Archive for March, 2011


The 11th-seeded Rams, who didn’t even bother to watch the NCAA tournament selection show, are heading to Houston, and final No. 1 seed Kansas is heading home after a spectacular collapse.

Jamie Skeen scored 26 points as the Rams delivered the biggest upset of the NCAA tournament, shocking the Jayhawks 71-61 on Sunday to become just the third 11th seed to ever make the Final Four.

So doubtful were the Rams of even making the tournament that they watched the Cartoon Network and went out for fast food instead of watching the reveal of the tournament field two weeks ago. Now, they’re Houston-bound after an incredible takedown of the last No. 1 seed.

“Those people [the doubters] don’t matter,” VCU coach Shaka Smart said. “The only people that matter is the 14 guys on our team, and they never stopped believing.”

One of those doubters was one of Kansas’ vaunted Morris twins — Marcus or Markieff.

During a captains meeting with officials before tipoff, VCU guard Joey Rodriguez said one of the brothers offered him some parting words: “The run ends here.”

“We’ll see,” Rodriguez shot back.

The Jayhawks saw all right.

VCU players, hoisting their Southwest regional champion trophy, poured into the temporary bleachers where VCU’s outnumbered fans sat in an Alamodome that was otherwise colored in Kansas blue and white.

As the final seconds ticked down, Skeen heaved the ball from the free throw line and into the stands behind the opposite backboard. His teammates on the bench, who had spent the final minutes with locked arms to hold each other back, finally spilled out onto the court.

Kansas players walked slowly off the court. Several, includingMarkieff Morris, cried.

“We got beat by a team that was definitely better today,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “They were faster. They were good.”

It’s George Mason all over again, and VCU had an even tougher Final Four path than their tiny conference brethren in 2006.

The Rams needed five wins to go from First Four to Final Four. Along the way, they toppled the Pac-10’s Southern California, the Big East’s Georgetown, the Big 10’s Purdue, the ACC’s Florida State and now the Big 12’s Kansas.

They’ll pick on someone their own size next: Butler.

The Jayhawks? All they did was bully smaller teams to get this far. Kansas never apologized for coasting through a favorable bracket that served up schools seeded 16th (Boston University), ninth (Illinois) and 12th (Richmond).

None of those games tested the Jayhawks, who had been ranked No. 1 this season and had won 11 in row. Then VCU came out and showed it wasn’t just another pushover.

The Jayhawks spent the first half not knowing what hit them.

Kansas (36-3) hadn’t trailed by more than two points the entire tournament. With five minutes left in the first half, the Jayhawks trailed by 17.

Marcus Morris had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and his brother had 13 and 12. They played in disbelief as VCU, which ousted Florida State on 3-pointers on Friday night, used the long ball to bury the Jayhawks early this time.

The Rams hit 9 of their 12 3-pointers in the first half. Kansas trailed 41-27 at halftime and closed the lead to 46-44 with 13:11 left, but a 10-2 VCU run put the Jayhawks right back where they started.

VCU coach Shaka Smart, the 33-year-old whose enigmatic personality has made him a breakout star this tournament, was so animated shuffling in front of his bench that officials shooed him back. Another official later served Smart his first technical all season.

VCU (28-11) is the third 11th seed to ever crack the Final Four. The last was George Mason in 2006, when that Colonial Athletic Association school stunned Connecticut in its regional final. LSU made it in 1986.

That upset guaranteed a Final Four without a No. 1 seed.

Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Duke didn’t even last to the regional finals. Two traditional basketball powers, Arizona and Kentucky, and defending runner-up Butler took care of that.

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    Tommy Zbikowski

The Baltimore Ravens safety and former Notre Dame star who is boxing during the NFL lockout, won a hard-fought four-round decision against Caleb Grummet on Saturday night at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall.

The fight was on the Yuriorkis Gamboa-Jorge Solis featherweight title fight card and drew in an excited crowd interested to see what a fighting football player could do in his first bout with Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward in his corner.

Zbikowski got all he could handle from Grummet, whose fighting experience is mainly in mixed martial arts.

Zbikowski (3-0, 2 KOs), who boxed as a 195-pound cruiserweight against 215-pound heavyweight Grummet (0-1-1), did not the let the weight disparity bother him. Faster and a heavier hitter, Zbikowski took it to Grummet, 29, of Lake Odessa, Mich., landing lots of powerful right hands and uppercuts throughout the first two rounds. But unlike his two previous pro fights, Grummet punched back some and extended Zbikowski, who knocked out his first two pro opponents in the first round, the distance.

