Snuffed Out

The damned Lakers have a way of clouding reality, don't they? As the Kings stuck with them through two quarters, I goaded myself into believing the Kings could win. The team's best three players were out. Spencer Hawes was frustrated and awful. Mikki Moore wasn't doing much. Francisco Garcia was a bit off. The team looked tired (understandable, given the fight against San Antonio the night prior). The Lakers had a full assault, and they were at home, and they were on rest.

Against most teams, I would have conceded as soon as the margin hit 10. Good fight, fine season, good night. I hung in until the margin was about 18, though. At that point, it became "watch Quincy run."

Seriously, how perfectly morbid is it that the big take-away from the season's 82nd game was a monster night from Quincy Douby, in which he carved up the opposing defense so effortlessly you almost imagined it was summer league? QD shows us something between little and nothing all year ... and then on April 15, he drops 32. I'd be mad were it not for the closing play -- penetration leading to an and-1 ... with 3.3 seconds on the game clock, down 26. Showing disrespect to the Lakers will always get you points in my book.

So there we are, that's it. "Next Game: No game scheduled," says Yahoo!. I've been ready for the end since March, but it still stings a little. As many noted in response to the most recent poll, a 38-44 season is not typically a success. More than half the mornings-after this season have resulted in something between mild annoyance and downright depression. It's all part of the fan's manifesto, and we all deal with it in our own ways. But it's not the downers which are important -- it's the moments of glee and heartfelt excitement and fluttering pride in something we truly have more than a customer-business relationship in.

The offseason means no more Kevin Martin box scores. No more Spencer Hawes dunks. No more Francisco Garcia mean faces. No more Mikki Moore screeches. No more Ron Artest flyin' fist pumps of doom. No more Beno Udrih lefty kisses off the glass. No more Brad Miller face-flattening screens in the open court. No more cheesy shots bespectacled randoms during Newman Lasik promos. No more Fat Lever or Henry Turner (or, yes, Katye Christensen). No more Jerryisms. No more... no more... no more Peaches.

I miss Kings basketball already. But hey! Only roughly 172 days until the first preseason game!

(As it were, if you just joined StR this season, fear not: We'll be around all summer. In fact, June has historically been our most active month. In the next few weeks, we'll eulogize this season and started looking at what the team can/will do this summer. We'll get our draft prognostication on. We'll discuss the playoffs. We'll post more pictures of Peaches turning up in foreign countries. We'll prepare for free agency, summer league, the Olympics, preseason, and of course the 2008-09 season. Hope you join us, and we thank you for being a part of the 2007-08 season with us.)

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