In a #FlashbackFriday interview, the former Kings guard reflects on his favorite moments with the team, dishes on his future plans and much more.
One of the most revered and celebrated players in team history – who holds Kings career averages of 17.6 points (37.7 percent from three-point range), 5.4 assists and 1.2 steals – Mike Bibby helped lead Sacramento to a pair of Pacific Division titles and five Playoff berths during his tenure in purple and black.
In the 2002 Playoffs, the 6-foot-1 floor general averaged 20.3 points, 5.0 assists and 1.4 steals per contest, knocking down one of the most memorable jumpshots in team history – a game-winner in the closing seconds against the rival Lakers in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
The Arizona product ranks among the top five in Sacramento-era annals in numerous categories – including career assists (2,580 – first), triples made (775 – third), steals (584 – third) and free-throws made (1,593 — fourth) – as well as holds team records for three-pointers in a game (nine), dishes in a half (13) and consecutive free-throws made (51).
In a recent interview with Kings.com, Bibby recounts his postseason heroics, shares his on-court mentality and much more.
What are some of your fondest memories during your time in Sacramento?
“It was just fun being here – my kids grew up here. The city’s small, so everybody knew everybody. (These are) the best fans to play in front of anywhere.”
Take me back to the closing seconds of Game 5 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals and your unforgettable game-winner against L.A. What do you remember most about the finish?
“I remember telling Chris (Webber), ‘If you give me the ball, I’m going to make the shot.’ Chris was the man, but I just figured that if he didn’t take it, then give it to me – I’ll make sure I’ll make it.”
How close were you with your Kings teammates and do you still keep in touch?
“I still talk to a few of them – Brad (Miller), Bobby (Jackson), Chris. I haven’t talked to Doug (Christie) or Vlade (Divac) in a while. Hedo (Turkoglu) and Gerald (Wallace) – we (catch up) when we play each other. I still talk to Mateen Cleaves. You just go down the line – you make friends for the rest of you life.”
Which players did you admire growing up, and who did you model your own game after?
“A lot of point guards – Jason Kidd was my favorite player growing up.”
How would you describe your mindset when you stepped on the court?
“Just go out there and give it my all – don’t take anything home with you. Just play as hard as I can.”
Who were the toughest players you went up against in your career and how did you prepare to face them?
“I played against some old-schoolers, I played against some new-schoolers. (Stephon) Marbury is probably the toughest guy I’ve ever had to guard – (I’d) hope he’s missing that night.”
After sitting out the 2012-13 season, are you looking to return to the NBA?
“I’m going to try to play another year. We’ll see what happens. I’ve been working hard all summer, and we’ll see if somebody picks me up.”
What are your future plans once your playing career concludes?
“I might coach. I’ve been coaching my son’s team for six years now, so hopefully that turns out well.”