“He was big and strong,” Zbikowski said. “It was a learning experience. I have a lot of things to learn about boxing.”

Zbikowski, 75-15 as an amateur, turned pro in 2006 while still at Notre Dame and needed only 49 seconds to knock out Robert Bell at Madison Square Garden. In his second fight, on March 12 in Las Vegas on the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga undercard, he needed only 1:45 to stop Richard Bryant.

Zbikowski seemed to get winded in the third round and took some heavy shots. Grummet, however, lost a point for a low blow in the round. He had been warned previously by referee Al Huggins for the infraction.

Grummet clearly won the fourth round, hurting Zbikowski with a right uppercut that stunned him. Zbikowski, 25, of Arlington Heights, Ill., was holding on and clearly winded as he looked to the large screen in the corner of the arena to see how much time was left as he tried to stay away for the final minute.

But Zbikowski had done enough in the first two rounds, plus he had the benefit from the point deduction from Grummet, to win 39-36 (twice) and 38-37.

“Thank goodness it wasn’t a six-round fight,” Steward said. “He has to come with me for some serious boxing training. He has to be with me.”

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Following the public wake the previous day, family and friends said their farewells yesterday during Nate Dogg’s funeral service at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal. Nate’s manager, Rod McGrew spoke during the service and had this to say:

“He fought a hard fight. The last three years were unbelievable. He didn’t give up. He just had a talk with God and gave up. Two hours before that he was fine. He wanted to go to heaven and hang with his boys. He loved Tupac. He recorded with him. He wanted to hang with Biggie. But the most important thing is that he can walk around heaven with his favorite artist of all time, Michael Jackson.”

After the jump are photos courtesy of MTV and a tribute video, “Nobody Does It Better” created by Snoop and Warren G.





Nate Dogg Mourned At Funeral Service
Big Homie
Sun, 27 Mar 2011 08:18:50 GMT

Via the Boston Globe:Shaquille O’Neal is unlikely to play during the Celtics’ four-game road trip to Minnesota, Indiana, San Antonio and Atlanta, but his return is growing closer and coach Doc Rivers speculated either April 3 against the Detroit Pistons or April 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers. ‘I’ve actually heard there was a chance (he could play on this trip) but I don’t expect it,’ Rivers said…  ’There’s a better chance (April 3), I still don’t think that’s realistic. I think more the game the day after that would be our target date for Shaq. I would say they’re thinking maybe Atlanta or the first game back, but I think there’s no chance of that.’

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SERENA WILLIAMS AND CED. THE ENTERTAINER-COMMERICIAL

CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER AND SERENA WILLIAMS IN A TOP SPIN 4 2K COMMERCIAL…
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by Anton Kudriavtsev /@TheDiesel

Kings 110, Pacers 93

The Sacramento/Anaheim/Las Vegas/Little Rock Kings enjoyed one of their few blowouts of the season, with a satisfying win over the Pacers led by DeMarcus Cousins’ 18 point and 14 rebounds. Meanwhile, the Pacers shot just 35% from the field and hit only 4 of 25 three-point attempts and couldn’t dig themselves out of their slump. Danny Granger scored 20 points while he tries to keep Indiana in the playoff hunt (they hold a 3-game lead for the 8th spot). The biggest story is the inevitable move of the Kings from their current home, but on the positive side their wrists are floating with positive ions thanks to the Power Balance sponsorship (though the good vibes haven’t rubbed off on Cousins yet). A sad event nonetheless, Vlade Divac must be flopping in his grave.

Spurs 96, Blazers 98

Still without Duncan (out for a few games with a stalled operating system), the Spurs had their hands full with a peaking Blazers team. San Antonio jumped to an early lead as Portland didn’t realize that lay-up line practice was over and the Spurs led by as many as 10 in the 4th quarter, with Manu Ginobili’s 21 points leading the way. Portland crawled within 1 before Parker’s layup and Ginobili’s triple put the Spurs up 6 with 1:21 to play. The Spurs turned it over while Andre Miller (21 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds) hit back-to-back layups and Nicolas Batum (21 points) hit two free throws to tie the game at 96 apiece with 0.9 seconds remaining. Steve Novak celebrated his signing with the Spurs by throwing the inbounds pass away, giving Portland one last possession. In the closing milliseconds, Miller threw a lob to a cutting Batum who corralled and laid the ball in over Parker’s baguette for the game-winning bucket as the buzzer sounded. Batum went the dynamite in the Rose Garden.

