I think Boyz II Men were onto something when they said “It’s so hard, to say goodbye”…
You weren’t the longest tenured King by any stretch nor were you the best. In reality though, you gave us hope. You gave us reason to believe. Maybe we hyped it up too much, maybe it was our fault, but it’s all we had. You were all we had. That skinny kid out of Zainsville, Ohio…the guy we all went “who” to when Geoff Petrie took a chance on you.
Nobody really knew much about you…hell, we didn’t even care. We were a perennial power. We were thinking about 50 wins and a NBA Championship, not some unknown frail kid sitting on the end of our bench, carrying around a pink Disney backpack. A year passed…and you were shot into the spotlight due to a Bonzi Wells injury, and did you ever shine.
Despite your stellar play, your coming out party took place on your home court, on the biggest stage – the NBA playoffs. The remarkable, game winning, twisting contortionist layup over the finger stretching Tim Duncan entrenched your legacy in Sacramento basketball history. There isn’t a King fan alive that will ever forget that moment.
You’ve always held your head high – and represented the Kings like a true star should. Maybe we fans put too high of expectations on you…we clamored for a savior that just wasn’t a reality after Chris had begun to fade. But you did all that you could and more, so for that, I…we…thank you.
I for one am sad to see this day come. Maybe it was needed, like you said. But my heart bleeds purple to see you go.
Some people say you weren’t a leader. But I saw you lead. Some people say you didn’t play hurt. I saw you throw up 40 points with a broken wrist. Some people say they’re happy you’re gone. I say they’re wrong.
You’ve always been a class act Kevin and I’m proud to say you were a Sacramento King.
Thanks for the memories.