The Sacramento Kings ended their longest-running playoff drought in US sports history when they clinched a berth to the 2023 NBA Playoffs. It had been 16 consecutive seasons since the Kings last qualified for the postseason, but they can now look forward to playing in the postseason again after a gap of 17 years since their last appearance in the 2005-06 season.
Last night saw the Kings secure their playoff spot with a comprehensive 40-point win over the Portland Trail Blazers. When the final whistle blew, the Kings celebrated their first home win with a purple laser beam that illuminated the sky above the Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. The phrase “Light the Beam” has become a catch phrase for the season, as fans chanted it in the fourth quarter during home games whenever the Kings were on the brink of victory.
Head Coach Mike Brown expressed his delight at the Kings’ success, telling reporters after the game: “We want to give fans a lot more than we’ve given them so far already because they’re more than deserving of it. When you have a fan base that’s as intelligent, rather passionate about not only their team, but their city too, you can feel it’s a prideful thing. You want the world for them, and you’re excited about it. We want them to celebrate, and we expect to hopefully give them more.”
The Kings currently have a 46-30 record, which puts them in third place in the Western Conference standings. As it stands, they’re two games behind the second-place Grizzlies, with a chance to snatch the #2 seed in the playoffs. This would be a remarkable feat, considering they were in 12th place in the conference last season with a 30-52 record.
At DraftKings, the Kings are +6000 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA Championship, and +2000 odds to win the Western Conference and progress to the NBA Finals. FiveThirtyEight projects they have a 2% chance to advance to the Finals, and less than a 0.4% chance of winning the championship.
Finally, one diehard fan has the potential to cash in multiple prop bets totaling $10.3 million if the Kings win the NBA championship.
It has been a long journey for the Kings since their last postseason appearance in 2006. After 16 years, the Kings have finally broken their drought and achieved their goal of returning to the playoffs. Now the team, and their loyal fans, can look forward to a thrilling postseason run.