Sacramento Kings

Kings honor players' Kentucky roots with Derby day cartoon. There's just one problem

Mike Smith rides Justify to victory during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Louisville, Ky.
Mike Smith rides Justify to victory during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. AP Photo

The Sacramento Kings celebrated one of the most exciting sporting days of the year, the Kentucky Derby, by sharing a neat image to social media Saturday a few hours before the race.

Dubbing it the "Kingstucky Derby," the Kings Twitter account posted a charming cartoon image of the three current Kings who played college ball for Kentucky — Skal Labissiere, De'Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein — racing horses, decked out in plenty of purple.

The image is charming and offers a good degree of realism with its horses and jockeys (if you can suspend disbelief and imagine that Cauley-Stein could someday transition from an NBA 7-footer to horse jockey).

But does something else seem off here? Take a look.

Notice a problem? No? Give up?

The poor Kings are racing in the wrong direction!

As a few Twitter comments accurately pointed out, the image's perspective has the trio racing clockwise. But the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (and, in fact, nearly all American horse races) run counterclockwise. Check for yourself below, with a photo showing 2018 Derby winner Justify and jockey Mike Smith in action.

Kentucky Derby Horse Racing (1).JPG
Mike Smith rides Justify to victory during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. Kiichiro Sato AP Photo

It's not a fatal error, but still an amusing one. The rail on the Kings' right is either a mistake or a very subtle commentary by the cartoonist on the current state of the team, which finished 2017-18 with a 27-55 record. Indeed, that has some fans convinced that the franchise is heading in the wrong direction.

Sacramento's tweet does not cite the artist or source, nor does it specify whether the cartoon was fan-made or done professionally.

Bleacher Report is no stranger to creating cartoon likenesses of NBA players, as seen in a hilarious parody video posted last month, but the art style featured there appears to be different from that displayed at the Kingstucky Derby.

Despite a bit of laughter, fans seemed to enjoy the premise as the Saturday afternoon tweet was widely liked and shared. Fox, Labissiere and Cauley-Stein (ages 20, 22 and 24, respectively) were all first-round draft picks out of the University of Kentucky.

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