-- Hoops roundtable headlined by Player of the Century and Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson and featuring collegiate hero Keith Smart along with NBA greats Bill Walton and Kings GM Geoff Petrie --
SACRAMENTO, CALIF., Apr. 17, 2012 -- The Sacramento Kings today announced “Generations of Basketball Presented by Wells Fargo” will take place at the Kings Practice Facility on Thursday, featuring NBA Hall of Fame members Oscar Robertson (1980, 2010) and Bill Walton (1993) along with two-time All-Star and Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie and NCAA Champion and Kings Head Coach Keith Smart*.
Robertson, an NBA MVP and 12-time All-Star as well as the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Player of the Century, will join with two-time All-Star and NBA Finals MVP Walton, co-Rookie of the Year and multi-time Executive of the Year Award-winner Petrie, and 1987 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player Smart for a discussion of basketball over the last half-century.
“It’s important to celebrate the rich history of the game at the same time as we promote current teams and players,” said Robertson, whose Cincinnati Royals jersey No. 14 has been retired by the team. “Fortunately the Kings recognize that, and I’m pleased to collaborate with them on making the information available to a global audience. Our roundtable will give both live and Web audiences an opportunity to interact with people who have actually played the game at the highest level. We’ll talk not only about the history of the game, but how to think about the game – the conceptual approach that goes into making a fundamentally skilled, intelligent player.”
The exclusive, invitation-only event will be moderated by Kings Radio’s Gary Gerould and Kings TV play-by-play announcer Grant Napear while being webcast live on Kings.com beginning at 7 p.m. Fans who tune-in to the roundball conversation will have the opportunity to participate by submitting their questions via Twitter using the hashtag #GenBball for the chance to have it answered by one of the panelists.
Additionally, Kings point guard and 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year candidate Isaiah Thomas will make a special appearance. Five lucky Kings fans will have an opportunity to score a pair of seats to the special evening by entering to win tickets by visiting: Kings.com/genbball.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Robertson’s historic 1961-62 triple-double season in which he averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists, the Kings will continue to recognize the remarkable impact “The Big O” has had on the court and in the community with the presentation of the Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award on April 20 as the Kings host the Oklahoma City Thunder during Fan Appreciation Night.
“Through his actions both on and off the court, Oscar Robertson forever changed the game of basketball,” said Petrie. “It was my privilege to compete against him early in my own career, and there has never been another all-around player with the passion and the skills to ‘bring it’ every night with the same consistency of excellence. It is only proper that we honor ‘The Big O’ and our team’s legacy at the same time as we look forward to a bright future in Sacramento.”
To learn more about the 2011-12 Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award presentation, please stay current with Kings.com.
*Panelists subject to change.
The Big O had a single-season record 41 triple-doubles in 1961-62. He was the first guard to lead his team in rebounding, and the first player to break double figures in assists. With no 3-point shot at the time, he scored 40 or more points in eight games, with a high of 49, while taking fewer than 23 shots a game. He shot 47.8 percent from the floor and 80.3 percent from the free-throw line. He had 15 or more rebounds 23 times, with a high of 22, and 15 or more assists 19 times, also with a high of 22. He averaged a triple-double cumulatively for his first five seasons and is the NBA’s all-time leader in career triple-doubles with 181. Robertson was NBA Rookie of the Year in 1961, MVP in 1964, a 12-time All-Star and three-time All-Star Game MVP. Traded to Milwaukee after 10 seasons with Cincinnati, he teamed with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to lead the Bucks to their only NBA title in 1971. The Big O made an equally strong impact off the court, successfully leading the players' fight for free agency; a court settlement implemented in 1976 is called "The Oscar Robertson Rule." Further information: www.thebigo.com.
In 14 NBA seasons (1974-1988), the Hall of Famer won two championships with Portland (1977) and Boston (1986), respectively. He averaged 13.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, and 2.21 bpg in 468 career regular-season games. One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players, Walton accumulated a number of prestigious accolades, including NBA MVP (1978), All-NBA First Team (1978), All-Star (1977 and 1978), Finals MVP (1977), All-NBA Defensive Team (1977, 1978) All-NBA Second Team (1977) and Sixth Man of the Year (1986). Walton is also the second of only five players in the history of the NBA to lead the League in both blocked shots and rebounds in the same season. Prior to his professional career, the UCLA Bruin alum was a member of two undefeated NCAA championship teams, compiling an NCAA record 88-consecutive game-winning streak.
The two-time NBA Executive of the Year Award-winner has been the key figure behind the success of the Kings over the past 18 years. Under Petrie’s direction, Sacramento has qualified for the NBA Playoffs in eight of the past 13 campaigns and nine of the past 16 years overall, while winning Pacific Division titles (2001-02, 2002-03) and advancing to the Western Conference Finals (2002). When he was named The Sporting News NBA Executive of the Year following the 1998-99 campaign, Petrie became the first person to win the League’s executive and rookie annual awards. A two-time NBA All-Star (1971, 1974), he was the first-ever selection of the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1970 Draft. His first-year scoring average (24.8 ppg) remains the highest ever by a Blazers rookie, while his single-season point total (2,031 pts.) made him one of just eight players in NBA history to surpass the 2,000-point plateau in his first-year campaign.
Originally drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the Second Round of the 1988 NBA Draft out of Indiana University, he is widely remembered for his Final Four heroics in 1987, in which he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four after leading Indiana to a National Championship with his game-winning jumper over Syracuse. With his clutch basket, Smart became the first player since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 to sink a game-winning shot in the final 10 seconds to win the collegiate title. Smart originally joined the Kings as an assistant coach this season upon spending last season (2010-11) as head coach of the Warriors. With 22 years of professional basketball experience as either a coach or player, Smart became Sacramento’s 24th head coach on January 5.
The reigning back-to-back Western Conference Rookie of the Month Award-winner joins Lionel Simmons and Tyreke Evans as the only two-time Kings recipient of the monthly accolade. Since entering the starting lineup on Feb. 17, Thomas has helped Sacramento improve its rank among NBA teams in a number of statistical categories, including Points per Game (4), Fastbreak Points per Game (1), Points in the Paint per Game (2), Possessions per Game (1) and Points off Turnovers (5). In his first five career starts, he averaged 19.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.8 apg, while scoring 96 points tying him with Otis Birdsong (1977) for the most points scored in the first five-career starts as a Kings rookie since 1970-71. With his significant impact on the team and steady leadership, Thomas has gone from the 60th-overall pick to a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year and currently ranks as the top first-year player on multiple online Rookie Rankings charts.
About Maloof Sports & Entertainment (MS&E):
Maloof Sports & Entertainment includes the Sacramento Kings and Power Balance Pavilion. Owned by the Maloof family with long-term, local partners, the organization is committed to being a contributing member of the Sacramento community. Teaming up with local leaders and non-profit organizations to give back to those in need throughout the region, MS&E has donated millions of dollars to charity in 12 years of Maloof family ownership. For more information about Maloof Sports & Entertainment, please visit Kings.com, PowerBalancePavilion.com or call 916-928-0000.
About Wells Fargo:
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 278,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked #19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. .