(KTXL) — The Sacramento Kings will enter the 2023-24 season as the NBA’s oldest franchise, as they were founded in 1923.
During its 100-year history, the team played in different cities under a variety of names before making Sacramento their home in 1985.
As the oldest franchise in the NBA, there’s no shortage of players who made history with the team, including those who have their jerseys hanging in the rafters of the Golden 1 Center.
When a jersey is hanging in the rafters of an area or stadium, it means that player’s number is retired and no future player can wear that number again for the team.
Numbers are retired as a way of honoring a player’s success with the team and their significance within their team’s history.
The Kings have retired 11 numbers and these are the players who have that honor during the franchise’s long history.
No. 2 Mitch Richmond (1991-1998)
Richmond’s No. 2 jersey was retired by the Kings after playing in Sacramento for seven seasons.
After the Kings acquired Richmond from the Golden State Warriors during the 1991-92 season, he became the team’s first “real star” since the team moved to Sacramento. During his prime, Richmond became one of the best pure shooters and was the Kings’ leading scorer for each of his seven seasons in Sacramento.
As a King, Richmond made six all-star teams and won MVP honors during the 1995 All-Star Game. Richmond also won a gold medal in 1996 with the U.S. Men’s Olympic team, also known as the “Dream Team III.”
Richmond was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. His No. 23 jersey with the Kansas State Wildcats is also retired.
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No. 4 Chris Webber (1998-2005)
A former No. 1 NBA draft pick, Webber had his best years in Sacramento where he played seven of his 15 career seasons.
In 1998, Webber was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Kings in exchange for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe.
Webber was part of a Kings team that had its best years in the Sacramento era including an appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2002.
During his time in Sacramento, Webber averaged 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game and was a four-time all-star.
Prior to his NBA career, Webber was part of the Michigan Wolverines’ “Fab Five” which also consisted of Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson and Juwan Howard.
Webber was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021.
No. 11 Bob Davies (1945-1955)
When the franchise was known as the Rochester Royals, Davies embarked on a 10-year career with the team during its days in the National Basketball League (NBL), the Basketball Association of America, and then the NBA.
Nicknamed the “Harrisburg Houdini,” Davis was part of the franchise’s only NBA championship-winning season in 1951. He helped the franchise capture a championship in 1946 when the Royals played in the NBL.
At the collegiate level, Davies helped led Seton Hall to 43 consecutive victories from 1939 to 1941. He joined the military during World War II before his professional career.
Considered an innovative playmaker and floor general during his time, Davies was named to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970.
No. 12 Maurice Stokes (1955-1958)
After getting selected at No. 2 by the Royals in the 1955 NBA Draft, Stokes’ career looked promising, as he won Rookie of the Year and was a three-time all-star, according to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
The 6-foot-7, 235 pound forward broke the single-season record for rebounds in a game at 1,256 (17.4 per game) in his second season.
Stokes averaged 16.4 points and 17.3 rebounds per game during his three-year career. His first two seasons were in Rochester and his third was in Cincinnati when the team moved there in 1957.
Stokes’ career was cut short after he fell to the floor, hit his head and was knocked unconscious, according to the Hall of Fame. His head injury caused him to fell into a coma and permanent paralysis.
Stokes is the namesake of the NBA’s Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award. The honor is given annually to a player considered the ideal teammate and displays “selfless play” and leadership on and off the court.
The award is also named after Jack Twyman, who become Stokes’ legal guardian and advocate until Stokes died in 1970.
Stokes was enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.
No. 14 Oscar Robertson (1960-1970)
Considered one of the greatest players in NBA history, Robertson, nicknamed “the Big O,” played with the franchise for 10 years when the team was known as the Cincinnati Royals.
After a rookie of the year campaign, Robertson averaged a triple-double the next season, the first player to accomplish the feat. In the 1961-62 season, Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 11.4 assists, and 12.5 rebounds per game
No other player averaged a triple-double in a season until Russell Westbrook did so in 2016-17.
Before his NBA career, Robertson established 19 school and 14 NCAA records, along with leading the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 79-9 record and two Final Four appearances.
Robertson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.
No. 16 Peja Stojakovic (1999-2006)
Stojaovic was one of the Kings’ key pieces during their peak in the early 2000s, finishing his career 10th all-time in three-pointers made at the time of his retirement.
During his time with the Kings, Stojaovic was selected to the NBA All-Star Game four times. He averaged over 20 points per game four times during his eight-year run in Sacramento.
Stojaovic was drafted by the Kings 14th overall in the first round of the 1996 draft pick while he was playing in Greece. He officially joined prior to the 1998-99 NBA lockout season.
After his playing days, Stojakovic rejoined the Kings franchise in a front office role starting with the appointment of director of player personnel and development in 2015. He later became the assistant general manager of the team in 2018 and also serve as the general manager for the Stockton Kings, the NBA team’s G League affiliate.
Stojaovic stepped down from his position as assistant general manager in August 2020.
No. 21 Vlade Divac (1999-2006)
Another key member of the early 2000s Kings teams, Divac was known for his passing skills as a big man, making him one of the greatest all-around NBA players to come from Europe.
During his NBA career, Divac recorded 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists, and 1,500 blocked shots, according to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He is one of seven players in NBA history to accomplish that feat.
Prior to his six seasons with the Kings, Divac was drafted 26th overall in the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1989 Draft. Divac spent his first seven seasons there before getting traded to the Charlotte Hornets in a move that brought Kobe Bryant to the Lakers.
Divac was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.
No. 27 Jack Twyman (1955-1966)
The other person who is the namesake of the NBA’s Teammate of the Year Award played for the franchise early days in Rochester and Cincinnati.
Twyman was known as the best pure-shooting and high-scoring forwards during the first two decades of the NBA. He played his entire 11-year career with the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals and averaged a career-high 31.2 points per game in the 1959-60 season.
Before starting his career in Rochester, Twyman left the University of Cincinnati as the Bearcat’s all-time leading scorer, according to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1958, Twyman became the legal guardian of his teammate Maurice Stokes, who became paralyzed after a head injury.
Twyman was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.
No. 44 Sam Lacey (1970-1981)
A fifth overall draft pick in the 1970 Draft by the Royals, Lacey spent 12 seasons of his 14-year career with the franchise in Cincinnati and Kansas City, when the team was renamed the Kings.
The 6-foot-10 center averaged 11.1 points and 10.5 rebounds during his time with the Royals/Kings. Lacey averaged a double-double during his first five seasons.
Prior to getting drafted by the franchise, Lacey help lead the New Mexico State Aggies to a combined 74-14 record in his first three seasons there. The Aggies made their first and only Final Four appearance when Lacey was on the team.
No. 6 Sixth Man
The Kings retired No. 6 in honor of their passionate fan base, also known as the “sixth man.”
When the team played at Sleep Train Arena, the venue officially became the loudest arena for opposing, when Kings fans help set a world record for loudest crowd in an indoor sports venue.
The record was broken during a regular season game on Nov. 15, 2013 when fans set the record at 119.5 decibels during the first half against the Detroit Pistons. Fans broke their own record later in the night, reaching 122.6 decibels.
Kings set another that night, reaching 126.0 decibels between the third and fourth quarters of the game. That decibel level is the highest set recorded inside an NBA arena, according to the league.
No. 6 was later retired across the league following Bill Russell’s death on July 31, 2022.
The retirement across the league was a way of honoring the life and legacy of the 11-time champion and five-time MVP by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.