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 thatâs 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 teamâs 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 didnât 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 Iâve heard stories about the âgood old daysâ 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 Iâve been through the impending loss of my âhometownâ team and it leaves you feeling empty inside like an old abandoned arena.Â Weâve all heard the phrase âyou donât know what youâve got until itâs goneâ.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 donât 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 âglory yearsâ 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