I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. We traveled down from Oregon to spend the holiday with family and while we were in the area a group of us decided to attend the Kings game at Arco versus Dallas. There were eight of us in all. My son and I were pretty hyped, as this was only the second Kings game at Arco we have been able to attend since moving to Oregon 15 years ago. We have made the trip to Portland numerous times to see the Kings play but tickets at the Rose Garden are harder to come by the last few years (thanks Kevin Pritchard).
We all met at Center Court for a late lunch. I was impressed. We sat at the Larry Bird table and watched the Oregon Ducks demolish Oregon State while eating. We took some photos, my son and I had a couple photos taken while standing in front of the photo of C-Webb and J-Will . Nobody was sitting at the Kobe Bryant table.
We arrived early to the game, and went down to the court for my son-Joey to get some autographs. Shock came over and signed, as did Cisco. The program for that game featured Jason on the cover. He signed right below his photo, Cisco signed over to the side. Before I knew it my son was standing in line over where the Mavericks were warming up. I stayed watching Speed Racer get some shots in while noticing just how rusty he really looked. When my son returned he told me that Mark Cuban signed an autograph for him. I checked it out to see if it was legible only to see he signed right on Jason Thompson’s face…..typical Cuban.
I spent the next 35 minutes before game time hanging out like a stalker at the top level entrance to Section 214. I waited and waited but never saw Section come in. Now bear in mind, the only references I had in my mind were: 1) From Kings.com when I voted for Section to go and represent the Kings at the NBA draft and 2) His profile photo which must have been decades ago. So in all honesty he may have walked right by me and I wouldn’t have know. I thought about hold up a sign….like people do at the airport with “Section 214” on it or with my name “Ridnour8” but decided against it.
The game as you know was terrible. But most of my group stayed until the final buzzer. I was worried half way through the third quarter if the Kings would outscore the Oregon Ducks football team final point total of 65 versus the Beavers and was relieved when they did.
The Arena is my estimation was ½ to ¾ full at most. It was sad. I know the product isn’t that good right now, but it wasn’t back in the OP, L-Train, Mitch, The Wizard days either. I remember the record for the longest road-losing streak. But the team still sold out and it was loud (at least on the radio it was loud). Saturday night the crowd only got really loud when they were giving out prizes during the timeouts and halftime. That really, really bothered me.
The experience was not good from a basketball play point of view but being with family at a Kings game was great. Scott negotiated great seats, Wes bought a Hawes-some shirt, Rick won a Karaoke box for singing poorly. My stepdad called with Duck-Beaver Scores throughout the game.
There were several moments in the game that will stick in my memory. Beno not following the play after a turnover. Mikki had a foul called when he was hooked which led to a technical – Mikki's protest did not bother me, it was the fact that Reggie did not come out and defend his player. Adleman was not a vocal coach but he picked his spots and always defended his players to the officials. Energy was low, the third quarter spark from Cisco off the bench was really the only energy I felt from the team.
Sorry this wasn’t laid out as well as some of the entries when you guys attend games, but it was the best I could come up with. Until next time. Who knows maybe the next time I get to come to Sac to attend a game Kevin Johnson will have done what he needs to do to get the new Arena in place.