At first it started with pure hatred. Hatred of the fact the Lakers made it into the tournament. Then as they breezed past everyone in the West it turned to jealousy. Its obvious to anyone watching the NBA or just reading about it that the Lakers became an instant team to beat with the ridiculous pickup of Pau Gasol. Even though they lost that year to Boston, they came back the next year and won...that could have been us i thought. That could have been Sacramento.
Unfortunately for me [and the Kings] the season was over just as it is was starting. At first glance i thought okay Reggie [Theus] can turn this around. If we could just win a few games before the All-Star Break we can get back into.....nope. Reggie had a rough [okay terrible] start and was soon fired shortly after. His replacement although he inherited the whole mess didn't do much better and Kenny Natt was also fired at the end of the season.
I have no ties to Sacramento whatsoever. I've never been. I also have never seen the Kings play live. Add to that the fact that i live in LA and its hard to imagine why i would stay a Kings fan. In fact all my co-workers ask the same thing. I think it started on a very deep emotional level. My love affair with the Kings started with that Greatest Show on Court' team of Vlade, CWebb and Bibby. I LOVED the way the Kings played ball back in the day. The flashy passes, the up-tempo offense. The C-Webb glare! The cowbells. The noise records we set in the NBA Playoffs. All of that i watched, stunned and mesmerized.
The Kings played as a WHOLE TEAM back in the day. A quality i loved them for and add to it the emotion at Arco during those playoff games of Lakers-Kings and you had PASSION. A passion for purple! Those days are long gone now, I watched this season on TV like many of you and saw the writing on the wall. Arco was half-full most of the season [with good reason]. We traded away the last of the old era by getting rid of Bibby and Miller [who then made the playoffs]. The Lakers-Kings rivalry? HAH! There were more Laker fans at Arco chanting MVP than there were Kings fans. Something that upsets me to this day.
That would never happen at the old Arco. Thats not the Arco i knew. But unfortunately thats what its become. As far as the NBA Draft i agree with the experts in a grade of B+. I think we drafted well and with one or two free-agent pickups i feel like we will have a much more competitive team next year. One that will be worth watching next year.
I watched the Laker Championship Parade on TV [it was safer this way] and i can tell you that the fans really cherished this one. This Laker team after all didn't look like a championship team at times and yet they still had enough to win. I definately got it rubbed in my face at work that the Lakers were World Champions. Hey i might be a Laker-Hater but i can respect Kobe and the banners that hang at Staples.
But in the end its still Purple and White til the end. People down here in LA still remember those playoff rivalries of Lakers/Kings [mostly cause of me] but even so they remember how good we were and they give us props but then it turns to laughter. Sad..sad indeed. Lets hope next season the Kings are the ones laughing.