One of the old clichés about Pablo Picasso is that he was, technically, an exceptional formal/realist painter. And it was that reality, the reality that he could have just as easily been a Sargent or Eakins had he so desired, that underscored the importance of the Blue Period and Demoiselles d’Avignon and Guernica. Because, in both the substance of style and the substance of substance, those works transcended the medium, were about more than just a painter and what he was trying to depict.
I bring this up because the thing I most want to say about Sactown Royalty, a blog dedicated to the Sacramento Kings, is that it was never really about the Sacramento Kings. That’s wrong of course. It was always about the Sacramento Kings, that’s why we were and are all here. There has never been assembled a sharper, more insightful group of writers and commenters dedicated exclusively to the travails of Kings’ basketball. And in the 15+ year run of Sactown Royalty it has been, almost exclusively, travails. Think about the era of basketball we were forced to witness, respond to, document, deconstruct, care about. One of the most dispiriting runs, save some obvious exceptions, in modern sports. And yet we witnessed and responded and documented and deconstructed and cared. Because we care. There are individuals writing here and reading this who can recite, from memory, the Sacramento-era statistics of Beno Udrih and Skal Labissiere. These are people with families, with careers, with other hobbies. Imagine going to your deathbed with that information retained. But that’s how dedicated they were and are. To this team. To this community. To you readers.
The truth, though, is Sactown Royalty never really was about the Kings. The Kings were our realism, this blog, appropriate given the years of Kings’ basketball it memorialized, our Guernica.
Sactown Royalty was about Sacramento. But not Sacramento as a place necessarily. At any given time less than half of Sactown Royalty’s contributors lived in Sacramento. Sactown Royalty was instead about Sacramento as an idea. We all, save Tony and Rich, were from Sacramento and her suburbs. We all understood what that meant. What it still means. We weaponized it with relocation. We resented it at times with Vlade and his sometimes provincial decisions and the local media’s equally at times provincial skirmishes. Sactown Royalty was about bumming cigarettes from Carmichael Dave at Palm Street, making up nicknames for Jerry Reynolds, Fuck the Maloofs night, Fippin on Outside the Lines, seeing Hobo Johnson perform DeMarcus Cousins and Ashley in front of a confused Los Angeles crowd and understanding exactly what he was conveying. It was about field trips to Coloma and Wednesdays before Thanksgiving at the 2-Me and regretful Runs to Feed the Hungry the next morning. It was about Sims and Pookey and Peaches. It was about the ways coming from, living in, and being a part of Sacramento could be singularly synthesized into one experience, fandom for this franchise. It was right there in the fucking name.
Which is a meandering way of saying Sactown Royalty was about us. About watching Greg Wissinger grow from a kid writing Kings’ related song parodies to a guy with 11,000 Twitter followers and front page articles in the Bee sports’ section. Sactown Royalty was about the solace we found annually in the comment section after another draft blunder. Sactown Royalty was about being there for the ups and downs of our personal and professional lives and loves and processing those through Slamson and Spencer Hawes. Ultimately Sactown Royalty was about how we defined ourselves as family, friends, fans, people.
Love in its most muscular and material manifestation is community, what the Greeks call agape. We are a community today, and that community is a testament to our love, and because of that love we remain a community even in our subsequent transience.
It was a joy and an honor to be part of this community. And it remains a joy and an honor to be part of this community because, wherever the gathering may take place, here now and now elsewhere, wherever two or three may gather, we are always with each other.
Love you all.