For one city, the last three months have been a celebration. For another, they’ve been somber.
The wound is still fresh for those in Seattle. The NBA nearly made its return to the Emerald City after a deal was reached by the Maloofs, the Sacramento Kings’ ex-owners, and Chris Hansen, a bay area hedge fund manager with Seattle roots, at the beginning of this year. But a valiant effort by the incumbent kept that dream from becoming a reality.
Throughout the third act of the Kings relocation saga, Isaiah Thomas was like a child stuck between two parents going through a divorce. The Kings point guard has become a fan favorite in Sacramento, but Seattle is home.
Thomas has been back in his hometown of Tacoma and the Seattle area since the NBA blocked the Kings’ near move to the Pacific Northwest in May. When he’s returned, how have fans received the former University of Washington star knowing that he plays for the team that could’ve been theirs?
“A lot of people say we were so close to getting you guys,” Thomas told Cowbell Kingdom at his youth basketball camp in Rocklin last week. “But a few people also say I’m glad you guys stayed in Sacramento just because we didn’t want to take a team away from you guys. Because the people up in the Seattle/Tacoma area already had that feeling of a team being taken away from them before.”
In the video below, Thomas shares more of his thoughts on the Pacific Northwest as well as Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who’s been a mentor to the Kings point guard since he arrived in the capital city two years ago.
Additional production credit: Tobin Halsey