We'll Always Have Next Year

Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

As we prepare for another regular season to come to a close, Kings fans face a familiar uncertainty. Where most fan bases fall back on the mantra of "there's always next year", Kings fan close the season wondering, "is there?"

There's a lot we take for granted as sports fans. We assume players will progress in a linear fashion. We assume our stars won't get injured at the worst possible moments. And we assume, as the old adage goes, there's always next year.

Those four little words encapsulate so much of what we enjoy about sports. There's always another chance. There's always the possibility that your favorite team will finally turn things around, will finally get it right. You'll finally draft the right guy or hire the right coach or sign the right free agent or hit the rights shots and it will be your year. You may go your entire life waiting for that payoff, but we're steadfast in the knowledge that eventually things will work out in our favor.

But as this season draws to a close, Kings fans are faced with an uncertainty that we know all too well. The uncertainty of whether or not there will be next year. We've been here before, and yet there was a next year. That's given us a lot of hope. We're tested. We've been through this. We've won before. But the uncertainty remains because the fact of the matter is that even the most well-informed of us doesn't actually know what will happen when the NBA Board of Governors convenes tomorrow. They'll decide our fate as fans.

If the vote goes against us, well, I can't even really finish that sentence. I'm not prepared to. I'll cross that bridge when we get there. Hopefully that's a bridge we'll never cross.

But if the vote goes in our favor, if the Kings stay, it will be great. Not only will we have next year, but we'll have a sense of renewal that's been missing in this franchise for the better part of a decade. No more Maloofs, new upper management, innovations in scouting and player development. It will be unlike anything we've experienced. But if the Kings stay, it won't really matter to us if the Kings are good or bad. We won't care if those innovations work or not. Don't get me wrong, we'll care. We'll care because we're insane people who love this team enough that we've immersed ourselves in the proceedings of California Environmental Review processes and California bankruptcy proceedings. We'll care. But we'll know it won't be that important.

Because if the Kings stay, we'll always have next year.

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