Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 8/8/13

It’s hard to remember, but there actually was a time when the Sacramento Kings were a respectable franchise. In fact, the Kings of the early 2000s probably would have walked away with a championship or two if it weren’t for the Kobe-Shaq duo. Photo Credit: Hector Ameczua | Sacramento Bee Staff Photo  Mike Bibby ran the fastest pace offense in basketball, with backcourt mate Doug Christie locking up on the defensive end. Small forward Peja Stojakovic had the best set shot in basketball, while Chris Webber dominated inside, averaging 27 ppg and 11 rpg. Vlade Divac flopped and added great passing skills with a midrange jump shot, completing one of the most dynamic starting lineups in the 2000s. Backups included big man Scott Pollard, the quick and crafty Bobby Jackson, and at the time young studs Hedo Turkoglu and Gerald Wallace. Under head coach Rick Adelman, the Kings earned the best record in the NBA, averaging 104.6 points per game. After handling the Jazz and Mavericks rather easily in the first two rounds, the Kings ran into the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. With the series tied 2-2 and game five in LA, it looked the Kings were going to steal a huge one heading back to Sacramento… Then this happened… Click here to view the video on YouTube. While the Kings still remained competitive over the next five years, they were never quite able to make the same run that they did in the 2002 playoffs. Now, the Kings have a starting lineup featuring Greivis Vasquez, Ben McLemore, Luc Richard Mbah Moute, Jason Thompson, and DeMarcus Cousins, making them big players in the Riggin’ for Wiggins sweepstakes. Now under new owners that promise to keep the team in Sacramento, the Kings may finally be able to work there way back to the top of the league. -Langer

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