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Ben McLemore’s jersey change hints at Kings retiring Peja Stojakovic’s number in the future

Sep 4, 2013, 12:13 PM EDT

peja stojakovic kings

The Kings have been an historically awful NBA franchise, but they did have one era of relative greatness that deserves recognition.

Sacramento appeared in the playoffs for eight straight seasons from 1999-2006 under head coach Rick Adelman, and played an exciting style of basketball centered around the passing of big men Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, and around the stellar shooting of Peja Stojakovic.

Webber and Divac already have their numbers retired in Sacramento, and a decision by incoming rookie Ben McLemore to change his jersey number from 16 to 17 has many wondering if Stojakovic might be next.

From The Sacramento Bee:

Rookie Ben McLemore must be a little prescient. A short while ago on Twitter, he alerted Kings fans that he was changing his jersey from No.16 to No.17 “for a good reason.” Like the fact the organization plans to retire Peja Stojakovic’s No.16 jersey in the near future? No confirmation yet – and nothing is imminent – but that’s very likely the plan.

Meantime, McLemore will stick with No.16 at least for the upcoming season.

“We have considered retiring Peja’s number,” said team president Chris Granger, “and he certainly deserves that honor. (But) at this time, that’s all I will say.”

Stojakovic was there for the first seven years of Sacramento’s quality run, before being dealt to Indiana midway through the 2006 season in exchange for Ron Artest.

  1. 00maltliquor - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Peja fell off like a former prom queen 10 years and 5 kids later in the end of his career, but when he was in his prime he was siiiick! It was even debatable who was a better foriegner between Peja and Dirk back then. Loved the Lakers/Queens rivalries.

  2. dondada10 - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    The greatest injustice in NBA history was the 2002 series between the Lakers and the Kings. It was a goddamn 8 on 5 out there.

    Webber, Divac, Peja, Bibby, Bobby Jackson, Brad Miller, Hedo, Christie, Pollard. That might be the most complete roster I ever saw. And because a ref wanted to gamble they never got their title.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Game 6 has questions around it, no doubt.

      But the Kings lost Game 7 at home. They shot terribly from the charity stripe. Even Shaq made some clutch free throws in that game. You have to win a Game 7 in your own house.

      They also had Gerald Wallace.

      • dondada10 - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        You’re 100% correct about game 7.

        To me, that whole era was tainted. The year the Sixers went to the finals, 2000-2001, The Bucks were clearly the better team. That whole series felted fixed, as well.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        That was a pretty fun Bucks team. Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson, Tim Thomas, Sam Cassell. Another team with the Kings that arguably had the talent to make the Finals but never did.

  3. kingwithringz - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    They need to retire Chris Webber and Mike Bibby jerseys as well.

  4. bigshoemike - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    brad miller wasn’t part of the 02 team

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