Stephen A. Smith believes the Sacramento Kings are ‘currently’ the best team in California

Oct 31, 2023, 9:58 AM

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings drives to the basket again...

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Clippers just added James Harden. Golden State added Chris Paul this past offseason. LeBron James is playing with a, currently, healthy Anthony Davis.

But who does Stephen A. Smith believe is the best team in California? The Sacramento Kings.

ESPN’s host of “First Take” made the proclamation Monday morning, explaining to Molly Qerim and Shannon Sharpe his reasons.

“I understand they go up against the Warriors and the Warriors bested them in first round last year and bested them in the season [home] opener, but when you look at the totality of their performance during the regular season and the way they’ve come out, the way De’Aaron Fox has elevated his level of play, considering the level of youth on his side, and what have you,” Smith said. “I look at the Sacramento Kings, particularly, them just beating the Los Angeles Lakers with Anthony Davis and LeBron James having such big games, and I just say to myself, ‘Yo, this team is on the rise. They’re coming.'”

The Sacramento Kings are coming off an overtime win against the Lakers where De’Aaron Fox scored 22 points during the fourth quarter, finishing the game with 37 total. Malik Monk helped secure the win by adding 22 points of his own.

Smith goes on to explain he’s still leery of the Warriors because of their lack of size and he doesn’t trust the Clippers’ core or Anthony Davis to stay healthy.

With father time — the average age of the Kings is 25.6, the youngest among the California teams — and last year’s health on Sacramento’s side, the Kings are in a better position for the NBA’s regular season.

But, can the team stay healthy? Fox has already been ruled out of Wednesday’s game against the Warriors because of a sprained right ankle. ESPN’s Marc Spears shared that Fox could return “within a week” following a diagnosis of a moderate ankle sprain.

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