Sacramento Kings Franchise Five

Every summer, there is a lull in basketball news between free agency and the beginning of training camps throughout the league. In the dog days of the NBA summer, LWOS is bringing you the best five players to play for every NBA franchise in our Franchise Five series. The #LWOSFranchiseFive gives props to the best to ever lace up for each NBA team. Agree or disagree? Let us know at @LastWordHoops with the hash tag #LWOSFranchiseFive.

Franchise Five, Pacific Division: Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings have not had the success of some of their fellow Pacific Division Rivals, but they have had a rich history dating back to their days in Rochester, Cincinnati, and Kansas City. The franchise’s most recent success in California came during the early 2000’s, and the best five players in franchise history reflect a long history and represent all stages of the franchise’s progress to the present day. Here are the Sacramento Kings’ franchise five (once again, this is not a starting five, just the best five players to have played for a particular franchise):

Oscar Robertson: The unquestioned best player in franchise history is Oscar Robertson. The Big O played ten seasons for the Cincinnati Royals and was among the best players in the NBA during the 1960’s. Robertson led the league in assists seven times as a Royal and also led the league in scoring once while making the all-star team every season he played in Cincinnati. The 1962 season saw Robertson average a triple double with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game, still the only player in NBA history to achieve that feat. His career averages of 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists are among the best statistical careers in NBA history as well. While never winning a championship with the Royals, Robertson was a fixture on the All-NBA team and a perennial all-star, who is one of the greatest guards in NBA history.

Jack Twyman: The only member of this list to play for the original Rochester Royals, Twyman was a six time NBA all-star during an 11 year career with Rochester/Cincinnati. Probably only well known to the most avid NBA historians, Twyman was one of the first two NBA players, along with Wilt Chamberlain, to average 30 points per game in a season in 1959-60. A prolific scorer for his era, Twyman’s career high for points in a game was 59 and he finished his career with an average of 19.2 points per game. His number 27 is retired by the Kings organization and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983. Twyman is well known for taking care of fellow team mate Maurice Stokes after Stokes became paralyzed from post-traumatic encephalopathy after falling on the court during a game. Twyman and Stokes were honoured by the NBA with the creation of the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald: Tiny was a three time all-star in six season for the Royals/Kings organization during the 1970’s. One of the great point guards of his era, Archibald was a productive scorer and playmaker. His averages of 25 points and 8 assists per game during his time with the Kings showcases his all-around offensive talent and he remains the only player to lead the NBA in both scoring and assists in the same season, when he averaged 34 points and 11.4 assists per game in 1972-73. His 34 points per game were also a record for a guard at the time. A Hall of Fame member, Archibald went on to win a championship and become a further three time all-star with the Boston Celtics, but his years as a member of the Kings organization were his most productive. His run with the Kings was one of the great runs for a point guard in NBA history.

Mitch Richmond: Richmond gained popularity as a member of the “Run TMC” Warriors of the early 90’s, but blossomed into an all-star player after being traded to the Kings in 1991. Richmond was the Kings’ first great player since the team moved to Sacramento, and he thrived as a top offensive option for the Kings averaging over 23 points per game across seven seasons and being selected to the all-star team six times as a King. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014 and has his number 2 retired by the Kings. One of the few, but truly great players to play for the franchise since its move to Sacramento in 1985.

Chris Webber: A King for six-plus NBA seasons, Webber is probably the most well-known great Kings player to younger fans. In his six-plus seasons in Sacramento, Webber was a an all-star four straight seasons and averaged 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists as a King. Webber was also the cornerstone of a franchise that experienced a resurgence and great team success in the early 2000’s. Webber’s Kings likely would have won at least one championship if not for the Lakers, and came as close as a team could possibly come in 2002, when they lost a controversial playoff series to L.A. Nonetheless, Webber was the driving force behind a rebirth of the popularity of the Kings. The only non-Hall of Famer on this list, Webber is likely to be enshrined very soon. His number 4 is retired by the Kings and he remains one of the greatest players in franchise history.

Honourable mention: Bob Davies, Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic, Sam Lacey, Maurice Stokes.