Sacramento has its fists to the sky tonight not because of one person, but because of a thousand individuals who put themselves out there for this city, this region, this team.
None of this happens without the passion, brains and relationship-building skills of Kevin Johnson. KJ is Sacramento, soles to scalp. I mean, you all know that, and there's no need to belabor the point. (It should be noted too that his staff has been excellent.) None of this happens with the dedication and brilliance of the entire investor group (team and arena), led by Vivek Ranadivé, the Jacobs family, Mark Mastrov, Ron Burkle, Mark Friedman and the rest of the crew, including existing partners like the Lucchetti family. None of this happens without our strong advocates in the media: Jason Ross and Deuce Mason, Ailene Voisin and Marcos Breton, The Rise Guys, Phantom and Don and Little Joe, the folks at FOX 40 and News10 and CBS 13, Jay Marzz from Hot 103.5, Scott Moak, media celebs Sign Lady and Sign Gentleman, The G-Man, Napes and The Second Greatest Player To Ever Come Out Of French Lick, Indiana. None of this happens without the holy trinity of grassroots: Crown Downtown, Carmichael Dave and Here We Stay. Mike Tavares never quits. Ever! His dogged determination is contagious. Dave put his entire soul in this project, from rustling up thousands and thousands in pledges to touring the country in an RV for a freaking month. What sacrifices Dave has made. And the HWS crew ... man. What a great group of gentlemen. The Ed Montes Plan. Blake. Fippin. Jimmer Ham. Tobin. Rob. And freaking Akis Yerocostas.
I don't think I had any special role in this. I think we did. That's what makes me so proud of this community. I pitched a Sacramento Kings blog to SB Nation back in the summer of 2005 because I wanted to write about basketball and the network was just breaking into NBA. Matt B. from Blog-a-Bull launched first; Tyler Bleszinski brought me into the club. We grew pretty slowly. We covered Q&R quite a bit in 2006. Every preseason, we wondered if that'd be the last season in Sacramento. As the situation got more dire, StR grew. I like to think it's a happy coincidence. Just when Sacramento needed a gathering place, a town square to work on advocacy issues, StR was hitting its stride. And the whole thing blossomed. StR has become a place where everyday folks with everyday jobs decided they could be community leaders. It's where fans realized they could become activists. It's where awesome writers like Rob and Greg and Robby and Akis and I decided we could do more than pass on the news: we could help shape the news. We could drive the conversation. We could tell our story, Sacramento's story.
And so we did.
Long live Sactown Royalty, and long live the Sacramento Kings.