Dear Kings, please stay


Illustration by Daniel Romandia

Josh Baumbach and Josh Baumbach

I want the Kings to stay in Sacramento. This may be an unpopular statement for some people who had written them off as soon as they weren’t making the playoffs anymore. Yet these same “fans” were there right alongside me cheering the Kings on during the playoff years of the early 2000s.

I could make the financial argument as to why they should stay. The team obviously creates jobs and boosts the economy. But I would be lying to you if that is my reason, because mine is far more selfish.

I want to keep the memories of my team in Sacramento. The memory of Mitch Richmond taking on Michael Jordan. The memory of Olden Polynice coming back to, then, ARCO Arena, only to flip-off the crowd. The memory of the chants of “MVP! MVP!” for Chris Webber. The memory of Phil Jackson needing earplugs when he came to Sacramento. The memory of Mike Bibby’s game winner during Game 5.  The memory of Doug Christie punching Rick Fox in the jaw. The memory of Tyreke Evans’ miracle half-court game winner against Memphis. Most recently, the memory of James Johnson’s buzzer beater against New York. If the Kings leave Sacramento, these memories would be a part of a team that doesn’t exist anymore.

I want to be able to take my future children to a Kings game. I want their eyes to widen, just as mine did, the first time I walked into the arena and saw the giant Kings logo on the court that I had only seen before on TV. I want them to feel the happiness and frustration that goes along with being a fan of a home team, because no matter what, they are still our team and we’ll be able to bond over them. But most importantly, I want to stop worrying about whether or not the team that inspired me to play basketball for four hours a day as a kid will leave me and my memories forever. I want the Kings to stay in Sacramento.