I'll start by saying: The Sacramento Kings are just about the only stable thing I've had in my life, and I'll scream my lungs out to keep them here.
I am eighteen years old and live in the little old town of Loomis, California. I have lived here my entire life, but it never came easy. Since 1996, I have lived in fifteen different houses, never staying anywhere for too long. My father stopped involving himself in my life upon finding out that I had Asperger's Syndrome, and the relatively small line of my mother's suitors became the only male influence in my life. At the age of six, I had been rejected by my peers and my own father for being mentally handicapped, I had no self esteem as a male or as a human-being for that matter.
Fast-forward to April 7, 2001: My mother's long-time boyfriend Danny decided to take me to a Kings game. I had never seen a live basketball game before this, and I had no idea what to expect. We arrived at ARCO Arena, and I was shaking from excitement, it seemed like you could really feel the energy there. We reached our seats, center court Row B Seats 5 & 6, clearly Danny was serious about my mom because these tickets must have cost a fortune. The visiting Knicks strolled onto the court, and damn! They were huge! This behemoth lineup featured Latrell Sprewell, Allen Houston, and Mark Jackson. I admired them, but I knew they were the enemy by their lack of black jerseys. Then the lights dimmed and our beloved Glory-Days Kings came charging out in all their splendor. Peja, Webber, Divac, Christie, Bibby, Funderburke, Jackson, Turkoglu, Pollard, and the rest were introduced to earsplitting cheers. It was so loud in there! The game hadn't even begun, and the arena was almost shaking. This was a rabid, loving fan-base that intimidated every other team in the league with the vicious clangs of our cowbells. I was hooked.
The game was a blowout, we won 116-82 with not a single player on our squad scoring more than 16 points. It was beautiful basketball that I only appreciate more looking back on it now, the ball went everywhere, our shots fell with amazing efficiency, and everybody was involved. Our depth completely overwhelmed these unfortunate Knicks, and the game was over relatively quickly. Danny led me out of the crowded arena with my new Webber jersey on, and we were lost in the parking lot for an hour. He drove a yellow pickup truck, neon-bright yellow! Finally, we drove home and I couldn't even sleep that night. I was so ecstatic about my newfound love, the Sacramento Kings.
As someone who has moved around all my life, I know the value of a home versus a house. The Kings found their home here, and we found the Kings. Throughout the clout of my family's finances and my delayed education, I never stopped loving the Kings. If I had a bad day at school, I'd flip on the game and everything was all right. These Kings would never leave, they'd always be my team. No lawyer, no teacher could take them from me.
But now, just as I turn 18 these Kings might leave me behind. I have not been able to afford tickets since that fateful day, and my fandom has been based off of countless hours in front of my television shouting, cheering, crying, jumping up and down, and finally falling back on my couch in fatigue once the final buzzer sounded. This is our team, and there are many stories out their like mine, and there will be many after me who look to this team as an escape, as faithful friends.
I apologize for going over the 500 word limit.