Following a 146-point explosion on Thursday night, the Sacramento Kings and point guard De'Aaron Fox (31 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting) were the talk of the NBA. Sure, their latest win came against the lowly Atlanta Hawks, but it was a fifth victory in a row to move to 6-3 on the young season. Not bad for a team Las Vegas projected to win 26 games this season and whose own Twitter handle was creatively blacking out lopsided scores during the preseason.
It led to the NBA on TNT crew discussing the surprising squad's prospects for the rest of the season — maybe TNT will even show one of their games at some point — and prompted Charles Barkley to (eventually) make a (pretty weak) guarantee.
"This might be the year," Barkley states, before being asked what he means. Barkley clarified he meant this might be the year the Kings snap their 12-year playoff drought (bold!) and he guarantees they'll finish with an above-.500 record.
"They're going to win. . . 40 games this year," Barkley says, before (we think) catching himself. "41. 42." He's then informed the Kings have to win at least 42 games out of their 82-game regular season schedule to be over .500. "OK, I guarantee the Kings are going to win over 42 games." (Side note: The NBA has had an 82-game regular season since 1967 or since Charles Barkley was 4 years old.)
"And they get the 8th seed?" Shaq asks.
"Oh, I didn't say that now," Barkley responds. You did!" And. . . not so bold. Anyway, watch the entire clip here:
The Kings making the playoffs in the ultra-deep Western Conference is still unlikely, but it's possible is Fox continues to play like this. The No. 5 pick out of Kentucky in the 2017 NBA Draft was only the third point guard selected that year with the Sixers taking Markelle Fultz first and the Lakers picking Lonzo Ball second. We're going to go ahead and guarantee there are people working in those two teams' front offices who are regretting that decision right about now.