In honor of the Kings’ likely departure to Anaheim, I decided to look up their history to see if anyone but Rick Adelman had gotten them to the playoffs in their time in Sacramento. (Also, I haven’t written about hoops in a couple of years, and the playoffs are about to start.)
Turns out they made the playoffs in their first year in Sacto (1985-86), and one more time ten years later. Outside of that, their entire playoff history coincides with Adelman’s tenure (1999 to 2005-06). And, of course, they’ve come nowhere near the playoffs since they fired him for, um, not being good enough.
I looked over that 1995-96 roster, to see how they’d managed to sneak into the playoffs. They went 39-43 that year, and their top players were Rock Richmond and Brian Grant (with half a season of Walt “The Wizard” Williams*). Among their top 5? Olden Polynice. Turns out OP put up 12.2 ppg & 9.4 rpg, making him their top rebounder and #4 scorer.
No great shakes, but it got me thinking that he’d likely end up with a $50 million deal if he were playing nowadays (after making around $20 million for his entire career from 1987-2004). Why do I say that?
Well, here’s a news item from ESPN’s NBA rumor page today:
Kwame Brown will be a free agent in July and head coach Paul Silas believes the center will have a lot of suitors.
Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes: “Silas said after shootaround today he thinks there’s a strong possibility some team will make a significant, multi-year offer for Brown once there’s a new collective bargaining agreement. Brown has had a good season, particularly as an improved scorer. He no longer looks like someone who would have to work season-to-season on a veteran-minimum deal.”
Brown, who made the veteran minimum salary this season, averaged 26.0 minutes, 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds.
That’s right: a “significant, multi-year offer” for someone who gets 8 points and 7 boards, needs more than half a game to get it, and is heading into his 30s. But in his NINTH season, he “no longer looks like someone who would have to work season-to-season on a veteran-minimum deal”! So that’s something!
Kwame Brown has banked more than $50 million in his washout career. They really need to have a lockout before someone’s dumb enough to sign him.
* I believe that 1995-96 Kings team did lead the NBA in awesome nicknames that season:
I’m in true batshit-crazy work mode, thanks to a couple of salespeople who don’t know the meaning of the word “deadline,” but that won’t stop me from posting a nice batch on Unrequired Reading for you!
While I was busy having a fantastic dinner at August last night, my pal Sam bumped into Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, in town to watch his team take on the Hornets tonight.
Sam Â & I will be at the game tonight, and I’m hoping his new pal moves us up to the good seats. (Editor’s note: this is the fourth basketball arena Sam & I have visited, but we’re just friends. I swear!)
Also, I picked up some Cafe Du Monde for breakfast today and brought it back to my hotel room. I laid out a hand towel on my desk, nommed away, and left such a mess that I put the following note on the towel after I deposited it on the bathroom floor: “This is only coffee and beignets! No hazardous material!”
Sorry I haven’t done much non-Unrequired Reading posting lately. I’ve been kinda busy with work, but also back to thinking about writing and other projects. Anyway, enjoy this week’s links. I’m off to New Orleans for a conference tomorrow, but maybe I’ll come back with a crazy travelogue or something!
For the second straight year, no team-by-team breakdown or NBA preview for you! I just don’t give enough of a crap about pro hoops anymore. Last year’s explanation holds up pretty well, especially when you add the silliness of the “Super Best Friends” gang assembling in Miami.Â I’m sure I’ll catch some games when there’s nothing else going on, but eh. Check back during the playoffs.
These are my only observations:
Paul Westphal is a head coach?
Chris Bosh was the “franchise player” on a Toronto team that averaged a 37-45 record during his career.
I would actually root for the Celtics over the Heat in a playoff series.
What I’m sad about: The Yankees getting knocked out of the playoffs. On the other hand, I’m also happy about this because it means I won’t be staying up late watching World Series games. So it’s a wash.
What I’m worried about: Eating too much candy on Halloween.
What I’m pondering: Blowing off another NBA preview. The season starts tomorrow, so I’m guessing that’s less of a ponderment and more of a certainty.