In life we tend to get separated into two piles: Winners and losers. Though society likes to believe that the main difference between the two distinctions is financial health, they are incorrect. What separates a winner from a loser is how one chooses to overcome their obstacles. No one makes it through this life without tasting adversity. All of us will at some point or another get sucker punched by life and be knocked down. The loser stays on the mat and complains about how unfair life is. The winner picks him or herself up off the mat, refuses to dust themselves off and kicks life square in the ass. As Sacramento Kings fans, we have become all too accustomed with the mat. And yet, time and time again, we rise back to our feet, crack our necks back into place and seek out retribution on those who have done us wrong. It is simply what we do.
We have seen the darkest of days. We've lived through true tragedies such as Ricky Berry taking his own life and Bobby Hurley going through the windshield. We've lived through basketball tragedies, as well. Be it Robert Horry stabbing us in the heart or having a head coach try to sell us on "Desmond Mason: Defensive Stopper", we have had more than our share of gut wrenching moments on the court. And though our glory days were over all too quickly, they made every moment of our suffering worth the while. I will take the memories of Vlade embracing Webb or Peja after a big shot to my grave. Those are memories no one can ever take from me. Not the Maloofs running things on a shoestring budget. Not Anaheim. Not John Salmons dribbling out the shot clock. Those memories belong to us, and always will.
Although the Kings never reached the top of the mountain, the brief glimpse of what lays there is what allows us to dream of what we will do when we finally get there. We will storm the court of our newly constructed arena, cheering loudly, high fiving and hugging total strangers simply because they're wearing purple and black. We will march down to Cesar Chavez Park and celebrate. We will chant SA-CRA-MENTO (clap clap clapclapclap) as Mayor Johnson helps raise our championship banner to the ceiling. Then the rest of America will know what all of us have known for years: Sacramento is a winner. We've been knocked down. We've gotten back to our feet. Now we're looking for the bastard who sucker punched us. It's time to even the score.