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Tales From The Drought: Ike Diogu goes off in Denver

Ike Diogu battled JR Smith in an end-of-season classic.
By | 14 Comments | Aug 10, 2022

Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Ike Diogu arrived in Sacramento as a result of a deadline trade with the Portland Trail Blazers at the end of the 2008-09 season. He racked up a score of DNPs, with only brief stints of action before the final few games of the season. But in the penultimate game of the year Spencer Hawes hurt his knee early in a contest against the Denver Nuggets, and Ike Diogu was called upon, and he delivered.

Diogu finished with a career-high 32 points, making 14 of his 20 shot attempts, while also grabbing 11 rebounds. Diogu played 40 minutes in the Denver altitude, and I was in attendance to watch the improbable event. The Kings season was already over, I was just excited to have a chance to catch the Kings in person. I never could have guessed that Diogu would decide to have the best night of his career.

It’s worth remembering that the Denver front line that night was Nene, Kenyon Martin, and Chris Andersen. Diogu wasn’t putting up those numbers against scrubs. The Nuggets were 54-27 that season, and won their division.

Diogu’s performance was overshadowed by another career night, as J.R. Smith made 11 three-pointers and finished with 45 points. The Nuggets won thanks to Smith’s big night off the bench. The second half consisted of JR launching a three anytime he could touch the ball, from ever-farther away as he attempted to evade double teams. He was on fire, and it was fun to watch.

But for me, it will still always be the Ike Diogu game.

Diogu followed that performance with one last big outing, scoring 28 points two nights later against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He missed the entire next season with a knee injury, and played just 38 more games in the NBA.

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Aykis16
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Nostradumbass 13
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Nostradumbass 13
August 10, 2022 8:57 am

I <3 Ike

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andy_sims
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August 10, 2022 11:49 am
Reply to  Aykis16

Auto-rec, always.

TerzoM
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August 10, 2022 10:14 am

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ZillersCat
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August 10, 2022 11:38 am
Reply to  TerzoM

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Not many thoughts on this!

Last edited 1 year ago by ZillersCat
alec26
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August 12, 2022 11:22 am
Reply to  ZillersCat

Two summers ago, binge watching My Favorite Martian on YouTube.

andy_sims
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August 10, 2022 11:49 am

I’m not sure, but I think Smith made all of those threes while Garcia was covering him. I think only that last one had Garcia within five feet of him when he started his shot.

Soooo droughty…

ArcoThunder
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August 10, 2022 1:26 pm

Completely off topic:

I just got around to listening to the last Kings herald show podcast with Jerry. I had an idea in regards to the potential of a mid season tournament that the NBA is considering and thought it would be fun to share here with you guys and gals. Curious what you the herald peeps think, might be a fun conversation in a time when there’s not much to talk about.

My idea for the tournament would replace the “ALLSTAR” game. The all star game is shit, we all know it. Every year there are major snubs and it’s a stupid popularity contest that not many people pay attention to anymore let alone even enjoy watching. This could (I say would) change that.

The new allstar break would be an allstar tournament not just 1 game. You would have the coaches of the top 4 teams from the east and west (win loss records at that point) each select/“draft” a team of 10 from their own conference. Those 8 teams would enter into a tournament exactly like college basketballs Elite 8. Single game elimination. Meaning 80 of the best players would be highlighted and on display at the beginning of the tournament. 7 games would be played.

Tournament starts with:

The Coach with the best record in the west would take his 10 selected/“drafted” players and face off against the coach in the east with the 4th best record and his 10 selected/“drafted” players.

The Coach with the best record in the east would take his 10 selected/“drafted” players and face off against the coach in the west with the 4th best record and his 10 selected/“drafted” players.

The Coach with the 2nd best record in the west would take his 10 selected/“drafted” players and face off against the coach with the 3rd best record in the east and his 10 selected/“drafted” players.

The Coach with the 2nd best record in the east would take his 10 selected/“drafted” players and face off against the coach with the 3rd best record in the west and his 10 selected/“drafted” players.

Winners advance to the next round of the tournament (the final 4) the very next day. After the “final 4 games there would be a day off. The following day the 2 teams remaining face off to “win it all”.

Players from the winning team each win a million dollar bonus and the coach earns his actual team the 61st pick in the upcoming draft.

the tournament would last 4 days total. First round has 4 games on the same day. Next day has two games. Day off for rest then the final game of the tournament the following day.

what do you all think of this?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
August 10, 2022 4:16 pm

I just looked it up and amazingly the guy is still playing professionally overseas. He’s played everywhere from the G-League, Japan, Iran, and now Egypt. The dude is still living the dream and is soon to be 39. Good for him.

HongKongKingsFan
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August 10, 2022 5:59 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Wow.

That would be some good experience to playing and staying in those completely different countries.

Meeting different people and culture would probably be fun.

Life is short, at least Diogu seems having a great basketball career.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 19
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August 10, 2022 8:43 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Oh wow, I did not know that. That’s really cool to hear. Good for him that he’s still doing what he loves even at his age.

andy_sims
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August 11, 2022 12:24 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

That’s wonderful! He’s seeing the world on someone else’s dime, doing exactly what he wants for work, and making good coin.

DIOGU ’24

alec26
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August 12, 2022 11:21 am

What I remember from that time are the accusations that the Kings were hiding Diogu on the bench because they didn’t want to be embarrassed that he was a better player than Spencer Hawes or Jason Thompson, the Kings last two number 1 draft picks.

Bluejohn
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August 14, 2022 12:41 pm

I was a big Ike fan for the short time when was on the King’s. IMO he was a better player than JT who always drove me nuts. He knew how to move his feet and when he was ready to dunk he just went up instead of dribbling twice and gathering himself before dunking. I’m happy to hear he’s remained in the game although it appears that some of the places he played were hardly garden spots. Good for Ike.

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