The 2002 Sacramento Kings: Rightful Champions That Got Robbed

The Sacramento Kings had been one of the NBA’s historically inept franchises. In 1999, they enjoyed a breakthrough year in the strike-shortened season of 1999 and began a slow ascent. 1999 saw them go 27-23 and take Utah to a decisive fifth game in the first round of the playoffs. One year later they went 44-38 and squared off the Lakers, again going to a fifth before coming up short. In 2001 the Kings broke the 50-win barrier, winning the franchise’s first playoff series since relocating. The Lakers were again the roadblock. The 2002 Sacramento Kings had to feel like their time had come.