2002 Western Conference Finals Game 5 (May 28, 2002)
This was briefly mentioned in my previous article, but it deserves its own entry here today. If you had to summarize the glory years of the Sacramento Kings in one game, this would probably be the one. In between one of the biggest gut punches in league history and one of the more questionable wins in league history, sat this thrilling win that secured a 3-2 series lead for the surging Sacramento Kings.
There’s a lot to recommend about this particular game. Of course, it features a signature clutch shot from franchise great Mike Bibby. However, you also get an insanely efficient 28 point game from Shaquille O’Neal (14 for 18 from the field), and a great 29/13/3 game from Chris Webber. Finally, the game was also broadcast on NBC back when they had the broadcast rights to the NBA. This means you get the vintage “NBA on NBC” broadcasting package, with Jim Gray on the sidelines, and Marv Albert and Bill Walton calling the game.
The franchise, and its fanbase, has gone through more than its fair share of ups and downs (and downs). One of the lowest points was coming just around the corner. However, the Sacramento Kings were never more up than that one brief day in the spring of 2002. In these uncertain times, let’s remember when things were good for our favorite franchise.