I have been a lurker on this sight for about two seasons now, but a Kings fan for all my life. With all of the craziness of the last few days and the relocation talk, and the emergence of the Burkle, I can't help but think that the efforts of this community and the Here We Stay movement have helped keep the hope alive. I just wanted to take the time real quick to tell you why all of this means so much too me over the past few months, which involves some of my personal life. Feel free to read on and see how much you mean to the Sacramento community, or just take my most sincere thanks.
A reminder of why this is more than just a sports team.
I was born in Sacramento and raised in Rancho Cordova, and I followed the kings like everyone did. The glory years of the early 2000's are some of my fondest memories, and although I didn't really care about sports, I knew I loved the kings. Then when things started to go down hill and I started getting ready to go to college, I stopped paying attention to the team. Although I had watched the occasional game and followed the team, I had lost the zeal that had made me a part of the best fans in the NBA. This kept going until I went to college in Southern California.
I don't know what got me into the team again. Maybe it was that I was homesick, and they represented some fond memories from my childhood. Maybe I was excited when the kings had the chance at the number one draft pick, only to get the fourth pick. It was at that moment I felt pain and loss again, and I knew that I had become a kings fan once again.
I loved the new and vibrant kings with Tyreke at the helm. Though the record was still abysmal, I saw a new hope. I latched on to this team reading all about the team the summer after Tyreke's ROY season during my summer job, and stumbled upon Sactown royalty where all of my kings questions were suddenly answered. I grew to love this community and the threads laughing as I learned the inside jokes from the sidelines. That fall I left for a semester abroad in Scotland, and continued to follow the team religiously. I had never felt so far from home and waking up to watch streams of summer league games at 4 in the morning comforted me in a way that nothing else could. I would watch every game I could often falling asleep in the middle of it only to wake back up in the forth quarter when things got good. I continued this throughout the fall, and the Kings along with calls to my parents and brother got me through any of the rough times that I might have had in a foreign country. More than anything these things represented home.
My mother had always had health problems, and had problems after she injured her ankle at work for several months. That did not stop her and my dad from visiting me abroad and letting her take her dream trip to Ireland. It had come to the end of my time in Scotland and I was heading back home, able to get a miracle flight out of London when it was almost completely closed due to snow. When I arrived home that night I found out my mother was in the hospital. I visited her and she seemed fine, ready to be out in a few days. Later the same night I got home we got a call from the hospital to come in right away, and we learned that she had passed away that night.
This was only this last winter, and since she would never want me to sacrifice school, I have been down in SoCal for the semester, which has probably been one of the most difficult times in my life. Throughout this whole ordeal, I have found comfort in the kings, whether they win or lose. They were the one constant, something that I could count on and would eventually get better. When I learned about the relocation talk, I was utterly devastated. I could not comprehend why this was happening now of all times. Despite it, I still watched and loved every game and knew that this team was my team, and our team. I couldn't come up to support the rallies, I didnt have the time to write the letters, I didnt have the money to donate. But I made sure my dad and brother were at Here We Stay night. And I followed every thing this community has done to try and keep this team here.
Win or lose this thing, you have put up a fight and made Sacramento proud. After the new meaning the Kings have taken on for me, you have a truly grateful fan for fighting the fight that I haven't been able to. This has been a rambling story, and I apologize for the length. Most likely I am just writing this for me to help me cope with my life. But my thanks is sincere, and my love for this community is very real. From the bottom of my heart thank you. Thank you.
Here We Stay.