Chris Webber. Vlade Divac. Mitch Richmond. Oscar Robertson. Tiny Archibald.
These are just some of the players who have their jerseys majestically hanging over the top of Sleep Train Arena. Three of these players have been inducted into the hall of fame, and it is not out of the question that the other two will eventually get there. All of these players had their jerseys retired years after they had left the Kings organization. Travis Outlaw is going to change that tradition. The Kings brass has been so impressed by Travis Outlaw's performance during his tenure as a King, that they have decided to reward him with a rare mid-career jersey retirement.
"He's deserved it. With his fearlessness to take any shot that's handed to him, as well as his fearlessness to take any shot that isn't handed to him, Travis displays a certain level of confidence, and quite frankly, a large level of swag, that cannot be ignored.", said coach Michael Malone about his star player.
Travis Outlaw, or "Swaggissippi", as his teammates have come to call him, is in his third season as a Sacramento King, and his presence has been felt through and through. When the team acquired him, they had come off of a 24-win season. Since Outlaw has arrived, the team has been a perennial 25-27 win team. It is quite obvious that this improvement could not be ignored. While stars come and go, there is only one Travis Outlaw.
The Kings have spared no expense for the retirement ceremony, which will take place during half time of the season finale vs Phoenix. Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, and Jerry West are just a few of the names that have politely declined the invitation to the historic ceremony. In their place, however, is a who's who of the biggest names in entertainment. The Raptor from Walking with Dinosaurs will be there. Superstar big man Hassan Whiteside will be there. The creepy guy who says "I'm a Pizza Guy" way too long in that commercial will also be there. Bill Walton will be the MC of the historic occasion, which will feature a performance by Outlaw's teammate, and budding R&B superstar Demarcus Cousins, aka "Boogie Smooth".
Outlaw seemed legitimately moved by the Kings' decision to honor him.
"It feels great to gain such a huge honor. To see my jersey up there with all of the greats will be a surreal experience, and I want to thank Vivek for making this honor happen. I still can't believe it."
There are rumors that Outlaw is the frontrunner to replace David Letterman in 2015, so a farewell tour may be in order for next season. So enjoy Outlaw while you still can, Kings fans.
Tickets are on sale now. Order now and receive a special ticket package that allows you to play some minutes at backup PG. Contact the Sleep Train Arena Box Office for more info.