SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Heading into the start of the 2022-23 NBA season, the Sacramento Kings are the team with the longest playoff drought in major professional sports in North America.
After hiring Mike Brown as head coach and making multiple acquisitions in the free agent and trade market, the Kings are looking to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 16 seasons.
The Kings own the longest playoff drought of any professional sports team after MLB’s Seattle Mariners clinched a playoff berth on Sept. 30. The Mariners previously had the longest drought at 20 seasons.
In the Kings’ final playoff appearance of the 2005-06 season, Sacramento was eliminated in the first round 4-2 by the San Antonio Spurs. The loss ended an eight-season streak of playoff appearances.
Since the Kings’ last playoff game on May 4, 2006, here’s how American culture has changed.
14 versions of iPhone have been launched
A year after the Kings’ last playoff game, the first-generation iPhone officially hit the US market on June 29, 2007.
The first iPhone was announced in January 2007 as a “revolutionary mobile” device and a “revolutionary Internet communicator”, according to Verizon.
The iPhone 14 is Apple’s current model of its smartphone. A dozen generations of iPhones have been discontinued, and the Kings have yet to make the playoffs.
Twitter, Instagram and TikTok did not exist
The social media landscape was very different in the mid-2000s than what we know today.
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram did not exist as these services only became popular in the 2010s. Popular video platform app TikTok was also not available as it was launched internationally in 2017.
Vine, a platform where users posted six-second videos, came and went during the Kings’ playoff drought.
Facebook was only available to students and MySpace was still in its heyday.
The successful stores were still there
When the Kings last played in the playoffs, watching a movie meant physically going to a store and picking up a DVD or VHS tape, then going home and watching it on a player.
According to a YouTube video by V1 Analytics, there were over 5,490 Blockbuster locations nationwide as of May 2006.
With the rise of Netflix and other streaming companies, Blockbusters shut down. The world’s newest Blockbuster store is in Bend, Oregon, which has been the only location since 2018.
Sports culture at the time
The sports world was very different when the Kings last played in the playoffs.
The late Kobe Bryant still wore No. 8 for the Lakers as he officially changed his jersey number for the 2006-07 season. San Francisco Giants legend Barry Bonds was still playing, as his last official year in the majors was in 2007.
As for the Giants franchise, players such as Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford have yet to make their MLB debut as these players have become catalysts for World Championship teams. Series in the early 2010s.
Seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, considered the greatest quarterback of all time, had just three championship rings when the Kings last playoff.
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