I began grappling with this subject a couple years ago as the prospect arose of my beloved Kings leaving town. I was confident that the Kings' long tenure as "my team" would draw to a close. Most certainly I would hate the ownership for their decision and see no point in rooting for a team from a city to which I have no connection. The only way this could become complicated is if I couldn’t find blame in the ownership’s decision… and if they moved to Anaheim.
So here we are.
I’ve lived in LA since moving from Sac in ‘95. I am a respectable human being, so obviously I detest the Lakers and Donald Sterling. So if my Kings didn’t exist (or became completely unrecognizable by name, colors, and city) having a third NBA choice in my area would be a nice consolation. Hornets come to town? Done. Michael brings the Bobcats? OK, I’ll bite. Pistons trade up for the weather? Gettin’ me a Greg Monroe jersey. (OK, maybe not, but you get the idea.)
So if my means of replacing the Kings, the team that left me heartbroken by leaving the city I love dearly and connect them with so closely, is to pick another local team to root for, then I guess it would be… the Anaheim Kings… What? My head just exploded. Something’s not right. What outranks the other: the depression surrounding the deconstruction of the team of my youth… or the fact that they’re setting up shop next door so I could actually see them in person on a regular basis?
I honestly can’t answer that of now. But I can tell you what the future might hold.
I’ll have a son or daughter someday. I’ll take little Webber or Kayte (testing those names out- actually doesn’t sound too bad) to an Anaheim Whatevers game one night and there I can tell him or her that I’ve been a fan since 1985. That's right, way back when they were in Sacramento. I can tell them that the very first NBA game I ever attended was the first NBA game ever played in Sacramento. I can tell them about the time I kept hitting refresh on my browser the morning after game 6 and lucked into $15 tickets to one of the greatest NBA games ever played. I can tell them that when Staples Center was built, I dropped $150 on a customizable concrete block just so “Go Sacramento Kings” would be legally engraved on the Lakers' building forever. I can tell them stories that they might actually care about... because now it’s their favorite team, too.
But then one of them might ask, “Daddy, what’s Sacramento?” and I’d explain that it was once the 20th largest market in the country, bristling with energy and enthusiasm, the perfect mix of arts and dining and education without pretense, and home to the damn nicest people you could ever meet… but now it’s ranked 35th, concerts and events pass it by, the economy never recovered from the great recession of 2009, and it’s all because the team we’re watching right now moved away.
Ok, this is going to be a tough decision.
Maybe I should just figure out how to play fantasy basketball and build a team to root for.