The state of the Sacramento Kings through the eyes of the fan

A shot of Sleep Train Arena vs.the San Antonio Spurs (Photo: Steven Chea)

The following comment was posted by reader betweentheeyes in response to James Ham’s latest Sunday Musings column.  This was a well-thought take on the state of the Sacramento Kings from the perspective of a long-time fan.  With the exception of a few minor grammatical edits, this comment reads as it was published.

Let’s re-state the obvious: Change starts at the top, and this has never been more evident than this year where the masks are off.  The Maloofs days of playing poker have gone from bluffing to brazenly showing their hand, and it is four jokers and a wild card, and still no ante. This is nothing more than a poorly supported investment at this point. I don’t understand what ownership hopes to accomplish: Their fame has risen but only as financially deficient status grabbers. In their world, maybe they have surrounded themselves with enough social camouflage to maintain swagger but in every other realm of assessment, they have failed and failed to epic proportions.

I sound like a frustrated and disappointed fan, and I am, having supported this team since their arrival in 1985. This is the first year I just cannot bring myself to use my hard earned cash to attend even one game, though I am well aware this may be their last season (once again). I have stayed off of the web because if I am not writing about this disappointment than I have little to say and who wants to hear that?

The early days of the Kings had the team living in the cellar, but the difference was that the ineptitude was accepted because they were Sacramento’s team. The stands were filled, with one sold out season after another. This is no longer Sacramento’s team. This is a team looking for a way out of town by owners who have misrepresented their  intentions time and again. Ownership has behaved like the petulant entitled trust funders they are, giving little and demanding too much with the audacity to think we fans should like it. We can berate them, but they are last laughing and have no qualms about their own behavior. These are shameful people acting shamelessly.

A player trade of even the greatest magnitude won’t cure the losing. It won’t fill the stands, it won’t return the pride. Not on the Maloof’s budget, which continues to be among the lowest 10 percent of all teams for the last five years. This is the Donald Sterling Clippers of the nineties and Geoff Petrie is Elgin Baylor with nicer hair and better sweaters. But neither The Maloofs or Sacramento has the respective wealth of Sterling nor Los Angeles. The Kings are labelled the worst owned (NBA) franchise in U.S. Sports by ESPN. (David Stern where are you?).

What is the road to recovery? Sell the team, keep them in Sacramento, spend a lot of money, stay patient and cross your fingers. You can then hope to un-poison the well. The good people of the Greater Sacramento area will rebuild their loyalty and the embers of passion will re-ignite, but don’t expect it to happen in one season or two, should it happen at all.

Until ownership improves, this team will only find new ways to disappoint as MS&E’s twisting knife painfully kills this team and the fan base that has supported it for over 25 years.


Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

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