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"They don't value me" - Kenny Smith reveals how he cried after witnessing the abysmal culture of the Sacramento Kings

By Will Starjacki,


Kenny Smith details just how miserable the culture of the Sacramento Kings was, having spent 3 years with them
Kenny Smith

© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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Sacramento Kings might be considered one of the most trolled NBA franchises that still need to establish a winning culture or a good fan base of their own. Citing the same, Kenny Smith emphasized how he almost cried after being acquired by the same team in a candid conversation with former DPOY Draymond Green .

Kenny said , “See these tears coming down my eye? I was ready to cry. I get drafted, on draft night, Dray (Draymond Green). I'm like… ‘Hey, this is Kenny Smith.’ The secretary goes, 'One second.' ( Smith gave a gist- I'm on the phone for like 3 minutes). This is on draft night. Right after I come off the stage. She gets back on the phone, and she goes, 'Hi, Sacramento Kings, may I help you?' I'm like, 'Hey this is Kenny Smith, I need to talk to Bill Russell .' And so she goes, 'One second,' another 4 minutes go by. 'Hi, Sacramento Kings, may I help you? Who's calling?'

“So right then, I'm turned off. I'm like, I just got drafted 6th and I've gone to a place, who don’t value me. They don't value what's going on. Now obviously, Coach Russell hadn't been there long enough to change the culture, he was just like me. So the culture was so bad in Sacramento, we used to do our own laundry."

How was Kenny Smith’s stint with the Kings?

The 2-time NBA Champion with the Houston Rockets spent 3 seasons in Sacramento, where he didn’t complete his third season entirely with the King and made way (in 1989-90) to represent the Sacramento Kings. The NBA on TNT panelist averaged 13.8, 17.3, and 15.0 points in each of the seasons mentioned, respectively.

Smith’s highest PPG came with the Houston Rockets in the 1990-91 season, where he dropped 17.7 points, 7.1 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game. After his time with the Rockets, he wasn’t even able to average 15 points per game in either of the 6 seasons he played afterward in the NBA. So, individually his stint with the Kings was much better than his time with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and Orlando Magic.

Is Sacramento Kings a successful franchise?

Before the start of the early 2000s, Sacramento Kings had no identity in the league whatsoever. As Kenny Smith mentioned, the standards set in the organization were low compared to how other teams generally operate.

However, so far in the 2022-23 season, the Kings have cemented their place as one of the strongest teams in the Western Conference. Hopefully, they can continue their form even in the playoffs.

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