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Sacramento Kings have longest playoff drought in four major US sports

James Foglio profile picture
Updated 4 weeks ago on
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Sacramento Kings have longest playoff drought in four major US sports
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The Sacramento Kings not only have the longest playoff drought in NBA history, but it’s the longest out of the four major US sports. They have not qualified for the postseason since 2006. That’s a 16-year playoff drought!

During this stretch, their highest win total in a season was 39 — set back in the 2018-19 season.

Before last season, the Los Angeles Clippers had the longest NBA playoff drought. From 1977 through 1991, they failed to qualify for the postseason. Following a 15-year disappointment, the team finally made the playoffs in the 1991-92 season.

Furthermore, the Clippers played in San Diego from 1978 to 1984 as well.

In the MLB, the Seattle Mariners have not qualified for the postseason since 2001.

Last season, the Mariners finished 90-72 (.556), missing the playoffs. At 76-59 (.563) this season, the Mariners possess the third-best record in the American League.

With 27 games left of the regular season, the Mariners have high odds of returning to the postseason after 21 years.

When Seattle made the playoffs back in the 2001 season, they set a franchise record with 116 wins. Though, in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), they went on to lose in five games against the New York Yankees.

Sacramento Kings have longest playoff drought in four major US sports

Of course, the Cleveland Browns of the NFL went 18 years without a playoff appearance from 2003 to 2020. After ending the 2021 season with an 11-5 record, they clinched their first winning season since 2007.

They also won 11 games for the first time since the 1994 season. During the wild card round of the playoffs, the Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, winning 48-37.

Nonetheless, in the divisional round, the team lost 22-17 against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Now, the Detroit Lions have not won a playoff game since 1991. But this topic is focused solely on postseason appearances.

In the 2021-22 season, the Kings finished 30-52 (.366) and 12th overall in the Western Conference. Last November, head coach Luke Walton was fired after the team started 6-11.

Then, Alvin Gentry replaced Walton as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Gentry was then fired after the team missed the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season.

On May 9, the Kings hired Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown as the team’s 31st head coach in franchise history.

Will the Sacramento Kings make the playoffs next season? In the 2022 NBA Draft, the Kings selected Keegan Murray fourth overall out of Iowa.

During free agency, the team re-signed center Neemias Queta and Keon Ellis to two-way contracts.

In June, Malik Monk signed a two-year, $19 million with the Kings. A month later, the team traded Maurice Harkless, Justin Holiday, and a 2024 first-round draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks for guard/forward Kevin Huerter.

Plus, free agent guard Sam Merrill signed a two-year, $3.71 million deal with Sacramento.

They have to make the playoffs soon. Having the longest playoff drought out of the four major US sports is a horrible look for the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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