The 33-year-old point guard, who averaged 17.9 points and 5.6 assists per game while hitting countless clutch baskets in the playoffs as a King, has been mired in a horrific postseason shooting slump with the Heat (3.6 points on 26.3% FG and 24.5% 3PT). The once-reliable point guard has now uncharacteristically missed 15 of his last 20 field goal attempts while sporting the second-lowest Player Efficiency Rating (2.6) of any player logging over 250 minutes in NBA history.
Stojakovic, reduced to being a sporadically-used reserve after undergoing back surgery and suffering knee injuries over the previous five seasons, has certainly had a few throwback games in Dallas, including a 21-point performance in which he hit all six of his three-point attempts in Game Four against the Los Angeles Lakers. Still, the three-time all-star's scoring average dipped to single digits for the first time since his rookie season, and he's far removed from the 23.1 points (48% FG, 45.7% 3PT) he put up in the 2003 playoffs (in which, ironically enough, the Mavs beat Sacramento in seven games in the conference semifinals).
No longer team leaders or top scoring options, Bibby and Stojakovic are nonetheless key role players on their respective teams and potential "x-factors" in the NBA Finals. For Sacramento fans who were fortunate enough to have watched them in their prime, it wouldn't be surprising if one of the former Kings hits a crucial bucket or perhaps delivers a game-winner one last time (though it wouldn't be new territory for Bibby against Nowitkzi and the Mavs).
Neither player getting a ring with another team will alter the course of history and make Robert Horry's shot clang off the back of the ring. It won't help the Kings hit their free throws or erase a few questionable whistles. And it certainly won't hang a championship banner in the Power Balance Pavilion rafters. But watching a revered ex-King reach the NBA's highest pinnacle and deservingly hoist the championship trophy over his head after all of these years will be a small reward all in itself.
Photos courtesy of AP.