Words can't express the emotions I'm feeling as this lockout drags on. Therefore, I've decided to share why I'm a Kings fan. It all started back in '02 when I was flipping channels on my downstairs T.V. I live in Ohio, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati, which couldn't be more far removed from California's capital city. We don't have a pro basketball team here in Cincy because they moved to Sacramento, oddly enough. Anyway, as a 9-year old I didn't really have much of an interest in the NBA because I didn't know many of the players. However, when I flipped to the Kings-Lakers game on NBC, something changed. No longer did I casually follow the NBA, I was a diehard Kings fan. I fell in love with the 'Arco Thunder' and the camaraderie of that Kings team who had a close knit group of players that came together to have a very successful season.
Then came the later years of watching the team on my computer. Unfortunately, the national broadcasts of Kings games on TNT, ESPN, etc. have dwindled in recent years due to the fact that they haven't been worth watching or televising. However, if there was ever a nationally broadcasted Kings game, I almost never missed it. There was no question I would rather sacrifice sleep if it meant I got to watch a Kings game on T.V. Obviously my experience as a fan has been much different than many of yours and I accept that. I may never get to a Kings game in my life. However, I continue to passionately follow a team that I can identify with. I can easily identify with Kings fans because my experiences here in Cincinnati with the pro sports has been very similar. Most notably, the Cincinnati Bengals. Is there a harder team to root for in all of pro sports than the Cincinnati Bengals? I doubt it. The situation is much more similar than what it seems on the surface. First of all, the Bengals owner is Mike Brown. Mike Brown is much like the Maloofs in that he is more concerned about his personal profit than about the success of the team. Secondly, the Bengals as a team are always a shadow of what they appear to be. They make the playoffs about once every five years which makes their fan base cautiously optimistic. However, the diehard fans are what keep the team going, right or wrong. It is that unrelenting support that satisfies me. I don't care if they go 0-16, I will still watch every game they play in and hope that they can somehow do better next year. Watching the Kings has been hard the past few years. It got even harder this year as there were rampant rumors of a probable move to Anaheim.
That's another topic I wanted to touch on: relocation. As a fan living in Cincinnati, one would think that I wouldn't be affected very much by a Kings move to Orange County. However, I feel the same pain that you fans do that go to games regularly at Power Balance Pavilion. It just wouldn't feel right if the team moved to another location. All of the memories and good times would be left behind in the rafters and empty seats of Power Balance Pavilion. Not to mention the city wide outrage of the only pro sports team in Sacramento leaving to go to a place that is within a hop, skip and a jump of L.A. What!? That is why I feel compelled to share my support of the Here We Stay movement and the various other acts of heroism by fans and others to save the Kings. Cautiously optimistic summarizes my thoughts on everything Kings and the NBA lockout. I can envision an arena deal getting completed, a bright future for the Kings team, and a CBA that benefits smaller market teams. The only thing I can do as a fan is continue to support what I believe in. I believe in Kevin Johnson and the ICON/Taylor group. I believe in the diehard Kings fans. I believe in the Kings players and coaches. Most of all, I believe in hope. Hope is a very powerful prospect. It is many times an instinctual belief that things will become better or turn out right. I instinctually believe that things will turn out right in Sacramento, both on the court and off of it.
Next I want to expand upon my feelings as a Kings fan. Obviously, I was borderline distraught after the last game of the 2010-11 regular season. I can't remember if I watched the game live or not but I do remember watching the postgame recap with Grant and Jerry. That memorable clip has been posted on youtube thank god. I'm pretty sure I've played it on repeat about ten times, partly because of the beautiful guitar solo at the beginning, but also because of the emotions of the fans and players throughout the memorable history of the Kings. I didn't have the luxury of attending those wild playoff games with Mike Bibby's dramatic shots or Chris Webber's clutch defensive plays. What I do have is a fond perspective of what those times were like for an organization that has always seemingly been an underdog. It has been an underdog because of the small payroll, the blue-collar players, etc. It has also been a team that is easy to root for because of those reasons. Everybody always underestimates the team and the fans for what they are capable of achieving. This is evident in the diminished amount of nationally televised games the Kings receive every year and the overall assumption that Sacramento isn't capable of supporting a pro sports team. Therefore, the Kings and the fans must prove everyone wrong yet again with this arena deal and the fact that Sacramento is a force to be reckoned with in the NBA again.
In conclusion, I want to voice my appreciation again for this website and for the efforts of the diehard Kings fans in Sacramento and elsewhere. Without them, we may not have a team or any hope of getting an arena deal completed. They have proven that Sacramento cares about their team and isn't willing to give it up after 26 years of memories. I'll continue to support the Kings with whatever means necessary. I plan to wear my Tyreke Evans jersey again this year even if there isn't a season. I don't care that some people don't know who Tyreke is. All I care about is that he is positively represented by a true fan of his living across the country. I'll continue to be a diehard Kings fan for as long as they remain in Sacramento. Through thick and thin, I have supported the team over the years. It would be foolish on my part to give up when things aren't looking good. After all, things have to get better before they get worse. Right? I hope so.