 27-23 and reached the playoffs for the first of what would become eight years in a row, losing to the Jazz in the opening round but pushing heavily favored Utah the full five games and to overtime in the decider. Webber's first season in Sacramento was 20 points and 13 rebounds and Divac had 14.3 and 10.

Doug Christie and Hedo Turkoglu would come in the summer of 2000 and Mike Bibby a year later, but it were those eight months and the offseason extended by lockout that altered everything. Success came, fan loyalty paid off, expectations were raised, and then the bubble burst. That's the not-so-fun part.



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