We continue the hypothetical narrative of if Kobe Bryant was drafted by the Sacramento Kings
What if Kobe Bryant was drafted by the Sacramento Kings? The Kings would have ended the NBA’s longest championship drought. There would have been a lot more national television games for them as well.
Early in May, I ventured into the world of Kobe Bryant with the Sacramento Kings and left off at “The Playoff Struggles” in 2002-03 to 2005-06.
If the Kings had drafted Bryant at No. 14 overall, what would have happened with his career after the 2005-06 season?
We will see.
A Downward Trend: 2006-07 to 2008-09
The twilight of Kobe’s career is beginning to take hold, but Kobe is not done yet. The Kings are dangerously close to missing the playoffs, but a late-season surge gets the Kings above the hump.
To close the 2006-07 season, they win 13 straight games, the longest winning streak for the franchise since changing the name to the Kings.
Sacramento sneaks in as the eighth-seeded team in the Western Conference playoffs. They impressively defeated the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks, but then fell to the Utah Jazz in the second round.
Then, Kevin Martin, Metta World Peace, and John Salmons are unable to help Kobe get the Lakers back to the playoffs, as they miss the postseason the next two years.
Kobe Demands a Trade: 2009-10
The 2009-10 season is a rocky one for Kobe, Paul Westphal, and the Kings. Rookie Tyreke Evans has a stellar season in Sacramento, but Kobe feels pushed aside. The Kings try to appease Kobe by trading for Carl Landry, but it is not enough.
Kobe Retires Early: 2010-11
There is not much to see here, as Kings fans are saddened. Kobe tries to have his version of the “Last Dance.” Unfortunately, it does not go as well as Michael Jordan‘s one and the Kings miss the playoffs again.
Kobe’s Two Seasons Away from the Game: 2011-12 to 2012-13
No, he does not play baseball. Kobe spends his time away from the game with his family, and they enjoy some quality time.
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Kobe Attempts a Michael Jordan-like Comeback: 2013-14 to 2014-15
He is back, and the Kings now have DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Isaiah Thomas running the show. Kobe, who was tirelessly studying the game and his future team, fits in seamlessly. Sacramento goes 54-28.
The sixth-seeded Kings dominate the top-heavy Western Conference, as they defeat the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs en route to the NBA Finals. The Kings fall just short though, as the Miami Heat get the better of them to win the championship.
The following year, Kobe is out for revenge, and he has to beat the new show in town to get back to the Finals. He takes down the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals to win the Kings’ fifth championship.
Kobe has a Last Farewell with the Sacramento Kings: 2015-16
The NBA world gives Kobe a proper farewell for each of the 30 arenas. Although the Kings do not win the championship in 2015-16, Kobe says goodbye with a 65-point performance against the Houston Rockets.