Mayor Kevin Johnson
Dear Mr. Johnson:
To say the past few months have been difficult for all of us devoted Sacramento Kings fans is an understatement. This season witnessed a step backwards in team record despite a promising start and renewed hopes of success. We saw mixed results from our recent draft picks due to DeMarcus Cousins' fiery yet immature nature and injuries to Tyreke Evans. We endured a name change to our beloved Arco Arena (II) and we were face slapped by a frustrated ownership that sought to relocate the team to a different market because of an inadequate facility and the City of Sacramento struggle to produce a viable new arena plan. We gasped as the City of Anaheim quickly came forward with an exit strategy that would have transformed the Kings into a third NBA franchise in the Southern California market by next season.
We experienced a menagerie of feelings as we tried to come to terms with the apparent slow death happening before our eyes. Some of us were paralyzed trying to deny what was quickly becoming our reality. Some shrugged shoulders almost unwilling to admit what this void would create in our hearts and lives. Some of us were quick to point blame; allowing emotion to dictate logic. Some questioned the ability to remain loyal should the Kings leave while others waxed nostalgia as if the Kings had already packed and moved. Some got active and looked for ways to help keep the Kings here.
Almost all of us felt broken-hearted, betrayed and frustrated as we all struggled with our emotions to stay productive at work and positive with family, friends and faith.
While our thoughts, feelings, expressions and actions may not have emulated grace nor diplomacy, no one could deny our vigilant vigor merely encapsulated our passion and love for our Sacramento Kings.
As our local leader, Mayor Kevin Johnson, your are arguably our most vocal and effective advocate and ombudsman during this ordeal.
Likewise, your passion to make Sacramento a better place that includes the Kings, outweighs any lack of political savviness as exhibited by a few public missteps that don't need to be rehashed here. While your political acumen may not resemble the steeled poker face of a Phil Ivey--with letter writing and lawyers between the city officials of Sacramento and Anaheim...
or via your public pessimism that Sacramento won't be able to influnce the Kings to stay, no one can deny your determination to keep fighting including your trip to the NBA office, the introduction of a potential new Arena Plan, and Ron Burkle as a potential new owner.
Should the railroad yards northeast of the Sacramento and the American Rivers turn from this...
then your legacy as Mayor of Sacramento will be solidified.
People recollect that you are rooted here in Sacramento and are the area's first African American to be elected Mayor. A few of us remember your days as a standout baseball and basketball star at Sacramento High. Some will remember your accolades at Cal while most will remember your success in the NBA as a Phoenix Sun.
While a lot of your success stems from your ability to perform under pressure, your post basketball career has been anything but a layup. Despite a few public controversies that might have derailed most other political novices coupled with inheriting a city troubled with our generation's worst economy, you continue to deliver results.
By securing $500M in federal stimulus money, successfully pushing critical school reform, making neighborhoods safer buy putting more officers on the streets and continuing to drive economic development there is plenty on your plate and certainly most of us would understand if you didn't have the time to try and help keep the Kings in Sacramento beyond the typical political grandstanding for fear of losing support from other detractors.
While there is still 3/4 of the game yet to be played before the Kings organization, the fans, the community, and the politicians can all unilaterally declare this ambitious project a win, we can let out an emphatic sigh of relief that after the first quarter we are at least in the game. On behalf of all of us that love the Sacramento Kings, we thank you!
Please forgive us if we doubted and/or criticized your efforts, we once again believe. Please forgive the Maloofs for perhaps quitting too quickly on the City to get a deal done because working together with them will be essential to make the model work. Most of all, please keep doing what you are doing...trying to make Sacramento "A City that works for everyone."
A Sacramento Kings Fan