I do not know much about the politics and economics involved in the relocating of a professional sports team. I am not familiar with the role of key players (off and on the court) or who does what and what goes where or anything about red tape or gray areas. I do however, after being with my wife for 18 years and watching partners around me flourish or fail, know a thing or two about relationships.
I know that in a relationship, no one likes complaining. There is a lot of complaining going on here in Sacramento, and there has been for a while. Be it fans, the Maloof’s, the Mayor, or the players… to an outsider looking in, this relationship surrounding our beloved Kings has been cloaked in “love/hate”. If all we have is complaining, which to me means the presentation of problems without solutions, there will never be progress. Like the equivalent of a wife saying to her husband “You stink!” and he responding “Well, you’re fat!” and leaving it at that, instead of suggesting we take more showers and workout together. It’s just not very productive.
Another issue that is pretty clear in this relationship is the constant “reinventing” going on. We went from “Where the Kings hold court” to “Bigger. Badder. Better.” and finally “Defend your Honor.” Add that to the game of musical chairs played with the coaching staff. Then consider the demographic shifting going on, the shift in which we went out and hired more black guys we thought were gonna bring the glory instead of players who would best fit, and you have a the perfect breeding ground for a “I don’t even know who you are” scenario. Something that is never good for a relationship.
Empty promises are a sure-fire way to end a relationship. Imagine if you will someone who had a house. This house is where they lived with their ex. Then they moved in their new piece and the new piece was like “hey, your ex used to live here and if you want us to stay together, I am going to need a new house.” The homeowner responds “Okay baby, no problem. We will get right on that.” Months go by, then years go by, then finally the plans for that new house go through and they are all excited, but then at the last minute the owner walks in and says “you know that house I was going to build you, well, I know what I said but it is not going to happen. But we can re-decorate this house and make it look different on the inside in some areas but it will still pretty much be the same place.” That is the kind of let down that you just cannot come back from without, well, having a new house built. And even if the relationship did continue, it would be with resentment and become a point for argument for years to come. “Oh yeah, you love me huh? That’s why you built me that dream house you promised right?”
When outside parties are too involved in a union, it is destined for failure. This is how a lot of separations are finalized. Sides are taken, names are called, people are put on blast in the public eye, and rumors fly. If this were a real relationship it would look like at one point the Maloof’s were in bed with the mayor, the Kings were rumored to be fooling around with Anaheim, then Virginia Beach, and now Seattle and lord knows who else, and the fans were left in the dark. Even if they were not fooling around with each other, once those ideas are planted in your mind they are hard as hell to erase. “Oh so that’s what you like Kings, you want a city with a beach and more humidity, I see how it is”…”No baby, I was just saying that the beach there looks nice, but you know you’re the one I love.” And in the middle you have a bunch of confused fans who do not know whether to be happy, upset, betrayed, or indifferent. Kinda of like the children who watch their parents go through a bitter divorce.
When you take a step back for a second and breathe it all in, it is a mess. A recipe for disaster that was bound to happen, but fret not. As with any relationship this should be a learning experience for the parties involved, and understand that though it may be bad for some of us now, there is hope.
When relationships end it may seem like the end of the world because someone (or something) you have become so used to having around all these years is finally gone. While there are good times you will always remember and cherish, it is probably for the better. The last thing you want is someone staying if they do not want to. It serves best to remember that you existed long before that relationship, and you will bounce back after it has ended, that is if it has even ended. So many times we think we know what we want and become intrigued or even infatuated with the idea of being somewhere else, but it just turns out we were being stupid and had a good thing right in front of us all along. Either way, life moves on.
The Kings organization is a good organization. If this is the end I wish them the best in all their endeavors. I hope they realize that even though we had our problems, moving will have it’s own set of new problems. Problems they have not experienced because this new relationship not only comes with a new arena and a new setting, but also unfamiliar baggage that you can not fully understand until you are knee-deep in it with no place else to go. And unless the Kings fix what is wrong with them, some of the problems they had here will just follow them as well. All in all, I hope it works out.
Sacramento is a wonderful city. It has a lot going for it and in all honesty, the idea of re-discovering who we are as a city in the absence of a professional sports team excites me. Do your homework, I think we have way more going for us than any sports team could contribute. Sure the Kings were a nice supplement, but that is all they were, a supplement to an already awesome culture that you either love or you move away from (or you stay and constantly bitch about because as much as you hate it, you know you could not do without it right now).
So try not to look at this as the end (if it is indeed the end). Look at it as the beginning. If they stay we have a better understanding of the kind of organization we are dealing with and know what we can come to expect from them. They are like that significant other that keeps saying we should see other people but after a rough weekend alone they realize this is where they want to be. And if they leave, well, then they leave. We start fresh and while it may hurt a while, we find comfort in this city’s finest resource, each other. That and the idea of Demarcus Cousins calling the coach every night curled up in the fetal position during a storm because he does not like the rain because “it makes him sad.” Sacramento was here before the Kings, and damn it we will be here when they are gone.