The Sacramento Kings have been a tough franchise to watch for the last 16 years, having not made the playoffs since 2006. Since that time, only one player has made the All-Star Game in DeMarcus Cousins and he has been away from the team for five years. Historically speaking, most of the team’s success came almost 50 years ago.
Chris Webber helped bring some success to the team for about six years in the late 90s and early 2000s. Throughout history, there has only been one player to be dominant. He was the first player to average a triple-double in a season too. Nobody has been better than Oscar Robertson and who knows if anyone in town ever will be.
Along with Robertson, Webber, and Cousins, these are the top-10 scorers in team history.
10. Rudy Gay - 19.3 PPG
(4 Seasons, 2014-2017)
On December 9, 2013, the Raptors traded Gay, along with Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, to the Kings for Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, and Patrick Patterson. In his first season, he tied his career-high for points with 41 against the Pelicans. The following year, he exercised his $19.3 million option to stay with the Kings. After scoring 40 points on Halloween, Gay signed a three-year, $40 million extension with the Kings. Gay finished that season averaging 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.
The following year, he scored a season-high 36 points against the Bucks. His best overall game came in December when he scored 17 points, added 13 rebounds, three assists, one block, and a career-high six steals against the rockets. In his final season, his year was cut short due to a full rupture to his left Achilles tendon.
9. Jerry Lucas - 19.6 PPG
(7 Seasons, 1963-1969)
When Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain were dominating the league, there was only one player that could keep pace with both big men and that was Jerry Lucas. In 1967-1968, Lucas had a stellar season where he averaged 21.5 points, 19 rebounds, and played 44.1 minutes per game in all 82 games. He was second to only Chamberlain in rebounds and minutes. Over 308 games between 1964-1968, Lucas averaged 20.5 points and 19.8 rebounds per game. The only other player to be around the “20-20 Club” Chamberlain.
Lucas played in his sixth straight All-Star Game in 1969, but that was when he saw himself distanced from the team. During that year, the American economy tightened and Lucas saw his investments go south. He was forced to declare bankruptcy and his popularity among players soured due to the financial losses in their investments that they made through Lucas.
8. Antoine Carr - 19.7 PPG
(2 Seasons, 1990-1991)
Carr was coming off a stellar senior season in college where he averaged 22.5 points and 7.6 rebounds. That prompted him to be selected No. 8 overall by the Pistons in 1983. Carr was unable to agree to a contract, which prompted Carr to spend a season in Italy and then six seasons with the Hawks before moving to the Kings in the middle of the 1989-1990 season.
While in Sacramento, Carr averaged 20 points per game and was one of the team’s best players. He scored 1,551 points that season, which was the only time in his career he topped 1,000 points in a season. It was also his best scoring season as well. Given that he scored 9,176 career points, it’s clear that some of his prime years came in Sacramento.
7. Ron Boone - 19.9 PPG
(2 Seasons, 1977-1978)
After the ABA-NBA merger, Booner played in the NBA for the Kansas City Kings. On August 5, 1976, he was drafted by the Kings from the Spirits of St. Louis in the dispersal draft. Booner played for Phil Johnson in his first season, where he led the Kings in scoring with 22.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.5 steals. Unfortunately, the team finished 40-42 that year.
The following season, Boone averaged 17.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals. Booner played for the Lakers and Jazz the following three seasons before leaving the league after playing in only five seasons.
6. DeMarcus Cousins - 21.0 PPG
(7 Seasons, 2011-2017)
Since 2006, DeMarcus Cousins is the best overall player that has taken the floor for the Kings franchise. One could make an argument for De’Aaron Fox, but Fox has never made an All-Star team. Cousins did that three times and was an All-NBA player. When Cousins was named to the All-Star Game in 2015, it was the first time a Sacramento player was represented since Brad Miller and Peja Stojakovic in 2004.
Cousins joined some legendary company in April 2015 when he collected a 24-point, 21-rebound, and 10-assist triple-double in a loss to Houston. He was just the fourth player in NBA history to collect a 20+ point, 20+ rebound, 10+ assist, and 5+ block triple-double in a single game. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Webber, and Tim Duncan as the only players to do it. Then, he did it again the next night, joining Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain to do it on consecutive nights. Cousins eventually became the all-time leader in triple-doubles with nine.
