We kept talking about Martin, and the Kings, over the years. No one knows Martin as a person and player better than Thorpe, who helped build the scrawny kid from Zanesville, Ohio, into a top-10 scorer in the NBA. Those talks were valuable. Thorpe's perspective helped me see things I would have otherwise missed; my proximity to the pulse of the fan base, I think, helped Thorpe understood the mood in Sacramento.
But better than those shop talks was the friendship Thorpe and I built. While that's not over, it seems like a good time to thank Thorpe for it, and for the insight that's helped shape my worldview on the Kings and the NBA. Thorpe has also been a silent member of this community -- a lurker -- and asked me to pass on a few words.
His entire letter is the community is below. Ignore the parts where he says nice things to me, and focus on the parts where he says nice things about you.
Remember, though I may be a "connected" NBA guy now, thanks to my place at ESPN and the players I have spent time with, I was once an unknown coach trying to follow a beloved student on his journey through the NBA. Sactown Royalty was, to me, like the Sports Illustrated mags I once waited for each week at my mailbox when I was a kid. Only this gift kept coming, every day, and sometimes multiple times each day.
Your writing is fresh and smart, and fair too. And the game comments help a weary traveler, like me sometimes, who misses the game but could get the gist of it through those game threads. I appreciate and respect most of the people that comment on your site, as they help STR breathe and live in unique ways. For years, there were only two blogs I read-yours and Truehoop.
I have many great memories of reading a smart post on your blog and smiling from the insight. Though the winds out there have been turning against Kevin for some time now, I thought that most people connected with STR could always see through the BS and find the hidden truth. So thank you for that. And, thanks again for being such a trustworthy place for news and Kings love.
Kevin is leaving, but I'm sure that you will continue to lead STR into a future that looks considerably bright, and I will be there for the ride (though without the same rooting interest).
Also, can you thank all of your readers for me? They have helped make the experience of being a Kings fan far more richer than it otherwise would have been. Sacramento is a special place to play NBA basketball at, and I hope they can build a team worthy of the fans there.