Photo: Sacrament Kings/Twitter

After 16 years, the wait is finally yet to become over for the Sacramento Kings.

This 2022-2023 season marks the first time in a while that the Kings will proudly boast its own winning team, an achievement that the franchise hasn’t felt since 2005-06 – also the final year they made an appearance to the postseason stage.

42 wins and counting.

“If anything, it means a lot for the fans and the organization,” coach Mike Brown said after the Kings outlasted the Brooklyn Nets to earn the win post, courtesy of ESPN’s Tim Bontempts. “Sacramento, it’s a proud fan base. Hardworking fan base up in the city and they don’t get a lot of love around the nation citywise, or even in the state of California citywise. So to be able to pound their chest and be able to walk with their heads high and talk with their friends to have a little bit of bragging rights, it’s great.

“It’s a little tough for me, because I don’t equate March 16 with 42 wins. We’re just trying to go after as many as we can while trying to play the right way – especially this time of year.”

Since clinching their 40th win mark earlier this week, there has been a loud chatter outside Sacramento camp about having little celebrations. This season has been a revelation – a renaissance to consider for the franchise and its loyal fanbase to welcome a new era after enduring years of torment, shortcomings, and disappointment.

These small successes, though worthy enough to be delighted on, need not redirect them from focusing on their primary goal for De’Aaron Fox.

“I don’t think anybody on our team was coming into the season like, ‘We want a winning record,'” Fox said. “But I think it’s good. I think it’s good for the franchise, it’s good for the city, it’s good for the fan base to finally get that out of the way.

“But, for us, we know that we still want to do bigger things.”

Fox blazed the Kings Wednesday night over the Nets with his 18 markers and six boards. Domantas Sabonis, for his part, carried the entire team with his monstrous 24-point, 21-board performance. 

Five more Kings units have churned double-digit scoring to etch Sac-town’s 101-96 victory – a solid proof of their firepower and collective wits.

With the win, they maintained their tight hold at the top-two spot of the West. 13 games left to their regular season, and they want to finish it strong and finally bury their basketball horrors for the past 16 years.

“I’ve been talking to the guys from day one, so internally, it’s been pretty easy, because the guys understand what my messaging has been all along, and they understand how passionate I am about it,” Brown said. “I do feel that that group believes in themselves. Not just because I’m telling them they’re good, but because they’ve gone out and proven it time after time after time, whether it’s individually in certain situations, or collectively as a team.

“When you have a team that believes, they can be dangerous. When you’ve got a collected team that believes, that can be a very dangerous team. That’s what our group is right now.”