5. Doug Christie
One of the most popular players in Kings history, Doug Christie, first came to Sacramento in August of 2000 in exchange for Corliss Williamson. Christie’s greatest attribute was his impressive knack for defense and the toughness he brought to the game. He averaged 2.3 steals in his first season with the team and led the charge defensively as they improved from 27th in opponent points per game (102.0) to 13th (95.9).
Christie lit a fire in the Kings and their fans and helped fan the flames of the team’s rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, who would knock Sacramento out of the playoffs in three straight seasons from 1999-2002.
While not as flashy as his fellow members of The Greatest Show on Court, Christie was integral to the Kings and their growth as a team. After failing to reach the Western Conference Semifinals for the past 20 years, Sacramento finally found their way out of the first round of the playoffs in Christie’s first season and would continue to do so in each year Christie and the Kings made the playoffs.
Christie finished his time in Sacramento averaging 10.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists over 355 games, with playoff averages of 11.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists over 48 games.
In 2021, Christie returned to Sacramento as an assistant coach and was retained when Mike Brown took over the club as head coach. It’s not exactly common for an incoming head coach to retain an assistant from the previous regime, but that just speaks to the value Christie brings to the organization even now.
Christie had many memorable moments with the Kings as a player. He is often known outside of Sacramento for his preseason fight with Rick Fox or his association with BET’s Basketball Wives, but Christie was beloved by Sacramento and the engine of this Kings team.