I grew up in rural Ohio. I have followed this team through the "newspaper" years, when the Internet was being built by a bunch of academicians and military folks. You followed an NBA team in my youth on the radio in your car late at night so you could pick up a crackly signal that you were damn happy to have. You poured over the last page of Thursday's sports page that finally printed a box score of Sunday's game. And, miraculously, on video tape delay late at night to watch the Celtics or the Knicks--it just seemed like those were the only teams on TV. Now, I am a lawyer. Fully grown and closer to being old than young. I still follow the Kings. I grew up a Royals fan. 25 miles from Cincy Gardens, where the royals played in a glorified gym. I was a kid then. Loyalty runs as deep as youthful dreams of shooting the winning shot on the driveway as the clock expired against an NBA great guarding me just a little too loosely. I always sank that last shot to win the game.
You Sacto fans have to send a message to the NBA owners in these last home games. It is a gentlemen's game of war, but war nonetheless. If this team moves the franchise I know and have followed for 50 years will fade away never to come back. And as it fades so will the names of these players: Maurice Stokes, Jack Twyman, Jerry Lucas, Tom Vanarsdale, Jumping Johnny Green, Nate Archibald, Sam Lacey, Norm Van Lier, Truck Robinson, Phil Ford, Bob Cousy (yep, as a player coach), Bob Love (yep, traded), Otis Birdsong, Darrell Imhoff (Wilt scored 100 against him on a different team), Flynn Robinson (without looking him up what was his link to fame?), Charlie Paulk (what, you never heard of him? Without looking him up what is his link to franchise fame), Cotton Fitzsimmons, and of course Vlade, Chris, Peja, Otis, MITCH, Spud, Bobby, and of course The Big O. They all fade away as do all their records.
I understand ROFR's. I know how contracts work. I know all the legal arguments. Still, I have a good feeling that the Kings will stay and you will have involved owners who care about their products and do not fail.