The Sacramento Kings take their first trip of the season down south … passing Firebaugh, over the grapevine … to the newly minted Crypto.com arena to face LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings head into this matchup at 7-12 overall, 11th in the NBA west, 2-8 over their last 10 games. That was after starting off the season a promising 5-4. The Lakers come in with a 10-10 record, 9th place in the NBA west, 5-5 over their previous 10 contests. Most recently, the Kings relieved head coach, and former Laker player and coach, Luke Walton of his coaching duties and appointed assistant coach, Alvin Gentry, as interim head coach.
LeScared … I mean … LeBron James of the Lakers is questionable tonight, as well as a few other Lakers role players. For the Kings, starters Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes are both listed as questionable.
Tipoff: 7:00PM PDT
Head to Head Rivalry
The Lakers have the edge in the head-to-head rivalry all-time, 278 wins to the Kings 159. The ONLY edge the Kings franchise has all-time versus the Lakers franchise is the Cincinnati Royals/Minneapolis Lakers rivalry. A rivalry in which the Kings hold the edge in FOREVER … 19-18.
The 1951 version of the rivalry even went into the playoffs, where the Rochester Royals BEAT the Minneapolis Lakers in the then western division finals 3 games to 1, en route to the franchise’s ONLY championship. Name one Rochester Royal … I’ll buy you a coffee.
Kobe Burger … Medium Rare
In the early 2000s, the Kings/Lakers rivalry was one of the best in the NBA and all of professional sports, for that matter. Log into your Spotify account, and cue up the NBA on NBC theme song to read the rest of this article! Ready … OK!
Close your eyes and think back to the late 90’s in SacTown … turn the radio to KWOD 106.5 or KSFM 102.5 on local radio while you’re cruising by the sultry smells of ‘Center Court with C-Webb’, down Interstate-5 passing by car, business and home windows dressed with ‘FEEL THE ROAR’ banners, into Natomas in your GEO Metro you leased from Cal Worthington … finally signaling (or not if you’re a seasoned SacTown driver) as you head off to the ARCO Arena exit. Did you remember your cowbell?
Back to the glory days of Jason Williams, the poster boy for the nationwide fervor for fast-paced hoops (also big thanks to coach Pete Carril). The Sacramento fan’s respectful hatred of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. The Rick Fox and Doug Christie fight, whom we ALL know the winner of. The infamous ‘Kobe’ hotel burger, motha EFF-in Robert Horry, C-Webb revolutionizing the power forward position, Peja from the corner, Mike Bibby‘s poor nose, the ARCO Arena ‘6th Man’ … all haunted by the rotting soul of official Tim Donaghy. For those too young or unaware, do some DuckDuckGo-ing of the 2001-02 NBA Western Conference Finals. The aforementioned Tim Donaghy went to federal prison… I ain’t gonna lie, I’m still bitter.
Over the past decade and a half, these two franchises have gone polar opposite directions. The Kings have not made the playoffs since 2006, while the Lakers have experienced continued success, winning three NBA championships since 2006. Rivalry … lost.
There have been a few bright spots for the Sacramento Kings over the previous few years against the Lakers. There was a 7 game rivalry win streak for the Kings from 12/2014 to 3/2016. A 2018 buzzer-beater by former Kings fan favorite Bogdan Bogdanovic is probably the highlight of the rivalry over the past decade.
As much as Kings fans, media and whoever WANT this rivalry to be a thing again … it will not happen until Lakers fans gain some semblance of respect for the Kings. All my Lakers fan friends scoff at the notion of a modern-day Kings/Lakers rivalry. And rightly so! Hell, they don’t even care that they lose to us, it’s just an opportunity for LeBron to rest for more meaningful games later in the schedule. Kings fans keep up that energy, keep talking that trash, rockin’ that purple and black, shouting ‘EFF THE LAKERS *CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP* and someday the FRANCHISE will catch up with the FAN expectations. Maybe.
Kings 112 – Lakers 110 …. just cuz well … #BeatLA !!!