Today, February 24, 2011, the Sacramento Kings filed for an extension with the NBA. Â The extension gives the team seven additional weeks to make a decision about a possible move for next season. Â A few days ago, it appeared that the Kings were gone for Anaheim. Â Now, it feels like there is a chance that they might stay.
I know that there are people who say things like "the Kings suck. Â They should pack up and get out". Â Others say things like "I used to love them, but they aren't worth watching anymore".
To the naysayers, I ask you to stop being selfish. Â Yes, I called you selfish. Â If you once loved the Kings, I want you to sit back in your favorite chair. Â I want you to close your eyes and try to remember what it was like when the team was winning and Arco Arena was sold out night after night! Â I want you to try to remember what it sounded like when Kings games were the loudest basketball games in all of the NBA. Â I also want you remember how much fun you used to have at Kings games.
Now, I want you to open your eyes. Â While those memories are still fresh in your head, I want you to post a comment here on this blog. Â The comment should tell me all about your memories because during the Kings best years, I lived on the East coast. Â I never got to experience the electric atmosphere that was Sacramento Kings Basketball.
I grew up in New Jersey. Â My father used to take me to see the NBA's New Jersey Nets when they didn't have their own arena. Â The Nets played their games at a small arena on the campus of Rutgers University. Â A few years later, my father started taking me to see the Nets play in their new area called the "Brendan Byrne Arena". Â Today it is called the Izod Center.
The Brendan Byrne Arena was just across the river from New York City. Â New York City is the home of the NBA's New York Knicks. Â Most of my friends were Knicks fans. Â Me? Â I stuck by my New Jersey roots and was a die-hard Nets fan.
Like the Kings, the Nets had many rough seasons. Â Then the team started to play better. Â They started to make the playoffs. Â They did this all while in the shadow of the New York Knicks. In many ways, the dynamic was very similar to the way the fans look at NBA basketball in Los Angeles. Â The Knicks have always been the Lakers and the Nets have always been the Clippers. Â That's just the way it was.
Ironically enough, if the Kings move to Anaheim, they will be the third NBA team in the Los Angeles Area.Â I guess thatâ€™s good news for the Clippers as they will no longer be the least popular team in the area!
My passion for the Nets stayed strong through the good and the bad.Â It didn't matter what their record was. Â I was a fan because I had pride in New Jersey and I had pride in the New Jersey Nets.Â Crack all the jokes you want.Â I am Jersey born, and Jersey bred.
My love of the New Jersey Nets was severely weakened in 2005, when the teamâ€™s new owner announced plans to move the team to Brooklyn, New York.Â Why did they announce plans to move?Â You guessed it!Â Plans for a new arena fell through.Â Sound familiar?
In 2007, I went to my first Sacramento Kings game against the visiting New Jersey Nets.Â Seeing the Nets in Sacramento didnâ€™t feel right.Â Knowing that the Nets were a few years away from a move out of New Jersey made me feel like I was cheering for a ghost.
That was the last night I rooted for the Nets.
For the past few NBA seasons, I have bled Kings purple.Â My wife and I have gone to games and we watch many of them on television.Â Iâ€™ve heard stories about the â€śgood old daysâ€ť of Kings basketball. I want a chance to witness Kings basketball at its best!
With a core of young and very talented players, the Sacramento Kings look like they might be back on the path to more winning seasons.Â With Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, Omri Casspi, Beno Udrih, Jason Thompson, Samuel Dalembert, Luther Head, and more, the Kings have something to build on here in Sacramento.
The big question everyone has is whether or not the Kings will actually stay in Sactown.Â Iâ€™ve been through the impending loss of my â€śhometownâ€ť team and it leaves you feeling empty inside like an old abandoned arena.Â Weâ€™ve all heard the phrase â€śyou donâ€™t know what youâ€™ve got until itâ€™s goneâ€ť.Â Trust me.Â If the Kings leave Sacramento, you will feel the emptiness that I have felt.Â You will feel the emptiness that other cities have felt when they have lost their major sports team to another city.
I donâ€™t have an answer as to how we can get the Kings to stay.Â I just know that we, the people of Northern California, need to rally behind our team before we lose them forever.Â We need to make our voices heard.Â We need to let the Maloofs, the NBA, and the City of Sacramento know that we want the Kings to stay.
Please, take a moment and think about the fun you used to have at Kings games.Â Think about the potential fun you could have at future Kings games.Â All I ask is that you close your eyes for a minute and try to remember the way you felt during the â€śglory yearsâ€ť of the Sacramento Kings.
If you need your memory jogged, the people at the website www.sactownroyalty.com have been rallying people to help sell out the Kings home game on Monday, February 28th at Arco Arena.Â With less than 1,000 tickets currently available for this game, it appears that they are close to fulfilling the goal of a sell out.Â it is sure to be a wild night of NBA basketball!
I have my tickets.Â Do you?
The Wake Up Call
As a homegrown Lakers fan from Anaheim (what are the odds of both factors?!), I can say that the move for the Kings to SoCal would be disastrous for the franchise. it would never gain any traction for it's fanbase only being anchored 30 minutes from Los Angeles.
