It all started with an early morning Facebook private chat.
Below is what I wrote earlier in the week.
Following the Here We Buy Signature Drive and the Kings vs Lakers game, I kept thinking to myself how there should be someone from our community to represent Sacramento outside the St. Regis Hotel during the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting when the Kings issue will be discussed. I felt it should be someone who is your every day average Joe.
While on Facebook, I chatted with Crown Downtown members Christine Khoshabeh and Troy Bedal about how much I would love to represent the Sacramento community and told them that I had a crazy idea to see if anyone from Crown Downtown would be willing to help pay for the trip. They said they would pledge money to send me there and to start reaching out to others within Crown Downtown.
I also contacted Matthew Moore, a Kings fan living in New York City, to see if he or anyone he knew could help me out by picking me up and dropping me off from the airport as well as stay the night at someone’s place. Matthew said he could do it.
That’s when I decided to send a private message to others early Sunday morning.
My friends with Crown Downtown began to reply a few hours later and the pledges were coming in. Before 12:00 PM, I had all the pledges I needed and soon the pledges became real. Some were sent via Pay Pal while several others met me in person at a near by parking lot, their home, or my home.
This is another great story on how our community continues to step up like no other and I am humbled by this experience. It will be something I will never forget and will always appreciate.
My flight from Sacramento to New York City was scheduled to leave at about 8:00 AM on Tuesday. I had a quick stop to make in Washington DC to switch planes.
I left Washington DC at the same time when the Kings rally began in NYC. I landed in NYC about an hour later and took a cab to the Public House. Upon my arrival I was greeted by the NYC Kings fans, the media, Kevin Nagle, Phil Oates, Allen Warren and the mayor’s staff. Allen thanked us for all we have done along with Kevin and Phil, but Phil took it a step further and offered to buy me a drink. How cool is that to have a drink bought for you by a future Kings minority owner?
It was great to finally meet up with so many Kings fans who live in NYC but were actually from Sacramento originally.
We took some pictures, talked about our love for the Kings, where they used to live in Sacramento, where they went to high school and college along with what they do today (most are pursuing careers as lawyers).
After the rally was over, Matthew took me to Union Station and we got some pizza. After that we went to Times Square. I have not been to NYC since May 1996 as I went there with family and we stayed at Governor’s Island.
We got up early and arrived at the St. Regis Hotel at 8:30 AM. It was a cold morning but we were ready to outlast the cold weather. As a matter of fact we did not leave until 6:30 PM. Most of the time we were on our feet as if we were standing in line for concert tickets or playoff tickets during the time when there was no online ticket purchases.
Clay Bennett and David Stern showed up just after 9:00 AM. We were interviewed by the media from Sacramento and Seattle. We got out our “Mayor Kevin Johnson: Save Our Kings” banner and chanted “SAC-RA-MEN-TO” as loud as we could. As a matter of fact we were so loud that we got tweets that Steve Large of CBS 13 could not be heard that well due to our chanting as it was broadcasted live on Good Day Sacramento on channel 31.
While continuing to check Twitter we found out that the Maloofs along with Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer got past us through the back door. I wonder if they would have done that if any Seattle SuperSonics fans had shown up (one did show up but not until much later in the day and was there for about an hour).
Yes, we went live on a Seattle TV broadcast while chanting, “Where’s Seattle?”
By 10:30 AM we took a short break to get some coffee, juice, etc. while we sat down at a public place just down the street. It was also a good opportunity to charge our iPhones.
We returned by 11:30 AM and were able to greet Vivek and Mastrov as they arrived together. A little later Mayor Johnson and Senator Steinberg arrived together and spoke with the media before making their way inside.
Carmichael Dave came through with the Playing to Win Tour RV and stopped right in front of the hotel. People began to sign the RV including a returning Vivek. I also got to sign the RV.
I asked Vivek’s personal assistant if I could present him with our Crown Downtown shirt and was told absolutely as they knew all about who we are.
I thanked Vivek for what he is doing and presented him with our Crown Downtown shirt on behalf of our community and then I asked if we could take a picture together. He was more than happy to take a picture while holding our shirt. Once we took our picture he asked that we take another one but this time using his phone. He thanked us for all we have done and shook my hand. Very cool experience.
