The End (Of 2012-13) For The Kings

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – They met back in the same place Wednesday night, almost two years later to the day, to share emotions; to sing and just to hang around. Especially to hang around.

Kings fans got another season finale that could become the finale and turned it into a pep rally and party. They stayed after the game, and then kept staying.

Twenty minutes.

Thousands of people remained in Sleep Train Arena long after the 112-108 loss to the Clippers before a capacity crowd of 17,317, first on both levels and then congregating entirely around the lower bowl and mostly ringing the court. With the win, Los Angeles got home-court advantage over the Grizzlies in the first-round series that starts Saturday. With the night, the people of Sacramento got its own reward.

Thirty minutes.

Staffers held a rope around the court, presumably because these are days of increased security. Fans, allowed on the floor in the same situation in 2011, had stricter limits this time. It didn’t matter. They were in good spirits, chanting “Sac-ra-men-to!” and “Thank you, KJ” in appreciation of mayor Kevin Johnson, and other rally cries. The security personnel handled it all very well.

Forty minutes.

There were songs too. Phillip Phillips with “Home” was impossible to miss. So was Red Sox anthem “Sweet Caroline,” an unusual selection in the building but a particularly classy choice: it was a tribute to Boston. And signs, of course. Signs are always part of the Sleep Train experience. The best read:

IT’S NOT

OVER

(AGAIN)

Fifty minutes.

Maybe it is over. Maybe it’s not. A group has reached agreement to buy majority interest in the Kings and move the team to Seattle next season. The Board of Directors, originally scheduled to vote on the sale in the next couple days as part of the regularly scheduled meeting, pushed the decision back at least a couple weeks. Fans left Wednesday night confident, but not actually knowing, whether this was the final game ever in the California capital.

Sixty minutes.

The couple thousand fans that remained were asked to leave shortly after 11 p.m. They had stayed just like April 13, 2011, when the Lakers beat the Kings in overtime with the team on the ledge for the first time amid the possibility of relocation to Anaheim, Calif. That time felt like a wake, people finding cheer in a gloomy time. This wasn’t that. This was more like a pep rally. What a faithful group believed was the sendoff to a season and nothing more.

12 Comments

  1. Gary Payton says:

    With stadium standards at the NBA level it should be less than 50% of public money in this economy and in the future! Key arena was completely rebuilt in 1995 and deemed obsolete 10 years later while the public money was not paid off? What is up with that?

  2. Ian says:

    Did he say Patrick Beverly? That’s Patrick Patterson dude.

  3. chad says:

    SO MUCH PUBLIC MONEY SHOULD NOT BE USED ON AN ARENA.

    • MBS says:

      An arena actually creates a number of huge positives and brings in private investment to revitalize downtown. It is projects like this that create and build healthy local economies and Sacramento, hit harder than most cities, desperately needs investments to get the economy moving.

      Further, the public investment is in part based on increased parking revenues that the events would bring in. The general fund is protected and this project doesn’t jeopardize any other city efforts or funding.

      Public subsidy doesn’t mean new taxes or anything of the sort. This is a really good deal for Sacramento.

    • Gary Payton says:

      Owners or investor’s need to put in more then 60% of the money thus making a viable and financially self supporting facility. They need it to pay for its self before it is deemed obsolete, municipalities can no longer afford to foot the bill! The economic situation for government paying has changed and is not good use of public money. This is a product of the times and for future sports in general! Accountability is what average Joe (sorry Joe) wants and deserves as a taxpayers, not every taxpayer is a fan of sports!

  4. hakeem says:

    they s u c k

  5. Priorities says:

    I am a Sacrameton.

    I don’t mind the Kings.

    I don’t want the Maloofs.

    But above all … I don’t want another arena.

    • Priorities that make sense says:

      I am a Sacrameton.

      I Freaking love the Kings.

      I don’t want the Maloofs.

      But above all … I understand a downtown arena should be the largest priority a Sacramenton has.

    • Minorities says:

      Well that makes one of you.

      17,317 fans showed up last night showing that they don’t want their team to leave. The atmosphere was absolutely amazing. There are only a few things in Sacramento that brings together the community like the Kings do.

      HERE WE STAY!

      • Troy says:

        The only reason they wanna show up to games now is becuase they know were taking the team and when we do ill be laughing