Charles Barkley doesn't want to be wrong again.
That's why the "NBA on TNT" analyst told NBC Sports Bay Area's Dalton Johnson Friday in an exclusive interview that he won't pick the Kings to make the NBA playoffs next season.
"Well I'm a big De'Aaron Fox fan, but let me tell you somethin' -- I picked the Kings to make the playoffs the last two years," Barkley said from the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe. "I'm not gonna do it again. That'll be three strikes, and I'll be out. I have picked the Sacramento Kings to make the playoffs two years in a row. I'm not gonna get on here and be stupid and be wrong three years in a row."
"They're gonna have to prove it to me," Barkley added with a smile.
Last season marked the closest the Kings have come to making the postseason since their last playoff berth in 2005-06. Sacramento won 39 games, and finished ninth in the Western Conference.
Fox, in his second NBA season, finished as a finalist for the Most Improved Player award. Rookie big man Marvin Bagley III, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, made the All-Rookie First Team.
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Sacramento loaded up in free agency, but faces a tough road back to the postseason given the moves made by the rest of the Western Conference. Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis both are in Los Angeles now, while Russell Westbrook will team up with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate James Harden on the Houston Rockets.
The Kings will rely on Fox, Bagley and the rest of their young core making another leap next season. If that's enough to get back to the playoffs for the first time in nearly 15 years, proving themselves to Barkley will be an added bonus.
The 2019-20 NBA season is closely upon us which has general managers around the league voting for their favorites to lead in each respective category.
The Kings were not left unnoticed. Especially with De'Aaron Fox who is anticipated to have a breakout season.
The young guard received 19 percent of the votes as the player most likely to have a breakout season, as well as an impressive 64 percent of the votes saying Fox was the fastest with the ball.
Fox's speed has been the highlight of what he brings to the court. He even put weight on this summer and consumed 4,000-5,000 calories because he would burn through it so fast.
[RELATED: Kings social media takes shot at Lakers]
The Kings themselves are a team that possesses a similar speed, so it's a win-win scenario all around.
He's being called the fastest guy in basketball, both by himself and his peers, and it's nice to see him getting the recognition he deserves.
Don't say it if you can't take it.
The Kings finished their preseason slate in winning fashion Wednesday night, defeating the visiting Melbourne United of the NBL, 124-110. Sacramento toyed with its opponent early, and then had some fun at another team's expense after it was all over.
In posting the final score, the Kings' Twitter account posted a graphic with an accompanying shot at none other than the Lakers.
The message contained within the Kings' post is a direct reference to one posted by Los Angeles after a similarly meaningless preseason victory over the Warriors, in which the Lakers directed their warning to the rest of the NBA.
The reference was lost in translation, however, as the NBL didn't appear to pick up on the joke.
Complex ranked Sacramento's Twitter account as No. 1 among all of the NBA teams at the end of last season and, evidently, the Kings' social team didn't get rusty over the course of the offseason. They can't move any higher, but timely comedy like that will help ensure they remain in the top spot.
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For those wondering, the Lakers didn't respond. They were too busy getting overly excited about another pointless preseason outcome after beating the Warriors again.