The Sacramento Kings play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference alongside the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns. Their main rival is the Lakers, due to a heartbreaking series loss in 2002.
The Sacramento Kings were found in Rochester, NY in 1945 and went by the name of the Rochester Royals. The Royals were originally part of the National Basketball League, where they thrived from the onset, capturing a league championship in their first season as a franchise. They followed that success with back-to-back finals appearances in the subsequent years before joining the Basketball Association of America in 1948 for a one year stint before the league merged with the NBA.
The Royals found the same success in the NBA as their previous leagues, winning the second ever NBA championship behind the Hall of Fame play of Arnie Risen, Bobby Wanzer, and Bob Davies. The New York Knicks were the contenders on the losing side. This squad made three more conference finals appearances together for the Royals, but lost each series.
After 10 years, the Royals finally suffered a losing season, and the team relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, where there were many more possible fans who would come to the games.
Due to the territorial pick rule that allowed teams to draft a college athlete within close proximity to the franchise by giving up a first round pick, the Royals were able to get point guard Oscar Robertson from Cincinnati. The first triple double king of the NBA, Robertson propelled the team to two conference finals in which they would fall to the Boston Celtics on both occasions.
After combining efforts will Jerry Lucas, Oscar and the Royals made secured multiple playoff berths but were unable to hoist the championship trophy.
On the Move
The next decade plus saw many changes of scenery for the team. They were sold to owners in Kansas City, and were relocated their for the 1972 season. The problem was the Kansas City Major League Baseball team was already named the Royals, so their new NBA franchise was retitled the Kings, sticking with the theme of royalty. The first three years of the Kings were split between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska, where they played some of their home games. By 1976, they were in Missouri full-time and were led by Nate Archibald, but were never a contender, only once making the conference finals.
In 1985, the Kings were bought and shipped to Sacramento, a move that has yielded little prosperity in hindsight.
In their 34 seasons in California, the Kings have only earned a winning record eight times, a consecutive stretch from 1998-2006 led by Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic that culminated in one conference finals appearance, a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite having stars like Mitch Richmond, Jason Williams, and DeMarcus Cousins, the Sacramento Kings have found almost no success in their current home.