The Kings have blown their expectations out of the water this season, but Buddy Hield may have just promised more than he can deliver.
With six weeks to play in the season, the Sacramento Kings are sitting a lot prettier than anyone expected. No one would have believed it if you had suggested it before the season, but its perfectly plausible that Sacramento will be playing postseason basketball in April. In fact, Buddy Hield is willing to bet the house on it.
Literally. When asked how confident he was about the Kings’ playoff chances, he made a lofty wager.
“Very confident. I’d bet my house on it,” Hield said, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee. “I make a lot of money to buy the next one.”
It was just a good-natured vote of confidence to kick-start a young team coming out of the All-Star break.
But, it may not be as easy to uphold as Hield thinks. The Kings are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference, just a game behind the white flag-waving Clippers.
But Sacramento’s most likely adversary for the final Western Conference playoff spot is the other LA team. Sure, the Lakers have looked more like a reality TV show than a playoff contender for much of the season.
But at the end of the day, they still have that LeBron guy, and LeBron James hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2005.
He’s made the playoffs in Cleveland with much less talent surrounding him than he has this year in LA. And we’ve seen him apathetically sleepwalk through the better part of seasons before, only to floor it down the stretch run and demolish anything in his path.
The Kings own the NBA’s longest-standing playoff drought, dating back 12 years to the 2005-06 season. Mike Bibby averaged 21 points per game for that team, and then-called Ron Artest played 40 minutes per game. That feels like decades ago.
Could Sacramento end the drought this year? Sure. Buddy Hield thinks so, at least.
But until we witness LeBron watching the playoffs from home for the first time since the second Bush presidency, it’s going to be hard to bet against him.