Sacramento Kings clinch first playoff berth since 2006 with win against Portland
SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento Kings have officially punched their ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 with a 120-80 win in Portland on Wednesday, ending the longest-active postseason drought across the four major North American sports.
Sacramento (who are now 46-30 on the season) have had a chance to end their 16-season playoff drought since this past weekend, but the cards have just not fallen their way until now.
For perspective, the last time the Kings were in the playoffs, iPhones didn't exist, Arnold Schwarzenegger was California Governor and Twitter hadn't launched yet.
It's been a great year for the Kings, who posted their first winning season since that last playoff appearance. The team also had two all-stars in De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.
After a failed stint with Vlade Divac as general manager of the team, the pressure was on current GM Monte McNair to finally turn the troubled franchise around and put a winning product on the floor.
One of McNair's biggest moves as GM was trading young former Kings star Tyrese Haliburton and sharp-shooter Buddy Hield to the Indiana Pacers for a package that brought Sabonis to the 916. it was a trade that divided the fanbase but proved to be the right move for both franchises.
Another key moment for McNair was drafting Keegan Murray in last off-season's NBA Draft. Wednesday was also a special night for Murray as he broke the NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a season by a rookie.
Yet, the biggest move of all by McNair has been appointing Mike Brown as head coach of the team. The head coach position has been a carousel of failed experiments since the glory days of Rick Adelman.
Aside from Adelman, Brown is the only coach in Sacramento's history to post a winning record with the team. Brown, after previous success with the Golden State Warriors dynasty, has proven to be a true leader and has commanded the locker room in his first season as coach.
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