There are moments in life in which you always remember where you were. In 1989, I was almost 11 years old, sitting at the dinner table, where I could see the TV in the other room when the San Francisco earthquake hit during the A’s dominant World Series victory.
I was on a school bus, travelling with my 7th grade basketball team to my rivals school when it was announced over the radio that Magic Johnson was retiring from the NBA because he had contracted HIV. We were all shocked and as middle schoolers, didn’t really grasp what that meant.
I was copying off my buddy Ryan in French class when OJ was acquitted of murder.
And on January 9, 2013, I was getting my daughter ready for the day when I saw the following tweet:
As you can tell from this blog, we love our Kings. We’ve been up and running less than a week and we have put up a handful of posts about the move. Including an incredible post by Phil that is a must read if you like Game of Thrones.
What started that day was a four month ride that included a lot of emotions both good and bad. Initially, it was all doom and gloom. Chris Hansen had secured a binding agreement with the Maloof family to purchase 65% of the Sacramento Kings. It looked all but over.
I’ve recapped previously how our mayor Kevin Johnson got a group together to put an offer on the team, so I won’t do it again, but it was nothing short of miraculous. A billionaire ownership group, an arena deal, and over 10,000 season ticket pledges all in under four months.
Today was another day to remember in our cities history. Just after 3pm Pacific Time, leaks started trickling out from the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting. I was refreshing my twitter feed approximately every .4 seconds for updates. And then it finally happened:
More news started coming out, and the vote was 22-8 in our favor. We still haven’t learned who voted against Sacramento, but I couldn’t possibly care less. There were very good reasons to vote to move the team to Seattle. The reasons to keep the team here were better.
A few weeks ago, once it looked like the vote was going to go our way, people in Seattle started saying wonderful things about my city and my team on twitter and ESPN and anywhere else they could about how we can keep our crappy team, and they’ll watch their MLB and NFL and MLS teams, and this is the greatest victory in Sacramento history. And none of that is insulting to me.
It’s no secret the team has been terrible the last half dozen years. Between terrible coaching, bad draft picks, abysmal contracts and trades, there has been very little that has gone right with this franchise. And I believe every bit of it can be traced back to ownership. Ownership that traded players to save half a million dollars, or refused to pay more than a bottom 5 coach. There were multiple seasons they needed to sign a player at the end of the season simply to hit the salary minimum.
Telling me that you have multiple teams is just backing up our argument for keeping our team. The Kings ARE Sacramento. If the Kings left, Sacramento would be just like every other minor league city in this country (we have the River Cats. The A’s Triple-A affiliate). I’m not sad that I have to drive 2 hours to see my beloved A’s or Raiders. I love that this is a one team town. It means something when the Kings are good. And they will be again. Very very soon.
And you’re damn right this is the greatest victory in Sacramento history. We were told we stood no chance. A tweet from Adrian later on 1/9 said it wasn’t a done deal, but it was “1st and goal on the 1 yard line.” Well it’s been 2 years of “too bad, Sacramento.” I have no problem saying this is the best day in team history. Our title was in 1951 when the team was in Rochester, NY.
There have been some great moments. I was in the building for game 3 against the Utah Jazz in 1999. We had a sign that said Thurl Bailey Sucks. We thought the game was on TBS. It was on TNT. Oops. The first game I ever went to was this one. Game 5 against the Lakers. None of them match up. Today was the greatest moment in Sacramento Kings history. I cannot wait for another lifetime of memories in the new building downtown when it opens in 2016.
I am a full-time dad. I had to get my news as I was taking care of my two daughters. When my wife got home, she took them and spent some time with them during dinner. I went into the bedroom to sit quietly and reflect on what had happened. It hadn’t quite sunk in even though it had been hours. I had sent a text to Phil earlier that said “We won.” His reply was simply “Fuck yeah.” And as I sat that there in the silence, I wept. Like a little girl. The emotion of four months came pouring out. My team was staying. My town was keeping its team. The good guys have won.