The Sacramento Kings are staying put, and on May 23, their fans got together with a whole bunch of the franchise's royalty to celebrate.
The rally actually kicked off well before the crowd gathered at Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Sacramento. In a fashion befitting the Kings' forward-looking new ownership, the social media hype reached a fever pitch well before everyone met up in the real world.
Hey, any excuse to watch Chris Webber snarl and dunk, right?
C-Webb also showed up in the flesh. He didn't come alone, though, as former Sacramento luminaries like Mitch Richmond and Scot Pollard (yes, that Scot Pollard) joined the party, too.
The rally was an excellent reminder of the kind of fans the Kings actually have. Nobody can blame them for failing to support a team whose ownership was totally clueless. The Maloofs ran the franchise into the ground with terrible coaching hires and even worse talent evaluation.
But now that there's reason to believe things might be turning around, people showed up in droves.
This Kings rally in the heart of downtown Sacramento is beyond AMAZING !!! twitter.com/ggerould/statu…— Gary Gerould (@ggerould) May 24, 2013
Suddenly, one of the league's most devoted fanbases was back.
No surprise that half the city is packed in for Kings rally. Give these fans something to shout about and they will, a staple since Day 1— Joe Davidson (@SacBee_JoeD) May 24, 2013
Of course, since these are the Kings we're talking about, there had to be a few party poopers. One even took the opportunity to fire away at the woeful attendance levels that marked the past few seasons in the aptly named Sleep Train Arena.
Kings say 15,000 at rally.That's about 1,500 more than average crowd at a game this year. Of course, this was free— Dale Kasler (@dakasler) May 24, 2013
Jokes aside, there was real reason to be concerned about one of the attendees. Former Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn, famous for laughable draft picks and unforgivably bad contracts was spotted and photographed in secret.
Photographic proof of Kahn at Kings rally. twitter.com/Aykis16/status…— Akis Yerocostas (@Aykis16) May 24, 2013
Be afraid, Kings fans. Be very afraid.
There'll be plenty of time to worry later, though. It was cool to see so many happy fans assembled at the dawn of a new age for the beleaguered franchise.
In fact, all of the excitement may have triggered an actual tremor, according to the city of Sacramento.
As soon as that new downtown arena goes up, the shaking will likely be coming from a sellout crowd, which is a lot safer than the kind that results from tectonic shifts.
Party on, Sacramento!