First off, I want to say thank you to all of the people who donated tickets and/or money to the “Here We Stay” (hereinafter “HWS") cause. I was one of the benefactors of your generosity and I still can’t get over how incredible this fan base truly is. That the Maloofs have something special in Sacramento is undeniable. I just don’t see O.C. people organizing, caring and giving the way everyone involved in HWS has.
Your generosity was rewarded, as I can barely talk today, and when I do, I sound like Bea Arthur with a hangover. Just sayin’. And I made my usually shy girlfriend yell the chants (whenever she began to slack, I reminded her she had to earn her ticket! She obliged).
Some things occurred to me during the game. I haven’t seen ARCO/PBP rocking like that since the last playoff game I went to…and that game did not feature Kevin Martin. So, it’s safe to say that it’s been awhile since I’ve heard Kings fans getting rowdy like that. Even at the Memphis game when ‘Reke hit the game winner (one of the only two other games I caught at the arena this season), it wasn’t as intoxicating and tangible as it was last night.
Last night was electric.
During the national anthem, I got goose bumps in anticipation of the forthcoming chant. As I sensed the excitement building in the crowd, I knew HWS was going to go down as a complete success. Then the national anthem ended, and the fans took over!
It. Was. Awesome.
The dude sitting just behind me was as pumped as I was. He would hear me cheering louder, which made him cheer louder, which made me cheer louder…Suffice it to say, the exchange of fist-bumps and head nods were plentiful throughout the game.
The Kings, for the most part, played pretty well last night, and post-game, Beno confirmed my suspicions over the PA that the crowd had indeed inspired the players (at least the ones not named Cousins, who seemed to play with his body in the game and his head someplace else…turnover much?!), and the players truly won this game despite the officiating, which seemed pretty bad (apparently one is not allowed to sneeze on Blake Griffin).
And, I don’t mean to talk negatively about DMC, because I like him and the skills he possesses, but right now he seems to be going through a bit of a hard time. I wish I could blame it all on the rookie wall, but he is making some fundamentally bad plays on top of that. I know he’ll get better, but damn, I didn’t expect a late-season regression related to making smart basketball decisions.
Also, I’m not a fan of guys like Jeter coming down the court and jacking up a three with 18-plus seconds remaining on the clock. And, I’d be lying if I said I got the “warm-and-fuzzies” while watching the Maloofs’ response to Channel 10’s interview in which they pointedly asked the owners about the future of the team in Sacramento. But, these are petty observations in what was otherwise a great night for StR and HWS (and Marcus Thornton!).
As fans, we did more than should be asked of supporters of pro sports. We did something special, and it was an honor to be a part of it.
Again, thank you all very much and give yourselves a big pat on the back. Last night it felt good to be a fan of the Kings…The SACRAMENTO Kings!