Nets 85, Magic 95

The Magic continued their march to their 1st round bye (a.k.a. playing the Hawks again) as they hang on for a victory over the Nets. Dwight Howard led the way with 21 points and 14 rebounds and Hedo Tukoglu had a contract year-like 20 points and 13 assists as Orlando extend their winning streak to 5 games. The Nets hung around in the 4th quarter, coming back from double figures led by Jordan Farmar’s 15 points and 16 assists (seriously) but the Magic held on with a 13-0 run to put away the game.

Bobcats 83, Celtics 81

We’ve all seen this movie last year: late in the season, the Celtics begin to slide down faster than Jimmer Fredette’s draft stock only to re-gain their footing and momentum in the playoffs. However, Boston shouldn’t count on the magic bonding to happen overnight. That’s why when they led the Bobcats by 13 points in the 4th quarter, the teamwork, defense, and offense fell apart like a Ford Windstar: you’re more upset than disappointed at the result. Charlotte outscored the C’s 30-15 in the final period, led by D.J. White’s 17 points off the bench. Paul Pierce had 18 points but Doc Rivers’ assessment of the loss was grim: “I just think we’ve become very, very selfish, not just as far as trying to get our own (shots), but everything is about how we’re playing individually, instead of how the team is playing.” We’ve seen the movie, but judging how it ended do the Celtics really want to act out a similar sequel?

Bucks 102, Knicks 96

Speaking of disappointments, the Knicks dropped their 5th game in a row with a loss against the Bucks. Australian Ironman Andrew Bogut scored 21 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and Brandon Jennings rained in 37 points as Milwaukee shot 50% and jumped out to an early 16-point lead to subdue New York. Amar’e scored 28 points, Melo added 25 but the team shot just 40% from the field including 4-of-25 shooting from distance. Those bright lights in New York must be especially blinding on defense.

Pistons 91, Cavs 97

John Kuester’s hot seat got a little warmer as his Pistons flopped against the Cavs as J.J. Hickson (24 points, 15 rebounds) and Baron Davis (16 points, 5 assists) provided the finishing touches for Cleveland including a clutch 3-pointer with 9.9 seconds to play that sealed the win. Rip Hamilton had 15 points for Detroit but they couldn’t get closer than within 3 points in the 4th quarter. With the Cavs ahead by 3 points and the shot clock running down, Davis elevated on the right wing and hit the deciding 25-foot jumper. Boom Dizzle is back!

Sixers 99, Heat 111

News flash: Dwyane Wade is Miami’s closer (pun intended). The Heat surged past a resilient Sixers team as Wade shut the team down the stretch on both sides of the floor. Trailing by 7 points in the 4th quarter, Wade hit 7 of 8 shots and had 3 blocks in the period to finish with a stat-stuffing 39 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 blocks, and 3 steals, a feat only matched in the last 25 seasons by Shaq Diesel himself. Miami’s big 3 combined for 91 points (James scored 32, Bosh had 20) as they used two key scoring spurts to run ahead and tightened up their defensive principles to limit Philadelphia to 17 points in the final quarter (scoring 34 themselves). Lou Williams scored 24 points off the bench for the Sixers while the Heat are now just a half game back of the 2nd seed behind Boston.

Grizzlies 96, Bulls 99

If the MVP is a popularity contest awarded by the media, Derrick Rose is making it more difficult to not give him the award. Rose had 24 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds as he scored the last 6 points for the Bulls including an acrobatic and-1 layup that carried his team past the Grizzlies. After hitting two free throws with 2:18 to play, Rose sprinted and converted over Marc Gasol (14 points, 11 rebounds) before hitting another clutch free throw amid “MVP” chants. Memphis was outrebounded 45-32 and outscored 46-44 in the paint and long-range three’s being the only reason they were as close as the score indicates. To carry over this week’s Post Up discussion, I’d take J.J. Hickson over both Noah and Howard. Hickson just brings intangible intangibles – they don’t show up on the stat sheet, on the court, or anywhere else for that matter.

Wolves 103, Thunder 111

The Thunder seem to be looking more and more impressive with every game they play after their trade. Besides the usual stars (Durant gliding on butter to 23 points, Westbrook scoring 19 and dishing 8 assists), Nazr Mohammed was an impressive force off the bench. Mohammed scored 14 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in a key 4th quarter run that gave Oklahoma City enough cushion to beat the Wolves. Anthony Randolph took advantage of his increased minutes with 24 points and 15 rebounds but the Wolves followed a poor 4th quarter start (0-for-6) with costly turnovers and couldn’t penetrate the Thunder’s paint enforcers. If the playoffs require a variety of players to step up to win a series, the Thunder are laying out the blueprint for a deep run this year.

