In the marathon that is the Sacramento Kings’ relocation/arena saga, a finish line seems to finally be in sight. Earlier this week, the NBA’s relocation committee unanimously recommended that the team remain in Sacramento despite a record-setting sale agreement to a group of investors in Seattle.
Though the deal to keep the Kings in Sacramento is still being processed, some players are ready to breathe a sigh of relief as soon as it’s finally over.
“It’s good,” veteran power forward Jason Thompson said of this week’s news after playing in an exhibition game at Capital Christian High School yesterday evening. “Kinda had it before where they’re saying we did it, here we stay, (only to be followed by) another year of speculation. So, hopefully this is the last one where we have to (go through) that.”
Thompson has played five seasons in the NBA and has had to deal with instability and uncertainty his entire time in Sacramento. From Reggie Theus to Keith Smart, the veteran power forward has played for four different head coaches and has yet to play in a meaningful game during this time of year.
It is presumed that new ownership will clean house and bring stability, which is something the 26-year-old power forward has experienced little of in his career. Thompson is looking forward to the improved support that the team will likely have under new leadership.
“Knowing that the situation is going to be better…from top to bottom, guys are just trying to get back to what it was a few years back and back to the playoffs,” Thompson said. ”That’s the whole main objective. When we’re winning and things are on a positive note…good things happen. So that’s the next step.”
The will-they-or-won’t-they ordeal that’s plagued this franchise over the last three years has made the product on-the-court secondary. It’s also left Kings players powerless on the frontlines to the firing squad that is the media.
Thompson has received his fair share of questions about the Kings’ future, which has no doubt grown tiresome for someone that has no say on matters like non-refundable deposits or environmental impact studies. Like most observers watching this saga unfold, Thompson has been a spectator like everyone else.
“Everyone one thinks that we have control of the situation,” Thompson said. ”But we listen to SportsCenter, look at the bottom ticker, look on Twitter, social media (too).”
More than anything else however, Thompson is most happy for the fans. He’s pleased to see a fanbase that’s fought tooth and nail to keep its team on the verge of finally being rewarded for its efforts.
“For the most part, it has been tough times the past couple years,” Thompson said. ”It has been a distraction, especially for the loyalty of some of the fans that still come out (and) for everyone still trying to spend money and coming to the games, but not knowing if it might be the last time…So just shout out to all the loyal fans.”