Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Sacramento Kings, last Wednesday’s season finale at Sleep Train Arena was more celebratory than somber. Cowbell Kingdom’s James Ham witnessed all the action and set the stage in his recap of the evening.
When I left the floor at 11:30 pm; more than an hour and a half after the game had ended, there were still thousands of people in the stands. Thousands.
They were singing songs until the PA system was shut off. They were chanting “Here We Stay!”, “Sac-ra-mento!” and “Grant and Jerry!” for the team’s long time play-by-play and color analysis team of Grant Napear and Jerry Reynolds.
When players trickled out onto the floor, the fans went crazy for each and every one of them, even after the lights were dimmed in the stadium, like some kindergarten class room.
They were relentless and deafening, but respectful.
This wasn’t a funeral like it was two years ago when almost everyone person in the building thought the team was relocating to Anaheim.
There were a few tears in the crowd, but this was a celebration of fandom. This night was about Sacramento Kings fans sending one last message to everyone on the outside looking in.
And that message was loud and clear.
For those not in attendance, you could only imagine the atmosphere James described inside the building of last week’s finale. Fortunately, James was able to capture some of the scene, which can be watched below accompanied with the radio play-by-play wrap-up of the great Gary Gerould.
Audio of the Kings radio broadcast courtesy of CBS Sports 1140.