Mike Bibby said he hadn’t been to an NBA game since he played for the New York Knicks in 2012.
But he took a break from his job as a coach with Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix to be in attendance Thursday as part of the Kings’ Legends Night when Sacramento hosted the Chicago Bulls.
Bibby came to the Kings from the Vancouver Grizzlies for the 2001-02 season in a swap of point guards that sent Jason Williams to the Grizzlies. Oddly enough, Bibby was a last-minute replacement for Williams, who had to reschedule his appearance.
Bibby was scheduled to attend a Legends Night in April.
“It was great,” Bibby said of playing in Sacramento. “I came from Vancouver and you’re playing in front of 2,500, 5,000 people a night. It was a little overwhelming at first, but you got used to it. It was fun.”
Bibby played for six teams in his 14 seasons. He fondly recalls his six-plus seasons with the Kings when he was a part of the best teams in Sacramento history.
“Probably one of the greatest teams and franchises I played on,” Bibby said. “I played for a few teams but playing here was the best. I learned from the best guys.”
Bibby proved to be the ideal complement at the point for the likes of Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic and Doug Christie. Bibby said he took the lessons learned with the Kings with him the rest of his career and passed them along.
“Like when I got traded from here to Atlanta, like what Vlade taught me in basketball, to have fun, to go out there and crack jokes, always crack jokes,” Bibby said. “I kinda had the young guys doing all that stuff in Atlanta. I had a great time here. You have lifelong friends, and I was glad to be here.”
That Bibby could return to Sacramento is a positive, considering the relocation possibilities under previous ownership. But the Kings aren’t in Anaheim or Seattle, and Bibby was able to take a courtside seat next to principal owner Vivek Ranadive to watch the game.
“I think Sacramento deserves a team,” Bibby said. “You can see by the past, they have the greatest fans the NBA has to offer.”
Bibby said the Kings called Monday night to see if he could replace Williams. Even though it meant missing a practice, Bibby said he was glad to attend.
Shadow Mountain is coming off a state championship and features Bibby’s son, Michael, at point guard. Being a father and coach occupies Bibby’s time, which is why he doesn’t follow the NBA much.
“I have four kids and I’ve been on Disney Channel for like 20 years straight,” Bibby said with a chuckle. “I’m a Disney watcher.”
More Legends – Two of Bibby’s former teammates were also at the game.
Webber was part of TNTs broadcast team. Brad Miller sat in the row behind Bibby and Ranadive.