Wizards 94, Nuggets 114

Call your favourite tattoo shop and remind them that the Birdman is back. Chris Anderson scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and 5 blocks as the Nuggets rolled over the Wizards. Birdman was one of 4 players to score 17 for the balanced Nuggets as six players scored in double figures to increase their post-trade record to 12-4. Jordan Crawford scored 19 points for Washington but the game was out of reach early with a 15-0 Denver run that the Wizards weren’t able to live down. Denver still sit in the 5 spot while their bench is averaging 55.8 points over the last 4 games.

Hornets 106, Suns 100

Let’s face it; the Hornets had about as good a chance at shocking teams in the playoffs as Drake does winning a rap battle. With the loss of David West for the season, their hopes only diminish. Carl Landry stepped in place of West to score 19 points and Chris Paul had 22 points and 7 assists as the Hornets held off the Suns. Phoenix was not able to recapture the triple-overtime energy they expended against the Lakers but Marcin Gortat had a productive night with 18 points and 10 rebounds before leaving the game with a broken nose (if any plastic surgery is required, the doctor can feed his whole community with the bill). Steve Nash had just 3 points and 8 assists, shooting 1-of-9 form the field and committing 5 turnovers including 2 down the stretch. Paul bounced the ball of the glass and hit a long jumper to put his Hornets up 4 with 54 seconds to play.

Raptors 100, Warriors 138

The Warriors snapped a 6-game losing streak with a blowout over the Raptors, led by Monta Ellis’ 27 points and 10 assists. You can’t say Jay Triano doesn’t make defensive adjustments, as Toronto gave up just 54 points in the 2nd half. The problem is that they gave up 84 in the 1st. DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points but the demoralizing deficit was too much to overcome. By leaving the starters in the game up 40 points, Keith Smart showed that the Warriors will continue to fight until they’re back in the playoff picture in the future.

Clippers 104, Lakers 112

The Lakers won their 6th straight game with a victory over their inner-city Division III rival Clippers. Kobe provided the scoring (37 points), Gasol the humanitarianism (26 points, donating $1000 to Japan for each point), and Artest brought the entertainment as he executed the rarely-seen “jump and flex” after this dunk. Mo Williams (!) led the Clippers with 30 points and Blake Griffin (22 points, 6 rebounds) led L.A. with highlights (click here for the alley-oop and extension dunks). I don’t know how fans can be spoiled by Griffin’s dunks, but I still fall out of my chair like an Inception kick each time he extends and drops the hammer. The most entertaining turn of events could have been Chris Kaman and Derek Fisher’s mini-scuffle as Fisher received yet another phantom sniper shot to his shoulder after running into Kaman. There’s no place like home.

Overtime

“Check My $tats” of the night: Dwyane Wade – 39 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 blocks, 3 steals.

Separated at Birth of the day: Carlos Boozer and Common.

Did anyone check out this videogame of Rondo? I’m still stuck on the free throw level.

Al Jefferson speaks about whom he respects in the game.

Speaking of the Jazz, most of them wouldn’t pass the citizenship test.

Looking to put someone under hypnosis? Craig Sager’s tie to the rescue.

I’m not an expert on tattoos, but LeBron’s new artist may not be around much longer after this shoddy work.

Finally, after 15 years of research I have come to realize that the Space Jam box score may not be correct. Wasn’t Jordan’s last dunk from halfcourt, thereby making it a 3-pointer? I’ll need another 15 years to figure out why Mike didn’t come back to the movie game.

I’m out like Novak’s extension.

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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes – NCAA Tournament Game – Recap – March 25, 2011 – ESPN

NEWARK, N.J. — Brandon Knight did it again.

Knight knocked down a jumper with 5 seconds remaining as the fourth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes – NCAA Tournament Game – Recap – March 25, 2011 – ESPNWildcats stunned top-seeded Ohio State 62-60 on Friday in the East regional semifinals.

Senior center Josh Harrellson held his own against Ohio State super freshman Jared Sullinger, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Wildcats (28-8) advanced to play North Carolina on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

Knight, who knocked down a game-winner in Kentucky’s second-round win over Princeton, shrugged off another sluggish performance to drill the biggest shot of his career.

Kentucky coach John Calipari opted not to call timeout after Ohio State’s John Diebler hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 60 with 21 seconds remaining, and Knight delivered a silky 15-foot jumper.

Ohio State rushed down the floor, but William Buford’s 3-pointer clanked off the rim and the rebound was tapped out of harm’s way.

