I stopped watching basketball several years ago. The more and more drama that surrounded the Kings and the Magoofs (SORRY, Maloofs) the more and more sick of it I got. You couldn’t enjoy the game anymore. They kept making bad decisions and the entire Sacramento basketball scene felt tainted. They were sucking the life out of something that brought a lot of joy to many. It was something that Sacramento used to feel proud of and now it felt like an embarrassment.
This past year, most of us wondered if the Kings would continue to stay in Sacramento. All signs pointed to GONE. I was so sick of Magoof basketball (sorry, I can’t stop myself) but I was completely disappointed that such an important part of our city was on the brink of leaving. It would be very hard for anyone to believe in the opportunity of another sports team coming to town if the Kings relocated. And, to be quite honest, I’m not sure the city would have bounced back very easily. This was a very big deal. And there were some pretty tense moments that much of the city felt.
Lucky for Sacramento, hope arrived in the form of Vivek Ranadive and a group of investors that seemed to believe that the Kings should stay put. More than that, they seem to believe in Sacramento. And I will tell you, that after reading an article in Sactown magazine, I’m more impressed and more inspired than I ever could expect. I had become so jaded by the Maloof organization, I never imagined that their replacements could actually believe in this amazing Sacramento community.
As everyone geared up for the beginning of the regular season and the excitement buzzed throughout the city, it almost felt like the old days. Facebook timelines were filled with excitement as Shaqramento became…well, it became a thing. New staff announced and hired, plans for a new arena became more tangible, and there was an optimistic feeling that the pride we feel for our little city would translate into a chance to make Sacramento the capital city we believe it to be.
We love where we live. We take pride in what we have. And, thankfully, Mayor Johnson and Vivek Ranadive have a similar vision to make Sacramento great, not just make a great basketball team. The decision to keep the Kings where they belong is a pivotal part of that decision. And I will tell you, that even this jaded Kings fan was ridiculously excited watching the season opener a few weeks ago.
It’s more than just basketball. It’s a community coming together to make this city great.
Now, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t REALLY glad the Kings won last night. It’s awesome to cheer on your community AND celebrate a win all at the same time. But no matter what, I’m so glad they’re still here.