5. Otis Birdsong - 21.2 PPG
(4 Seasons, 1977-1981)
After completing his college career at the University of Houston, Birdsong was the No. 2 overall player in 1977. He was selected by the Kansas City Kings. One of his best games was in 1979 when he recorded 30 points and 11 assists in a win against the Cavaliers. The following season, Birdsong recorded a career-high 49 points while making 20 of 25 field goals in a win against the Nuggets.
Ultimately, his stay with the Kings was cut short. The franchise elected to trade Birdsong in the offseason after the 1980-1981 season. His production dipped when he joined the Nets. Looking back, it was likely a good decision to move him at the time.
4. Mitch Richmond - 23.4 PPG
(7 Seasons, 1992-1998)
After three straight years of scoring at least 22 points per game in Golden State, Richmond was traded with Les Jepsen to the Kings during the 1991-1992 season for the rights to Billy Owens. Richmond was the team’s biggest star since the team moved to Sacramento in 1985. Richmond stayed with the Kings until 1998 and had a great run in seven seasons.
Richmond was the team’s leading scorer in each of his seven seasons. He averaged no fewer than 21.9 points per game. Between 1993 to 1998, Richmond was named to the All-Star team and he won MVP honors when the game was played in Phoenix. In 1995, Richmond was selected to the United States Olympic Team (Dream Team III), where he earned a gold medal. Out of all the scorers, he might be the best true shooter the Kings have ever had.
3. Chris Webber 23.4 PPG
(7 Seasons, 1999-2005)
Webber didn’t want to join the Kings because he saw the team as a perennial loser, but his Hall of Fame career saw his best seasons with the Kings. At one point, he nearly took the team to the NBA Finals. With Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divac, and Jason Williams, Webber completed an overall talented squad. He broke Dennis Rodman’s seven-year run as rebounding leader and then peaked his scoring two years later.
Webber averaged a career-high 27.1 points in 2000-2001 and was fourth in the MVP voting. The 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 Kings were championship contenders, but the team lost three straight Game 7s and never made the NBA Finals. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since the Kings were true contenders.
2. Tiny Archibald - 25.1 PPG
(6 Seasons, 1971-1976)
In 1970, Archibald was taken in the second round by the Cincinnati Royals. Archibald’s career took off in 1972-1973 where he led the league in scoring and assists, becoming the only player to win both categories in the same season. In 1967-1978, Oscar Robertson led the NBA in points and assists per game but didn’t win the titles because they were based on totals and not averages at the time. At the time, Archibald’s 34.0 points per game broke the NBA record for a guard, and as of 2020, it remains the NBA record for a point guard.
His 910 assists were also an NBA record, which broke Guy Rodgers’ mark of 908. He was named the Sporting News NBA MVP that season. Despite all this, Archibald is not even the best point guard in team history. That award goes to someone else.
1. Oscar Robertson - 29.3 PPG
(10 Seasons, 1961-1970)
When the Kings were based in Cincinnati, Robertson gave the NBA a reason to watch the small market team. In his NBA debut, Robertson scored a triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. In his rookie season, he averaged 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 9.7 assists. The following year, he became the first player in league history to average a triple-double in a season with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists. He would also break Bob Cousy’s record for assists in a season and join Johnny Green and Elgin Baylor as the only players in league history with the height of 6-foot-5 or smaller to grab 900 or more rebounds in a season.
Roberton was one of the greatest in his generation. His triple-double record would stand for 56 years. If you were to total his first five seasons in the league with the Royals, he would record a triple-double average of 30.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 10.6 assists in 451 contests. His career-high with the team was 56 points, which was recorded in December 1964. In regards to playoff success, that didn’t happen as the team lost in the first round from 1965 to 1967, as well as no qualifications from 1968 to 1970.
Most Points In Sacramento Kings History
Here are the ten players with the most points in Kings’ history.
1. Oscar Robertson - 22,009
2. Jack Twyman - 15,840
3. Mitch Richmond - 12,070
4. Tiny Archibald - 10,894
5. Sam Lacey - 9,895
6. DeMarcus Cousins - 9,894
7. Peja Stojakovic - 9,498
8. Jerry Lucas - 9,107
9. Eddie Johnson - 9,027
10. Scott Wedman - 9,002