Things began to settle down and got quiet. The meetings were taking place inside so I went with Ryan to get some lunch and charge my iPhone again. This time I was able to find an outlet by a table instead of standing over an outlet like I did in the Sony store earlier.
Once the meetings were over it was time for the Sacramento press conference. We tried to watch it on the News 10 web site and even though we got a clear picture with no buffering, it was too hard to hear. So we closed the web browser and tuned into KHTK 1140 AM. This was my favorite moment of the day because we were so anxious to hear how things went and we huddled like a team should.
As we were listening, Thomas Huddle (he flew in from Sacramento too) spotted Darius Anderson talking on his phone in front of the hotel. I turned around and we made eye contact and he gave me a peace sign to acknowledge us. Once he was off his phone he walked over to us and said hello and thanked us for showing our continued support. I asked Darius if he could give Ron Burkle our Crown Downtown shirt as Burkle slipped by us and he said he would along with a picture of him holding the shirt up. Darius and I then took a picture together. Darius is an unsung hero in all this and I made sure to tell him that and thank him for all he has done for Sacramento and believing in us.
The next person to leave the hotel was Mark Mastrov. We chanted Sacramento, clapped and thanked him. Mark thanked us for being out in front of the hotel to show our support. That’s when I thanked him on behalf of our community and presented him with his very own Crown Downtown shirt. I told him we over heard how Team Sacramento is all about locally (front of the shirt is about revitalizing our downtown) and globally (back of our shirt says #BestInTheWorld) and he said we are thinking on the same page.
Vivek came out and thanked us again. He said he was so humbled by our support and he shook our hands while making eye contact. These guys are just so awesome.
Phil Oates and Kevin Nagle made their way out too along with Allen Warren. You know the drill. More hugs, hand shakes and thank yous for everyone. We took a group picture.
Then the man of the hour showed up. Mayor Kevin Johnson came out to address us by going up to each person and thanking them with hand shakes all around. He said we were so loud with our “SAC-RA-MEN-TO” chants that they could hear us upstairs.
After a quick speech to us we took another group picture.
We were then trying to decide what to do next and dinner was the topic of choice. The problem was what to get and some how pizza came up. That’s when Phil Oates gave us cash to buy pizza for the entire group. Just so awesome.
There is so much more information I did not include but it gives you an idea of what took place that day.
It will be a day I will never forget and I am so grateful to have such great friends from Crown Downtown that helped me make it out there.
After pizza, we (Thomas, Matthew and myself) went back to Matthew’s place to watch the Kings vs Rockets game. It is so weird to watch a game begin at 10:00 PM. We fell asleep by 11:30 PM.
The next morning Matthew woke us up at 5:00 AM. I checked my phone and noticed I had a text from a number I did not recognize. I thought to myself, who would text me at that hour from Sacramento?
I checked the text and got a picture of Ron Burkle holding up our Crown Downtown shirt with a thumbs up. I was told he thanked Crown Downtown for all we have done and appreciates it so much.
Matthew said it best when he said it was like watching a kid open a gift on Christmas morning. Just such a cool moment to share with him and Thomas.
Thomas and I then took a cab back to the airport but unfortunately we would arrive an hour or so later than Mayor Johnson. Despite that we still had Crown Downtown represent and show its support by greeting the mayor and his staff for what I believe was the fifth time now. This was the first time I could not attend despite organizing all of them. Still very proud of our group for always finding a way to step it up.
As much fun as it was, I am glad to be home in Sacramento. I want to thank everyone who helped make this trip possible. Thank you Crown Downtown. Thank you Sacramento.
Thank you Matthew for helping Thomas and I while we were in NYC and for allowing us to stay at your place. Much appreciated.
Thank you for your contributions in making this all possible…
Scott Ohara – Jan Derrah – Jeff Bradway – Christine Gillespie – Stephen Fagerness – Troy Bedal – Anna and Damon Ampania – Evil and Aaron DelBono – Tihane Watt – Casey McCracken – Pam, John & “God Mother” Santich – Christine Khoshabeh and Marcus Silafau – Dreiza De Vera – Stephanie and James Matarelli – Lynne MacIntosh – Oscar Zepeda – Shawn Jonas – Israfiel Mohammed – John Justo – Kristofer Chaffin – DLRN (http://home.dlrnmusic.com)