Nigeria's Chimezie Metu says Sacramento Kings are aiming for NBA crown, not just postseason fun

The Sacramento Kings last made it past the NBA regular season in 2006, but guard Chimezie Metu told ESPN that the Beam Team wants the NBA title, not just a postseason appearance.

As one of the original eight founding NBA teams, the Kings (then known as the Rochester Royals) won their only NBA title in the foundling league's second season, in 1951. They failed to reach another NBA Finals in the 72 years since, and reached the postseason just 27 times, and never since 2006.

As such, this team could be forgiven if they decided to settle for basking in the moment, but Nigeria international Metu says the Kings are reaching for the crown.

Metu said: "From day one, as a team, we've talked about just seizing the moment and seizing the opportunity that we've been given.

"Why can't we believe that we're going to go on and win a Championship? I think having that mindset, that's the only way that you're going to get there.

"With the talent that we have, I feel like guys have been locked in and guys know that we were not just playing to get to the playoffs. We were playing like we knew we would have 16 more games that we're trying to win.

"When you have a situation like this, you have to capitalize, and take advantage of it. We don't want to be looking at it two, three years from now saying like, 'Oh, we should have taken advantage'.

"So, I mean, why not?"

That winning mentality, Metu said, comes from the unyielding style of head coach Mike Brown, who was also the Nigeria head coach while he was assistant at the Golden State Warriors... who are the Kings' next opponents, on April 16.

Brown set his stall out early, telling NBA.com: "I was talking to our guys about goals and one was to able the playoffs. And I said, 'Let's be like everyone else and win a championship'.

"Don't set a bar that's too low. We have been talking positively about our season from day one and trying to instil that belief in them from day one and that has been a focus of mine."

Metu added that Brown's attention to detail and a focus on defense were key to their success: "His attention to the little details, whether it's on or off the court, have translated into wins for us this season.

"He's brought a winning mentality, he's brought some structure to the Kings. And he's been preaching to us about staying locked in defensively.

"Those kind of structures and tools helped us build a solid foundation in order to win games, because I feel like there's been times this year, compared to the last two years that I was here, that we were able to fall back on having those principles and close games out."

As the dust settled on the regular season, the Kings confirmed their number 3 seed in the Western Conference. That put them on a collision course with the defending champions Golden State.

They're a team that knows how to win playoff games, not just at home but on the road where the trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson hold an NBA record of 27 road playoff games won.

The Kings do not have the benefit of the same experience, but Metu is confident what they have will be enough, and that inexperience could even be an advantage.

He added: "We don't have that many guys who have been to the playoffs. So we do not really know what to expect. Sometimes that might even put you at an advantage, because you're just out there, you're playing and you're just kind of taking what the game gives you and you're just flowing with it.

"But we also have veteran guys that have made long postseason runs, like Harrison Barnes, and obviously, a lot of the coaching staff have been on teams where they've made long postseason runs.

"Having both sides of that experience, and almost being ignorant to the moment and just going out there and playing freely, could be good for us. I feel like it's almost a perfect storm in order to advance further."

The Warriors won 119-97 on their last visit to the Kings, but the Nigerian says this time will be different: "I hope they have their track shoes on because we're going to be getting up and down just as much as we were in in the regular season.

"I know for a fact that we're going to be locked in ready to play and we're going to feed off the energy of the crowd. The energy is going to be so high, it is going to be like flying around.

"It's one thing when you see it on TV, but it's another thing to actually be sitting there and every possession just feels like it's the last possession of the game. I know for a fact that the Sacramento Kings are going to come locked in and ready to go."