by Russell Preston, KHTK Sacramento

This past week, the MLB participated in a “Franchise Four” selection, where each team selected the four all-time greatest living players from their respective franchises. The San Francisco Giants, for instance, chose Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Barry Bonds and Buster Posey, when the Oakland A’s selected  Dennis Eckersley, Jimmie Foxx, Ricky Henderson and Reggie Jackson.

Who would be the Franchise Four of the Sacramento Kings? The Kings franchise has been around since 1948, bouncing from Rochester to Cincinnati, then to Kansas City until finally staying in Sacramento in 1985. Several great players have donned the Kings uniform, but who of those still living deserve to be named a top-four player of the franchise?

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Let’s make a case for a few great Kings:

1. Oscar Robertson

The “Big O” is still very much alive at age 76 and seeing that he has seven of the top ten scoring and assist seasons by any King/Royal and has been one of the most efficient players in the history of the NBA, he has a good shot. Robertson went to the playoffs six-straight years as a King, only to lose before making it to the finals. He never won a ring with the Kings – although the year after he left to go to Milwaukee, he won it all with the young Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It would be foolish to leave him off this list.

2. Tiny Archibald

Tiny, another Hall of Fame inductee, played from 1970-1976 with the Kings. He helped transition from Cincinnati to Kansas City and from the Royals to the eventual Kings. He’s top-4 in franchise history in 2-point field goals/attempts, free throws, assists, points, and minutes per game. Archibald, 66, has his No. 1 jersey retired by the Kings, is a well-known assist man around the league and has a good chance of making the list.

3. Jerry Lucas

One of the best rebounders to ever play the game, Lucas (75 years old) played his first seven seasons with the Kings franchise back in the 1960’s. He made the all-star team six of those seasons and was named to the All-Century team by Sports Illustrated back in 1999. He is second in franchise history in total rebounds and leads in rebounds per game with 19.1 as a King. I’m not even sure how that’s possible. He is also one of four players to ever grab more than 40 rebounds in a single game. On top of that, he’s achieved a basketball triple crown – NCAA championship (Ohio State), Olympic Gold Medal (1960) and NBA Championship (1973 New York Knicks).

4. Mitch Richmond

Richmond, 50, is much younger than the other candidates thus far, but he has a good case to represent the best of the Kings franchise. After being a top-4 player in field goals, 3-pointers, free throws, steals and points, Richmond was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014. Originally a Golden State Warrior as a part of “Run TMC” with Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin, Richmond spend most of his career in the state’s capitol city. As a King, he was a part of six all-star teams (in seven seasons), scored 23.3 points per game and was one of the most accurate three-point shooters in franchise history. Much like the other players mentioned before, he too won a championship with another team after being a King. His best years were in Sacramento, however.

5. Chris Webber

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Webber, another former Warrior, spent his best seasons during the most recent  glory years for the Kings. Four of his seven seasons as a King were spent on all-star teams, he also averaged a double-double over the span of his Kings career. One of the franchise’s top rebounders, blockers and scorers, Webber was a power forward who could do it all. He was actually traded to Sacramento from Orlando for Richmond and Otis Thorpe back in 1998. He never won a ring in his career, but going to the playoffs six of his seven years as a King, he could be considered a great candidate.

6. Peja Stojakovic

A fan-favorite who played alongside Webber and current vice president of operations, Vlade Divac, Stojakovic leads the franchise in threes taken, threes made, free throw percentage and was one of the team’s better scorers. Making it to the post season seven out of eight seasons in a Kings uniform, the 6-foot-9 Croatian was another key cog in one of the franchise’s best stretches. His number is also retired up in the rafters, so he could sneak onto this list.

Honorable Mentions:

7. Jason Thompson

8. Vlade Divac

9. Mike Bibby

10. Doug Christie


Vote for your Franchise Four below:

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