Sacramento Kings: 30 greatest players in franchise history
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Shooting Guard, 2011-14
As we’ve come to see throughout NBA history, different players bring a variety of unique abilities to the basketball court. Some can lock down even the greatest of scorers. Others can simply shoot the lights out no matter the circumstances. Marcus Thornton was what is called a professional scorer.
At the heart of his offensive skill set was his jumper. Thornton could get his shot up over just about anybody, and it was the threat of that prowess which allowed him to attack the basket off pick and rolls. Or, if the defense inexplicably backed off, he could pull up from any spot on the court ranging from the free-throw line to all the way out beyond the arc.
There are some players in the league who can get inexplicably hot, and in such a situation, there really isn’t anything the opposing team can do. Thornton is one of those guys, and there were times when he’d seemingly increase the difficulty of a given shot only to sink it with as much ease as an uncontested layup.
He spent around three combined seasons in Sacramento and even averaged a career-high 18.7 points per game during the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season. Thornton’s skills didn’t exactly contribute much to a winning cause, but most of that had more to do with the Kings lack of structure and talent.
Thornton was never really an across the board contributor, but there was no denying the special gift he had at putting the ball in the basket. He wasn’t among the best in the business, but watching him heat up — like a blazing fire in the night — was always a sight to behold.