The 10 greatest Sacramento Kings in history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

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5. Maurice Stokes

Maurice Stokes was on track to be an incredibly successful NBA player with the Cincinnati Royals when a horrible injury cut his career short. In March of 1958, he hit his head on a drive to the basket and passed out but later returned to the game. Not really treated, the injury eventually led to a seizure and permanent paralysis. 

His Royals teammate Jack Twyman became Stokes’ legal guardian, and the two became the namesakes of the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, which has been given out since 2012 to whichever player is voted the best teammate by the majority of active NBA players. The most recent winners of the award are Jrue Holiday, Damian Lillard, and Mike Conley. 

Although cut short, Stokes’ career with the Royals was filled with plenty of accolades. He made three All-Star teams, and three All-NBA teams, led the league in rebounding in 1957, and won Rookie of the Year in 1956. Later, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame and had his jersey retired by the Kings. 

Now, several decades after playing in the NBA, Stokes still ranks fifth all-time in Kings’ franchise history in Player Efficiency Rating with a rating of 20.9.