That being said, Sacramento needs the Kings as much as they need to the city. Financially, they still bring money to the local economy, even in the lean years. With all the changes that the city is trying to push, they need a beacon like a professional sports franchise to use as leverage. Though the team definitely needs to upgrade in facilities from what can be considered the NBA basement, at this point it should be a "whatever means necessary" attitude for city leaders and other involved with this situation. I hope the Kings stay put, if not for the dollar signs then for the thousands of people who bleed purple and black regardless of the team's record.
Anyone who knows sports that at the end of the day, the fans determine the profitability of a franchise and in Anaheim, there will be none for the Kings. In Sacramento, however, they have fans in scores who will support their boys no matter what.
I loved the piece that you wrote. and I remember when....The kings were a good basketball team,and were the pacific division champions. Back then all the home games were sold out.If you went to any games then you know "ARCO thunder" is, and would get so loud ARCO Arena. The fans that come out to see the kings not the other teams. I also remember that team, those players.That should have won the championship,but didn't. Those were fun times to be a kings fans.I remember when everybody in sac was a kings fans or so it seemed.
The players of that team were fun to watch.
I think that we have a bright future in Demarcus and Tyreke I just hope they stay in Sacramento.
A letter I have been passing to anyone who will listen pretty well sums it up.
I attended my first Kings game at the age of 5 in 1985. ARCO 1 was basically a barn with a score board but it seemed like a magic castle to me at the time. I've been hooked ever since. When I was younger you had to be placed on a waiting list to get season tickets. Every game was sold out, and getting to go to a Kings game was an event you had to plan for months in advance. Sadly, at the time, I didn't get to attend many of those events. I watched every game I could, and while catching a Kings game on TV was rare, I made sure to be sitting in front of the TV anytime they were on. You could often find me in a Bobby Hurley, Brian Grant, Corliss Williamson, Mitch Richmond or Walt Williams jersey representing the lovable losing franchise from my home town. I was taught that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and the trials and tribulations of this franchise were something to be proud of to me. After all my city had a team and win or lose I would always love them. I knew one day things would turn around and when they did all of the losing seasons we had experienced would make it all the greater. Because of the ticket packages my father and I commonly purchased we had the chance to get PLAYOFF TICKETS in 1996 to rattle the then Seattle Sonics! The atmosphere was indescribable. Imagine shaking a can of soda as hard as you could for 10 years. In 1996 when that can was finally opened...we exploded. From the time the team hit the floor for pre game warm ups to partway through the middle of the first quarter the ENTIRE arena stood and cheered. Not your run of the mill clapping, this was different. The sound was like a rocket ship. Arco has always been loud but this was special, and I wanted was to be a part of a moment like that again someday. It was magic, I honestly haven't seen anything like it since but I would see many other great moments in the years to come. I cried like a baby when we lost that series and no one was going to tell me that it was inevitable. My team was infalible and would always be the greatest in my eyes, despite records or statistics. My father and I finally saw an opportunity at the beginning of the 1999 lockout shortened season to get our season tickets. Little did we know what was about to take place. Vlade, C-Web, J-will all came to town and well...you know the rest. These were obviously the glory years, and I would have paid you all of the money I had, just to sit in the Arco Arena bathroom in an NBA finals. I had to settle for sitting in my normal upper deck seat in the Western Conference Finals and experience a heart break that I would never trade for anything in the world. Through the years I've collected many great memories that can't ever be sold or traded. The Kings made Sacramento a place you could be proud to live and tell others you were from. To be able to shout back at a Laker fan knowing your city had gone toe to toe with them is something special. The Kings found a way to bring this city together in a way that only a sports franchise can. That brings us to today and the promise that we see in our current group of young players. I write this, not only as a love letter to a institution I've followed since day 1, but as a way of expressing my gratitude for the memories and the magic. There are many here who have never given up on the Kings, and I ask that you do not give up on Sacramento. Please understand what it would do to this city if you file for relocation. We've seen the aftermath of decisions like this, the most recent example being Seattle. The bitterness can never be erased. I suppose what I'm trying to say is...don't take away the magic. Give us a chance!!
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Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing......
Thank you, Jason! I have written a letter to the Maloof's and asked to weigh the needs of the many (the public)compared to the needs of the few (them). Please forward your letter to them! We should inundate with pleas to stay here - HOME!
Please encourage everyone to help! Sacramento needs them - WANTS them - the KINGS!
Do you remember when there was a waiting list for season tickets? I do. Do you remember how heated the Kings/Lakers games were? I do. KINGS---Please stay in SACRAMENTO! WE LOVE YOU!
Wonderfully, articulately expressed. I already feel a sense of emptiness and saddened there is a possibility of a move for the Kings. Sacramento is the capital of the Golden State. Sounds so regal... like royalty. Like the home of a King!
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Dang dude, great article I've seen about the Kings leaving Sac.
THIS IS MY PLAN FOR THE KINGS......
GET PEJA, HEDO, BOBBY JACKSON, MIKE BIBBY, AND JASON WILLIAMS BACK.....
"THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THE OLD KINGS"............................
HEY, IT WORKED FOR 'CHRISTINE '...
WE MAY NOT WIN MORE GAMES, BUT, WE WOULD HAVE MORE FUN...........
GO "KINGS"......AND I DON'T MEAN TO ANAHEIM.......................