Sacramento Kings fans have absolutely been put through the ringer over the last few years. The constant fear of relocation and the incessant losing has made it hard for many of them to feel an attachment to this team that they’ve had in the past.
And that is how a lot of fans identify with the current incarnation of Sacramento’s major pro team. It’s always about the players. I’ve never seen a Joe Maloof jersey on anyone walking the streets of Sacramento. And while Vivek Ranadivé may walk on water during a halftime routine, I would be shocked to see a “V” jersey in the corridors of Sleep Train Arena.
Fans choose a favorite player or two. They buy a jersey and maybe even one for their kids. They go to autograph signings or a summer basketball camp to support both the team and specific individuals.
Unfortunately, the Kings lack star power when it comes to jersey sales. There are plenty of folks who now need to replace their Tyreke Evans no. 13 jersey and some who might be able to dust off the old Carl Landry no. 24.
Fans have a few options. DeMarcus Cousins should be the most popular choice. But he is like a big bear – the kind that bites, not a stuffed animal. Isaiah Thomas has some appeal because he is a great story, but he may not be a starter this year. Jimmer Fredette has a following that transcends the sport and Ben McLemore is the new belle of the ball, but no one stands out as someone fans will follow to the ends of the Earth.
With the Kings staying in Sacramento for the long haul, it is finally okay for fans to invest emotionally in this team. It is time jump back on the bandwagon and choose a player to get behind.
It’s early. The roster may change before the start of the 2013-14 season, but if it started today, who would you tab as your favorite King?