Fans of the Kings and any NBA fans with neophobia gathered last night to say their final goodbyes to the Sacramento Kings, who are rumored to be moving to Anaheim for next season, if there is a next season.
The Kings wound up losing to the defending champion LA Lakers, but not before overcoming a 20-point deficit and forcing OT (well, Kobe forced OT, but the fact the game was extended was nonetheless fitting for a fanbase that didn’t wind up leaving the arena until well after the final buzzer sounded).
I tuned in for the drama and found myself getting a little choked up over the fact yet another dedicated fanbase was likely seeing the last of its beloved NBA team. I always knew this to be the case, but I fully realized while watching it play out that if one of my teams (Detroit) were ever relocated out of the state, I’d 100-percent bawl like a baby missing its pacifier. I never watched the Shock dominate the WNBA — I watched the clinching game of their first championship, actually — and I was still legitimately and kind of inexplicably sad when they were moved to Tulsa. I can’t imagine what it’s like for Kings fans. To wit: I’ll defer you to someone who can articulate it much better than I can, a great read from one of the best Kings writers I ever did read, Tom Ziller.
And, for relevance, here are Grant Napear and Jerry Reynolds, longtime Kings announcers (23 seasons and 25 seasons, respectively) saying their teary goodbyes as the crowd chants “GRANT AND JERRY!” in the background:
Folks, this is “Love Song”: