Disco Lights and Royal Knights - A Tale of Two Cali NBA Teams

By Trent D

November 27, 2023

Image Courtesy of Alamy

Once upon a time in the great reign of sport that is the NBA, a rivalry was born, similar to most things from California: golden sunsets, vineyard wine and, of course, extremely overpriced real estate - very entertaining!

Behold, the uncrowned showdown between the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors. Two teams, breathing the same Pacific air, separated by a meagre 90 miles, engaged in a bitter feud. Sounds like an episode of the Real Housewives, doesn't it?

If California is the Golden State, then these are surely its most glittering jewels. Well, one, anyway. The Warriors, with all their championship bangles clanging, have been the NBA’s version of a disco ball, spinning and dazzling. You've got Curry swishing threes like an expert barista, and Green kicking precious anatomical regions - Zac Efron wouldn’t even dare go into a dance-off against them, and he's been known to boogie.

Geographic proximity is the main reason for the rivalry between these two California NBA teams, check out the latest odds and tips for the next Golden State Warriors vs Sacramento Kings game.

On the other hand, we have the Kings, the NBA's version of a royal wedding: grand, historic, and frequently disappointing. You'd think that with a name like Kings, there’d be a few crowns involved, or at least some shiny, championship stuff. But alas, their trophy case is emptier than a promise to start a diet Monday.

But make no mistake; what the Kings lack in hardware, they more than make up for in heart and unwavering optimism. They're like the little engine that could... if only that pesky mountain wasn't in the way. Even so, they don't back down, not even when they're down 30 and the fans are using their jerseys as weepy tissues.

The Warriors and the Kings, an age-old feud like the Montagues and the Capulets, but instead of Romeo and Juliet, we get dueling mascots. The Golden State's venerable "Thunder" versus Sacramento's regal lion "Slamson", more entertaining than any Shakespearean drama. In a cage match, my money is on the lion; lions eat whatever thunder happens to be, right?

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But let's be real. As much as we love built-up drama, this rivalry is about as heated as an ice cube on a winter morning in Saskatchewan. Sure, the proximity is close, as is the inferred territorial disdain, but the Warriors have been so busy being Top-Dog in NBA schoolyards that they barely noticed the Kings, quietly trading lunchables in the cafeteria with Vlade Divac.

So here we stand, two California teams separated by a whisper of highway, battling it out on the Basketball court for the honour of...well, honour. The Warriors flashing their glamorous plays and the Kings, well, flashing their charming will. Yet, isn't precisely this motley metropolis of athletic giants, powerful dunks, misplaced three-pointers and dubious defense strategies, the unsung soul of NBA - fabricated rivalries and all?

So let's all raise our foam fingers and half-spilled beers to the Warriors and the Kings, who, in their unique California way, deliver hoop dreams and nightmares alike. Even if the Kings aren’t quite the city-rattling earthquake to the Warriors’ glittering disco, they sure make it feel like Dancing with the Stars. Here's hoping this rivalry continues to add ketchup to the NBA's deliciously greasy fast food meal of entertainment. Long live the Californian rivalry!

Top 5 Greatest NBA Players who have played for the Kings and the Warriors

1. Mitch Richmond: A Hall of Famer, Richmond played three seasons with Golden State (1988-1991) and seven with Sacramento (1991-1998). With the Warriors, he averaged 22.7 points per game, and with the Kings, he netted 23.3 points per game.

2. Chris Webber: Webber played with the Warriors during the 1993-94 season and again from 2008-09, averaging 20.7 points per game in his rookie season. However, he's best known for his incredible stint with the Kings from 1998 to 2005, where he averaged 23.5 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game and led the team to its most successful era.

3. Kevin Martin: While he was at his peak with the Kings (2004-2010), Martin averaged 17.1 points and shot 44.3 percent from the field. His stint with Golden State (2013) was brief and far less impactful as compared to his tenure with Sacramento.

4. Matt Barnes: Barnes played for the Warriors during the 'We Believe' years (2006–2008), averaging 8.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. While representing the Kings (2016–2017), he tallied modest average contributions of 7.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.

5. Corliss Williamson: With the Sacramento Kings (1995-2000, 2005-07), Williamson gave a steady performance averaging 11.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. However, his tenure with the Warriors (2000-01) was brief, with averages of 11.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

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