At about 6PM tomorrow evening, Sacramento time, it’ll be 10 years to the exact moment of the biggest shot in Sacramento Kings history. May 28th, 2002, Mike Bibby, coming off a
illegal screen set by Chris Webber, hit the game winning shot with 8.2 seconds left, giving the Kings a 92-91 victory and a 3-2 series lead over the Los Angeles Lakers.
For most King fans, the last thing they want to recall is how that series played out but on the same token, at least there are memories to reminisce about, something the Maloof brothers seem all too eager to take away when it pertains to future memories.
Despite the heartbreak, it’s difficult as a fan of the NBA and basketball not to sit back and remember what an amazing series that was. A true heavyweight contest, a blow for blow, pound for pound slug-fest of two amazingly talented teams. From tainted hamburgers to cotton-filled ears, ringing from the collection of 17,000 cowbells, the Lakers and Kings had it all. Big time drama, spotlight players and the captivation of the world who watched two of the most (if not the most) popular teams on the globe at the time battle in the ultimate gladiator royale. Even Shaq, who consistently threw barbs at the Kings and Sacramento finally gave into the series’ greatness:
“That series has to be in the top five of all time,” Shaquille O’Neal, then with the Lakers, said the other day from Atlanta. “It had everything – drama, flopping, great performers, big personalities, big shots. The games were fun for L.A., but even more fun for Sacramento. I always liked the fans there. (Arco Arena) was a crazy place to play.”
“Ten years already?” Shaq asked, laughing. “Still a classic.”
It’s difficult to believe that it’s been a decade since North and South California duked it out in one of the NBA’s best playoff series’ to date. And while it’s not easy to look back on the final results, for moments during that series’ two week stretch, Sacramento sat atop the world. Hopefully, that wont be the last time we have those memories.
So until 2022, enjoy: