December 23, 2006

As Fans, We Rise And Fall, to the Extreme

Cross-posted at Sactown Royalty...

Tonight's win aside, are the Kings setting the world ablaze with their superior basketball skills, shooting ability and friendly team camaraderie? Are they reminding us just why we chose to support them above all other NBA teams, and why we devote hours of our attention each week to cheer on their success and lament their failures?

Probably not. The Kings' recent struggles in all senses, from their overall weak shooting percentage to three-quarter ballgames (See Thursday), last-minute injuries and inability to shut down run and gun offenses have contributed to a frustrating losing skid, and, were the season to end today, the team's missing out on the playoffs.

As losses mount, and the climb to .500 seems increasingly improbable, the team's weaknesses seem insurmountable, the players, incapable of brilliance, the coaching, daft. Those of us expected to be the Kings' greatest fans grow restless, calling for the jettison of Ron Artest, the trade of Mike Bibby, the disappearance of Kenny Thomas.

As fans, we crave change. We just want something to happen that shows the team management is listening and cares as deeply as we do. Some say "blow 'it' up". TZ says simply, "we're sick of watching a pathetic team".

And guess what? This is all normal. As the most diehard of fans, you could say we start out on the ledge, and it doesn't take much to make us want to jump. But that's why we still play fantasy sports and aren't full time managers. The coaches, GM and owners have to choose data over emotion, to look at a bad streak as just what it is - and not jeopardize the season or the future for a quick fix.

News Flash: The Kings are not going to go 82-0 this season. In fact, I guarantee they won't even win 70 games. Slackers. But as excited as we get about a Ronnie Price slam, a Quincy Douby sighting, and a 40-point outburst by Kevin Martin, we must also recognize as fans that we will dive deep into depression when things don't go our way. The season is still young. We're in a very tough division, and we may not have all the horses, but we're in it for all 82. I would much rather be a Sacramento Kings fan than a fan of any other NBA squad.

We're on a 1-game winning streak now. 11-13 looks a lot better than 10-14, doesn't it? And somehow, we traveled to Denver, in the snow, and defeated a Nuggets team with a fully functional Allen Iverson. That's something to build from. Now back away from the ledge.

Listening to ''Renegade'', by Christopher Lawrence (Play Count: 7)

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