Lifestyle of Being A Sacramento Kings Fan


If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, what’s the word for repeating the same mistakes over and over again, expecting to win NBA basketball games?

Also, is there a word for cheering for the same lame team over and over again, expecting some emotional reward?

Maybe I should take that last statement back—for three quarters of Monday night’s game in Charlotte, I, and thousands of Kings fans, were rewarded. Sacramento’s offense was fluid, its defense was somewhat effective (save the usual amount of unnecessary switching), and its three best players, Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins, were operating in cohesion amid constant offensive motion.

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Then the fourth quarter started, when Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker penetrated the Kings’ defense at will; when the ball movement stopped and the dribbling started; when turnovers — you cannot, in good faith, write an accurate article about the Kings without using the word “turnovers” — killed Sacramento’s momentum and kick-started its opponent’s. Again. Refer back to the first sentence.

Fans naturally place responsibility, in wins and in losses, on their team. It’s a commonplace practice for fans of the losing team to feel like their team lost the game, as opposed to believing the other team won it. I mean, the Hornets did, after all. Question the Kings’ execution all you want—Lin and Walker and everyone else still had to make the open shots they were given. And, you know, they did.

The point is this: Hornets fans probably feel their team staged a noble comeback, while Kings fans feel their team completely abandoned a game plan that had been working so well. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Not that that matters. What matters is what you think as a Kings fan and, if you’re reading this, you probably are one. And, if you watched last night’s game, you can’t help but believe the Kings absolutely, unequivocally, repeatedly blew it. Hard.

You are right.

This wasn’t an isolated incident. Just last season, Sacramento lost five games in contests where it had led by at least 15 points, and three games (tied for the league lead) in which a 20+ point lead was gained, then lost, then gone for good, per NBA Miner.

It’s why, when Sacramento’s lead ballooned to 20, each and every self-aware Kings fan said something to the effect of: “this game isn’t over.” It’s why, when that advantage was reduced to 10, those same fans said something to the effect of: “yep.” It’s why, when Rondo and Rudy executed a last-ditch inbounds play to absolute perfection, a brief ray of optimism was promptly overshadowed by the realization the Kings would have to play five more minutes of basketball. And it’s precisely why, when the game officially ended, the inevitable loss was totally, if unsurprisingly, maddening.

I don’t know about you, but nothing drives me into an extended period of deep, introspective examination of my life’s choices quite like a good ol’ Kings collapse. These reflections are ultimately brief in duration, and relatively consistent in progression.

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Why did I insist on cheering for this team? How can I still bring myself to watch them? How do I still enjoy basketball? It’s too late to go back, right? Maybe, tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up a justified Warriors fan. Wait, I was born in San Jose. My parents moved me here. This is really their fault. Yeah. Damn parents.

In sensitive, dark times such as these, I prescribe to you the same four YouTube videos of which I, alone, probably account for 60 percent of each’s viewership. It’s the only medicine I know. Take visually, in order (this, then this, then this, and finally this), as much as needed.

At some point, much of the aforementioned cynicism subsides—replaced by the reassurance that, eventually, things will get better, and the Sacramento Kings will, if nothing else, luck its way into the No. 8 seed, get swept in the first round, and pledge significant improvement in the coming season.

Next: Kings Fall To Hornets In Overtime

You know, so long as the ocean’s tides don’t consume us before then.