On March 1, the Sacramento Kings were given an extension for their decision regarding a potential move to Anaheim to play in the Honda Center next year. Their deadline has been pushed to April 18, a little over a month from now.
With many people in Sac concerned about the future of their team, some appear to be uncertain. A source within the organization said morale has been low and many at the arena have been tense. Many of them feel as if the Kings are already gone.
With the Maloofs being unusually quiet about the future of the Kings, all signs point to the Maloofs and Kings making a move down south for the start of next season.
This all comes despite the new arena proposal that Mayor Kevin Johnson has been working on lately in a last-minute effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
With that proposal likely to fail, as any rational person would assume, the only things Kings fans can hold onto is hope and their memories of what once was.
From the early 2000s, the Kings were playing a brand of basketball that hadn't been seen in the NBA for quite a while. Perhaps ever.
Sure, the Princeton offense had been around for quite a while, and the architect of the offense was and still is a special assistant to the Kings, Pete Carril.
It is arguable that there have been few others to run the offense as well as the Kings did for the first half of the past decade.
While the news of the Kings' potential move has saddened me and others affiliated with the organization in Sacramento, I know there is one thing the Maloofs cannot take.
As corny and cliche as this sounds, the one thing I can hold is the memories of it all.
Now, I was still pretty young and couldn't tell you exactly what was happening at the first playoff game I went to, but I can tell you Sacramento was excited and enthralled with it all.
First it was the Jazz, a battle of Old vs. New, with the Jazz being the Kings' foe in the first round of those playoffs and a team they would compete against the first few seasons. Then, as if it was inevitably, the Kings archenemies became the Lakers.
North vs. South, LA vs. Sac, Small Town vs. Big City. Well, Sacramento isn't a small town, but I'll play into the 'Cowtown' mantra we were adorned.
The Dallas Mavericks put up a great fight each year the Sacramento faced them in the playoffs too. The Kings were a team that had some rivals.
Now, those rivalries are non-existent. The only constant is Kings fans still generally hate the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. I can respect the guy and how good he is, but I can never say that I like him.
At any rate, Kings fans, on a yearly basis, looked forward to making the playoffs and maybe making that next step in what looked like a limitless rise to league supremacy. But, as all good things do, it came to an end. Even if it was prematurely.
Now a Kings fan's favorite time of the year is most likely June, when the NBA Draft occurs. And I would say the lottery announcement would be included, but considering they've been stiffed the past two years, I'm not sure I can agree.
The Kings, soon to be Royals it appears, will all be a thing of the past. But it almost seems fitting. The Kings are a team that appear to be going almost nowhere right now, aside from the potential of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins to develop hopefully into star players.
Evans, aside from his injury problems, also dominates the ball and only averages 5.5 assists, as 5.5 times during the game, someone manages to bail him out when he leaves his feet and can't score. The fact he has no perimeter game isn't doing him any favors, either.
Cousins has an incredible set of skills and is very big and physical. The issue of attitude problems always comes up and conditioning, but really his biggest issue is consistency in my eyes. Although I would say he has made incredibly large strides in the right direction lately.
But, to put a bow on this gem of a commentary, the Kings are all but gone at this point in my eyes.
They've worn Royals throwback jerseys lately more than I care to remember (even though they are pretty awesome and much better looking than their current jerseys).
Couple that with everything else that has transpired in the past few months and the Maloofs' attitude, it appears this is a done deal.
Sacramento will hopefully never forget the quarter-century plus of basketball played in a city that probably never deserved a team in the first place.
Say goodbye to the last professional sports team that will play in Sacramento in my lifetime.
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