January 9th, 2013 is a day that will be forever seared into my memory. I was developing a new story board at work when my brother forwarded me the first of many Woj bombs to be dropped over the next few months. The Kings were moving to Seattle.
The cold feeling of helplessness swept through me like Chuck Hayes at a Chinese Buffet. I remember simply sitting and staring at my computer screen, unable to continue my project and unable to comprehend the news. Our team was leaving and there was nothing we could do about it. Thankfully, over the next several months Sacramento leadership, Sacramento media, and Sacramento fans fought tooth and nail to keep their hometown team.
The next five months proved to be an incredibly long and tiring battle for all parties involved. There were rallies and town hall meetings and marches and petitions. Fans from all over the world united for the cause. Many individuals on this site contributed in a multitude of ways. Thankfully, something finally went right for Kings fans. Vivek Ranidive entered the picture and on May 15th, 2013 the NBA owners voted 22-8 to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
For years we've faced broken teams, broken bank accounts, and broken toilets. We've watched sponsors leave, tarps fall on the court, and good players and picks traded away for cash. The Maloofs were certainly capable at destroying a franchise, but they could never destroy our fandom or our determination.
Now, Kings fans, we get our due reward. The beautiful Golden One Center opens in just a few short weeks. I hope that you are celebrating this momentous occasion with some sort of special plans.
As for my family and I, I'm excited to say that we'll be making the trip up from Phoenix to attend the arena opener! My wife, my (then) six month old son, and I will be driving up the coast for a couple of days to reach Sacramento as I don't really feel like taking on a fourteen hour drive with an infant. We'll be visiting my sister-in-law who is stationed in Monterey for a couple of days as well as visiting Muir Woods because the wifey has never seen a redwood. Eventually, we'll make our way over to Sacramento and the day before the game will be our Apple Hill adventure. I have a ton of fond memories from my childhood and it will lovely to actually see green plants and changing leaves instead of cacti.
Of course, the entire purpose of the trip is GAME DAY. My son will be attending the game and we have the most adorable Kings-related outfit imaginable; however I won't ruin the surprise here. My wife has her Cousins jersey ready to go and I just have to decide between my Doug Christie, Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, team USA Mike Bibby, Kings Mike Bibby, and two DeMarcus Cousins jerseys. I was lucky enough to purchase my tickets from Ticketmaster (although I did struggle to pick out the coffee cups) and we'll be in Section 205 (I refused to be in Section 214) Row N, Seats 11-12. Please feel free to come and say hello if you'll be at the game!
What are YOUR plans for opening night? Will you be at the game? If so, let us know where you'll be so we can say hello or avoid you. Will you be celebrating at a restaurant or bar? Will you be at home with friends and family? Are you throwing a party? Did you take the 28th off of work in case you have a "headache" from the opener? Share your plans in the comments!