I want to like the Maloofs.
Weird thing to lead with, I get it. But seriously, throughout this entire mess, as much as I actively dislike them, I want to close my eyes, open them and have the Maloofs of 2002 back on the scene. The Maloofs that helped build a team and inspire my city to have fun, feel passionate and come together behind something that, at least for me, meant so much more than just a winning team. It was community, it was pride for our city, and it was seeing our river and our skyline featured on national television night after night. I won’t ever forget that time in Kings history, and dare I say that most Kings fans would agree. It was amazing. It was blood pumping, pride fueling, heartbreaking-buzzer-beating-shots, good times. And I truly, and very dearly, want to like the Maloofs as I did back then. A decade later we have been locked in a bitter and nasty fight to the death over a team that is important to both sides, just for very different reasons. The fight is nearly over, and it’s not looking as rosy as I think we all hoped.
I realize that owning a professional sports team is a business… it’s not just “for the love of the game.” But does it have to be so awful? We tried to stay on board, and in fact attendance is slightly up this season… but anyone who doesn’t live in Sacramento and isn’t a Kings fan is probably watching what looks like our crap-tastic turnout at each home game and saying, “Of course the Kings are leaving, they can’t even fill their old sad arena. Serves Sacramento right.”
But here’s the thing… our city is angry. The Maloofs are trying to, and based on recent reports might successfully, take away something that has helped build our regional identity, and we’re punishing them the only way we know how. It’s that simple.
Which brings me to my next point… #HereWeBuy.
You want to see the true heart and spirit of Sacramento Kings fans? Do yourself a favor and click-on-over to herewebuy.org. It’s a grassroots effort that was developed to help show the NBA and the rest of the country the real strength, dedication and downright financial viability of this market. The deal is that you pledge to buy season tickets if the Maloofs leave, and if a new arena is built. To date, over 4,500 individuals have pledged well over $18,000,0000 dollars in season tickets if we get to keep our team, and dump their current owners.
We’re all about it at 3fold… from the perspective of #HereWeBuy being a killer social media driven grassroots campaign, and also from the perspective that here at 3fold, we can’t help but support any and all efforts that will help Sacramento continue to grow. We live here, we work here and we play here. Do we think that Sacramento can still thrive without the Kings? Sure. But we’re unwilling to just lay down and let it happen to us. It’s the eleventh hour, and I think we’re all feeling a little defeated… but, we’re with you Sacramento… we’ve got one last push left, let’s do this: #HereWeBuy.
Header image from herewebuy.org.