What a difference a year makes

USA TODAY Sports

On paper, this season wasn't anything special, but to Kings fans it was incredible.

Tomorrow night will mark the end of the 2013-14 season, a season some will say wasn't anything special, one in which the Kings remained among the bottom-feeders of the NBA with no clear way out.

But to Kings fans, this season was incredible, because this season wasn't supposed to happen.  Last year at this time, we were facing our third straight season finale in which we didn't know if there'd even be a next year.  Last year the threat was so great that our fate was called a "coin toss" by some in the national media.

But we won. Our team stayed.  We got new owners, new management, new coaches, and almost entirely a new roster.  Attendance jumped from an average of 13,749 (30th in the league and 79.4% of capacity) to 16,265 (22nd in the league and 93.9% of capacity).  Sacramento was able to fully embrace the Kings again because for the first time in a long time, the Kings embraced Sacramento.

I can't tell you how good it felt this year to spend most of my time writing about what this team did on the court rather than what they might do off of it.  To write of DeMarcus's improvement, knowing that it's something I'll be able to keep an eye on for years to come.  To worry about whether or not Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay will stay as Kings, rather than worry about whether the team will stay.  To scream furiously at another failed defensive assignment rather than at our owners.  To wonder how the ping pong balls will drop, rather than the NBA's Relocation committee.

Yes, our team still isn't very good.  But right now, at this moment, I don't care all that much.  I'm still at the point where I'm glad that they're still our team, and as Vivek would say, "they're here to stay".

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