Sacramento Kings on the passing of franchise-great Sam Lacey
Sam Lacey may have never played in Sacramento. However, that doesn’t diminish his legacy as one of the greatest players in Kings franchise history.
Lacey passed away last Friday at the age of 66. He spent the majority of his career as a member of the Kings during the franchise’s time in Cincinnati and Kansas City. He posted career averages of 10.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game and his No. 44 jersey is one of just 10 retired numbers to hang up in the rafters of Sleep Train Arena.
“On behalf of the entire Sacramento Kings organization, I want to express our most profound and heartfelt condolences to Sam Lacey’s family and friends over his recent passing,” Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro said in a prepared statement. “One of the finest and longest-tenured players to ever don a Kings uniform, Sam’s prolific legacy is evident throughout franchise lore, where he ranks first in games played, rebounds, blocks and steals. He was also known as a tireless worker and a wonderful teammate. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered for his contributions on the game of basketball and in life.”
Selected fifth overall in the 1970 NBA Draft, Lacey spent 11 of his 13 seasons in a Royals/Kings uniform. He averaged a double-double in the first six years of his career and earned his one and only All-Star appearance in 1975. Known as one of the league’s most deft passing big men, Lacey averaged better than five assists per game on three different occasions.