It seems like only yesterday that the Sacramento Kings were on top of the world. Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III was a dominant power forward able to run the court and picking up 23/10/5 with style. Jason Williams was exciting the league while simultaneously frustrating pick-up game players everywhere by giving short white guys someone to emulate by bouncing passes off their elbows and out of bounds. Peja was able to move laterally, Scott Pollard was probably being idolized by a young Chris Anderson, Hedo Turkoglu was underrated, and Vlady Daddy was making the league safe for giant weird foreign floppers. Oh yeah and Bobby Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Keon Clark, and my man Doug Christie. Sub out Williams for a Mike Bibby with average footspeed (a career best) and you had one of the better teams to be denied a chance to play for a championship.
These are the memories that will have to keep Kings fans warm in the coming months of uncertainty. It hurts to watch a town lose its only team. It hurts the way it hurt to watch Winnipeg, Hartford, and Charlotte (momentarily) lose their franchises. There is real emotion there, real feeling that you wouldn’t expect out of a franchise so continuously uninspiring over the last 5 years. But it is there, because we love this game with a depth most fans don’t even realize is in them. It feels so incongruent to move them because they weren’t making enough profit, a stark reminder that all this love is for a business as well as a team.