The 2016-17 NBA season officially begins tonight and once again, Kings fans are bracing themselves for another potentially rough season. This is a fanbase that has known pain far more often than joy, especially in recent times, but we keep coming back.
Kings fans are intrinsically hopeful, and it’s one of the reasons why we even have a season to root for at all. Not all that long ago, it seemed almost certain that the team itself would be uprooted from the city, yet Kings fans never gave up. We held on to our team harder than ever. We showed up in the thousands to rallies, filled up the arena for meaningless games in March and April and in the end our hope was rewarded. The team stayed, a new building was on the way, and now just three years later, those same fans get to fill up the brand new Golden 1 Center to cheer on their team once more.
And when the team is struggling, the fans are there for each other. My favorite part about being a Kings fan these last 10 years has been being a part of this community, commiserating with you all during losses, going crazy during small but fun moments like Tyreke Evans draining a half court game winner, and speculating about the future. I love checking in on post-game threads after wins and seeing the torrent of GIFs and comments with fifteen exclamation points. Many websites nowadays ignore or shun the comment sections altogether, but here I feel like the comment section of Sactown Royalty is half the point. It’s our online water cooler, where despite the variety of opinions and the passion with which those opinions are shared, we keep gathering at, day after day.
There’s quite a bit of trepidation regarding the upcoming season. The Kings didn’t make any colossal moves, and they’re coming off a year where they just won 33 games. The playoffs look as far away as ever, and yet, I’m not too worried. The Kings might be bad, or they could be better than we expect. Maybe this is the year that everything clicks and we start seeing some progress or maybe this is the year they finally call it quits on the whole thing and decide to start all the way over. Whatever the case, we’ll all still be here, the Kings will still be here, and for that, I’m grateful.
Let’s have a great season everyone. Go Kings!