In a matter of days, the calendar will turn over and 2014 will be upon us.
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney have been recapping some of their favorite moments of the 2013 season in recent days, which included voting on the ‘Best Moment of 2013′. Golliver went for a more popular and traditional vote, selecting Ray Allen‘s three-point shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals that preserved the Heat’s season, allowing them to claim the second of their back-to-back titles.
Mahoney however didn’t follow suit, opting to praise Sacramento fans in his vote, claiming the 2013-14 Kings home opener as his top moment of the 2013 calendar year:
I have another pick that plays for a very different reason, though: The Kings’ season opener, which flowed as a torrent of joy and relief after mayor Kevin Johnson, majority owner Vivek Ranadive and so many others fought relentlessly to keep the team in Sacramento.
In truth, the franchise has been mismanaged for years, to a point where fans had every right to be disconnected or disappointed. Instead, they gathered in rallies and on message boards, through film treatments and radio appearances and blog missives. They signed petitions and made every concerted effort to let the team know what it meant to their city, that the identity of one is not complete without the other. A fan base poured its efforts and energy into fighting the process and motivations of relocation, and with the help of Johnson, a host of city officials and NBA commissioner David Stern, it succeeded. There they stayed, and months later on the opening night of a season that was very much in jeopardy, there they celebrated.
At times, it can be frustrating for Kings fans who are continually overlooked my many major media sources, but Mahoney gets a thumbs up from me for sticking his neck out there. It wasn’t the popular pick and there are certainly other moments very worthy of a selection, but there’s no reason for the Kings home opener not to be among the best moments of the 2013 calendar year.