I don’t specifically root for guys like Ron Artest or Peja Stojakovic or DeMarcus Cousins. I wasn’t a fan of Reggie Theus as a player. Doug Christie had too many off the court things going on with his wife to be someone I would fight people over (but he was a good Raptors player in his day and I’ve seen him play live quite a bit). But overall, I wouldn’t consider myself a Sacramento Kings fan. After all, they were responsible for knocking out the mighty Utah Jazz from the playoffs — ending a valiant run by Stockton and Malone for nearly two decades.
All that said, I’m a huge fan of the Sacramento Kings fans. We have a kinship — two (mostly back then) family owned, small market teams. They weren’t big fish, they couldn’t out-spend other teams in Free Agency, and they weren’t big enough to get the respect they deserved, while teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors (yes, even after RUN-TMC), and Houston Rockets were always on TV in the late 80s, and all through the 90s.
The fans had to support a team that had a harder difficulty setting. There wasn’t enough money for a new stadium, and a few bad seasons in a row and there could always be a risk of losing the team.
And the fans DID support every team they were presented with. The Kings and Jazz don’t really have another other of the Big Four sports teams in their neck of the woods. And through the good times and bad times both the Arco Arena and the Delta Center were the loudest places to play in.
Why was it loud? It was loud because of the great fans they had. Both teams are now working on their 3rd and 4th generation of die-hard fans. And that’s awesome. There’s never going to be a bandwagon that brings people to root for our teams. So you know the fans that you DO see are for real.
And at the end of the day, we can make fun of Lakers, Warriors, and Clippers fans all day. But out of all the fan bases out there with similar situations it’s clear that the only real fans out there that rival the passions of the Jazz fans are Kings fans.
Also, this entire post was an excuse to publish an article with this video in it.
Kings fans get love from me all day because of the respect they gave to John Stockton. I’m glad you guys have your new arena, and I hope that some level of ownership / front office stability forms in your franchise. The fans deserve it!