From the rookie-sophomore game to the three-point shootout to Sunday’s main spectacle, the Sacramento Kings have had a number of unforgettable performances at NBA All-Star Weekend.
Following is a look back at five of the team’s unforgettable NBA All-Star moments.
- Kings guard Mitch Richmond, who played just 22 minutes, scored a game-high 23 points and guided the Western Conference to a convincing 139-112 victory over the East en route to capturing MVP honors at the 1995 NBA All-Star game in Phoenix. In all, Richmond appeared in six All-Star Games during his Sacramento tenure, including one start (1994).
- Kings guard Peja Stojakovic went back-to-back at All-Star Weekend, brining home consecutive three-point shooting contest crowns. In Philadelphia, Stojakovic bested Cleveland Cavaliers guard Wesley Person in the 2002 overtime round and followed up his effort a year later in Atlanta by again out-shooting Person in the extended period. The Sacramento fan favorite was a three-time All-Star, earning a spot on the mid-season classic roster in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
- Kings legends Chris Webber and Vlade Divac were selected to the 2001 All-Star game in Washington, D.C., as Webber grabbed a starting spot. The pair’s selection tipped-off a four-year streak that saw at least two Kings players make the All-Star Game. No. 4 and No. 16 joined forces in 2002 and 2003, while Stojakovic and Brad Miller teamed up for the West in 2004.
- Kings guard Tyreke Evans solidified his place among the NBA’s most talented young players by garnering MVP honors at the 2010 Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam in Dallas. Well on his way to a historical 20-5-5 season, Evans recorded 26 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals as the Rookies – for the first time in seven years – overtook the Sophomores 140-128. In his second season, Evans earned yet another invite to the Friday night affair, but sat out the contest in L.A. due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
- DeMarcus Cousins nearly gave Sacramento its second-consecutive Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam MVP award, as Cousins put up a game-high 33 points and hauled down a team-high 14 rebounds in the 2011 tilt as the Rookies defeated the Sophomores 148-140. In 2012, Cousins again stood tall among his young peers in the Rising Stars Challenge with an 18-point, 11-rebound effort as Team Chuck earned the convincing 146-133 victory.
Kings fans may see more of their favorite players in All-Star events in the coming years. Both Cousins and Evans are poised to make the All-Star Game as they continue to develop their potential-packed games. Kings first-year players Jimmer Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt and Isaiah Thomas, meanwhile, will be eligible for the Rising Stars game next season. Along with Fredette, Marcus Thornton could be a candidate for the three-point shootout. Honeycutt is also quietly establishing a high-flyer reputation and may be looking to show off his hops when the League’s annual showcase moves onto Houston in 2013.
What’s your favorite Kings All-Star Weekend memory?