Being a sports fan means being loyal, and that loyalty comes with a cost. You sacrifice your mental well-being, your emotions, your time, your money and your sleep—all for the sake of supporting the team you love.
All sports teams go through highs and lows, like a roller coaster barreling along a track at the amusement park. Now imagine after years upon years of the emotional roller coaster that fluctuates between glory and failure, your proverbial theme park ride comes to a screeching halt. You’re told to get up, and get off the ride. The theme park and the ride within it are off to a new place where more money is to be made.
It has been said that money has no owners, only spenders, but the same cannot be said for emotions and memories. They are a sort of abstract capital that once expressed or idealized; they cannot be replicated or as easily lost.
They can only be smothered or covered up, but beneath the surface of troubled recollections and oft remembered feelings, we always get a nostalgic shiver from the glory days long past.
This exactly how some Seattle Supersonics fans remember the days where the Sonics were a storied franchise, but now, they are but a mere memory, a frame within a reel that has been snipped off and left on the cutting floor. Sure, we can pretend it never happened, but for a lot of Sonics fans, they will never forget the memories they had while they were still in Seattle.
Franchises like the Sonics are paradoxically remembered but at the same time forgotten. Now with a new name and new city, Oklahoma City Thunder fans are enjoying a roller coaster ride that many in Seattle likely feel they should be riding. Could a similar scenario befall basketball fanatics residing in Sacramento? It certainly could, but it shouldn’t—not after all they’ve been through.
The Kings greatest achievements occurred before most of today’s Kings’ fans even existed. The last time the Kings won an NBA championship was 1951, back when they were still called the Rochester Royals. Fast forward through a 61-year stretch featuring the respective eras of Oscar Robertson, Chris Webber, Ron Artest and the present-day Kings, Sacramento has yet to win another title under its “Kings” moniker.
Currently, the Kings are a long way off from even coming close to contending for an NBA title. With DeMarcus Cousins currently the de facto franchise player, Kings’ fans have hope in their hearts that he can lead their team toward a brighter future. He has the talent to do so, but it won’t happen overnight.
As with all great things, it takes time for them to be accomplished. Considering their years of past disappointment and the present-day woes of a team in the process of rebuilding, is the Kings’ ownership prepared to re-brand their product and simply concede that they failed to bring a title to Sactown?
After rumors of a move to Virginia Beach, Virginia intensified numerous months ago, it appeared that the Kings were imminently moving. The Maloof family (majority owners of the Kings) did go on to dispel the rumors, but the news further fractured an already shaky owner-fan base relationship. Why should Kings fans trust an ownership group willing to skip town just to build a new brand in a fancy arena paid by taxpayers?
Easy answer: they shouldn’t.
There are still diehard fans in Sacramento, but because of their lack of on-court success, and an ownership group that values profit over winning, it is possible that the Kings’ days in Sacramento are numbered. The most recent NBA team to make a move besides the Supersonics were the New Jersey Nets—whose inaugural season as the Brooklyn Nets came with great fanfare and hope. Could a similar plan be under the Maloof family’s sleeves?
If the Kings do move, it will mean that a new fanbase could be spoiled with new found success whereas those who endured all of the toil and frustration will be left to dwell pondering what could’ve been.
There’s a good chance Kings’ fans will experience the hardship of losing their beloved team, but they certainly don’t deserve it.