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How are Kings fans tortured? Let me count the ways...

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I usually try to be pretty positive.  I think the Kings have a bright future, and it sucks dwelling on our tortured past.  But sometimes you've just got to ask for a little respect.

It's cliche at this point to criticize Bill Simmons, and a lot of the time I enjoy his work.  His newest column discusses tortured fan bases offers the following discussion of the Kings:

2. That 35-year rule doesn't apply to relocations.

We just entered our sixth straight decade without the Royals/Kings franchise making an NBA Finals. But the Kings moved to Sacramento in 1984, making them ineligible for Level 1 because anyone who cares about them could start caring only 26 years ago. (And it's too bad, because the 2002 Western Conference finals unquestionably greased the skids for Level 1 status.) In 2019? They become eligible. No, Dick Bavetta didn't make this ruling.

Ok, whatever, I could deal with that.  But then Simmons goes on to list the Portland Trailblazers in his tortured franchise list, explaining:

13. Portland Trail Blazers

Last Title: 1977.

Last Truly Devastating Defeat: 2000 Western finals, Game 7, when they blew a 17-point lead to the Shaqobe Lakers as Mike Dunleavy squinted in disbelief and Rasheed threw up bricks. Somehow, those two are still in my life on an everyday basis. Is there a reset button I can hit?

Rock Bottom: The height of the Jail Blazers era.

Additional Thoughts: Even though they shouldn't be eligible until 2012, I'm including them because of the many Drexler Era meltdowns, the 2000 collapse, the Bowie and Oden decisions, and the team's "only child" status in Portland. People in Portland are irrational about the Blazers much like a single soccer mom would be irrational about her only son. What do you mean he isn't starting today, Coach? He's the best player on the team! YOU JUST DON'T LIKE HIM -- THAT'S WHAT THIS IS ABOUT! They would not handle a Level 1 loss well.

This is where I must draw the line.

To be clear, I'm not going to try to figure out if the Kings are more tortured than the Blazers, or vice versa.

But here's how I interpret the list: in order to be eligible you need a 35-year drought (not counting relocations)...unless you're the Blazers.

I'm a Kings fan, so I'll admit my bias, but I fail to see a big difference between the Kings and the excuses Simmons offered for the Blazers.

Aside from the 2002 Western Conference Finals, consider the following parallels:

  1. Well, the Kings didn't have Drexler meltdowns, but that's because we never had anyone as good as Drexler.  We talked ourselves into Mitch Richmond as a franchise player, does that count?  (Apologies to Richmond fans, I was just never really sold on the guy.)
  2. Bowie and Oden are tough to compete with.  But we did draft Joe Kleine over Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, and Charles Oakley.  And Pervis Ellison over the likes of Shawn Kemp, Tim Hardaway, Glen Rice and Sean Elliot.  To add to all of this we also dealt with the Ricky Berry suicide, which wasn't really a big deal to the media at the time because it was the Kings and it was 1989.
  3. Our 2002 collapse should cover the Blazers 200 collapse.  Can we also throw in our shortfalls in 2001 and 2003? 
  4. Only child status?  It's Sacramento.  C'mon.  People don't really get very worked up about the River Cats.
  5. I would also throw into to our qualification as a tortured franchise things like Webber blowing out his knee (and his contract subsequently crippling the franchise for years), as well as last year's lottery.  Every Kings fan KNEW that something would go wrong and we'd end up with the 4th pick.  Tyreke Evans looks like it'll work out, but still.
  6. Oh, one last thing to mention, which Simmons even brought up: The Kings franchise has gone 6 decades without a title.  The Blazers got a title in '77.

I'm not saying Simmons should have put the Kings on the list.  I'm just saying that if the Blazers are on there, the Kings need to be too.  Otherwise, he should stick to the rules that he up.