The Sacramento Kings enjoyed their fifth consecutive winning season since Rick Adelman assumed head coaching duties before the 1998-99 season. The Sacramento Kings 59 victories mark the second-most wins in franchise history behind last year’s total of 61. Prior to the lockout-shortened campaign in 1998- 99, the club participated in the postseason only twice during the Sacramento-era (1986 & 1996). It marked the Sacramento Kings’ fifth straight appearance in the NBA Playoffs, where they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round in seven games.
Beleaguered by injuries from the onset of training camp in October, Adelman and his staff juggled 13 different starting lineups, four more than a year ago when the club marched to an NBA-best 61-21 record. Despite major injuries to key ingredients in Adelman’s mix, the Sacramento Kings captured its second Pacific Division crown in as many seasons. The off-season acquisition of free agent forward-center Keon Clark and the pickup of free agent swingman Jim Jackson early in December buoyed the bench play and eased the losses of Chris Webber (14 games), Mike Bibby (27 games), Peja Stojakovic (10 games), Bobby Jackson (22 games) and Scot Pollard (56 games). When the dust settled on April 16, every Sacramento Kings player on the roster had missed at least one regular season game due to injury, illness or suspension.
En route to asserting themselves as a championship contender in 2002-03, the Sacramento Kings tallied the most home wins in the NBA with 35, the second consecutive season they’ve led the league in home victories. Sacramento especially stifled Eastern Conference opponents at ARCO, becoming just the fourth Western Conference team in NBA history to go unbeaten at home vs. the East (15-0). The Sacramento Kings also added 24 road victories, joining Dallas, San Antonio and Philadelphia as the only teams to register 20+ road wins three straight seasons (1999-00 – 2002-03).
The season concluded with several Sacramento Kings in the running for postseason awards, including Rick Adelman for Coach of the Year, Chris Webber for Most Valuable Player, Bobby Jackson for Sixth Man of the Year/Most Improved Player and Doug Christie for Defensive Player of the Year.