Farewell to Geoff Petrie

When Geoff Petrie’s contract expires on June 30, it will truly mark the end of an era. The Sacramento Kings’ new owners understandably want to hire their own man to oversee personnel decisions, and it’s been announced that Petrie won’t be retained as president of basketball operations. Before he’s officially gone, let’s consider the Petrie era.

The Kings had never come close to a winning season in Sacramento before he arrived in 1994. From 1995-96 through 2005-06, they made the playoffs nine times, including a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2002 Western Conference finals that was one of the classic series in NBA history. (We still think the Kings would have been champs that year if not for some strangely pro-Laker officiating.)

The Kings teams of those peak years were a reflection of Petrie’s vision of basketball as an international game of selfless passing, skillful shooting and constant motion, and they made Sacramento proud.

Obviously, recent seasons haven’t been as successful. But let’s remember: Petrie deserves credit for building some of the best and most entertaining teams the NBA has ever seen, and for doing it here in Sacramento, where a lot of people believed it couldn’t be done. He’ll be missed.