The Wildcats, who struggled to win close games earlier in the season, rushed onto the floor as the buzzer sounded. DeAndre Liggins, like Harrellson a leftover from Billy Gillispie’s days at Kentucky, hopped atop a table and pounded his chest as Knight stood at halfcourt and soaked in the moment.

The victory proved sweet vindication for the two holdovers, who were mostly spectators last season as Calipari revitalized the program behind a star-studded freshmen class led by John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.

Harrellson and Liggins took this year’s group of youngsters under their wing and delivered the kind of savvy veteran presence the Wildcats could have used last season, which ended with a loss to an experienced West Virginia squad in the East regional final.

Liggins finished with 15 points for the Wildcats, who beat Ohio State for the first time in the NCAA tournament behind a suffocating defense that limited the Buckeyes to 32 percent shooting.

Sullinger led Ohio State (34-3) with 21 points and 16 rebounds, but the Buckeyes fell in the regional semifinals for a second straight season. Sullinger said in the aftermath he expects to return for his sophomore year, if only to wash out the taste of a bitter end to an otherwise spectacular season.

Ohio State rolled through the regular season but like the last two top overall seeds entering the NCAA tournament, the Buckeyes are going home early.

The win gives Kentucky a chance to avenge a loss to the Tar Heels earlier in the season. The Wildcats fell 75-73 in Chapel Hill in December, a game in which they gave away several chances to win.

Those days seem long gone. Kentucky has won nine straight and developed the kind of grit Calipari knew would come if he stayed patient with his freshmen-laden roster.

The Wildcats succeeded where so many teams have failed this season against the Buckeyes, dominating them on the defensive end.

Kentucky swarmed the 3-point line, limiting the sharpshooting Buckeyes — who’d made 28 3-pointers in easy victories over Texas-San Antonio and George Mason — to just 6 of 16 3-pointers.

Ohio State wasn’t any better inside the arc, shooting just 33 percent from the field as everyone besides Sullinger struggled to find room against Kentucky’s myriad of defensive looks.

“I think, honestly, some of the shots we missed we were making all year,” said Diebler, who finished with 16 points. “You have to give them credit, I thought they did a good job channeling shots with their length, but we’ve faced length all year. They just didn’t go in.”

The first NCAA meeting between the two schools in 24 years had a Final Four feel. There were 19 lead changes, with no team leading by more than three points over the final 17 minutes.

It’s a situation where the Wildcats had faltered early in the season. At one point they were 0-6 in games decided by five points or less.

Those days seem like a long time ago. Kentucky made all the big plays when it mattered as Ohio State blinked in the face of the Wildcats’ unrelenting pressure.

Kentucky’s withstood a skittish opening 9 minutes to forge a 30-30 tie at the break thanks largely to some inspired play by Harrellson. The little-used reserve a year ago has blossomed into a blue collar cult hero as a senior, and his leadership kept Kentucky in it after Terrence Jones and Knight battled jitters and early foul trouble.

Harrellson took Sullinger off the dribble for one basket and screamed after dunking off a pick-and-roll for another. Later in the half he drew the ire of Ohio State coach Thad Matta after beaning Sullinger with a fastball while falling out of bounds.

The Wildcats also did something few teams have been able to do this year: bottle up Ohio State’s 3-point shooters. The Buckeyes came in averaging nearly 8 made 3-pointers a game, knocking down 28 in their first two tournament games combined.

Ohio State only made two in the first half, both by Diebler, as the Wildcats extended the defense to prevent open looks.

It set the stage for a chippy second half that ended with another highlight-reel shot by the precocious Knight.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Goodbye, Kings

by Rudy Raya

We are gathered here today to not only say goodbye to a team, but to something more. It’s always hard to say goodbye to loved ones, but it’s even worse when the loss is unexpected. At the tender age of 26, the Sacramento Kings were taken away from our fair city.

There was a time when the once-happy marriage between the franchise and the city of Sacramento was truly a match made in heaven. With more love than could fit within the confines of the cramped ARCO Arena, the town embraced the team like that weird uncle who hugs you for 10 seconds too long. With so much behind us and so much more ahead of us, it is not without sorrow that we let go of our once proud franchise.

To say that the Kings will be missed is a huge understatement. In a town known for its grey skies, green rivers and one unsightly yellow and useless bridge, the Kings were really the only thing citizens could hang their hats on. A struggling franchise to say the least, but when things were good, they were really good. There was a time when the Kings were more than just our team; they were our identity. They embodied our personality. They were a direct reflection of the people who live here. Other than their height, that ragtag collection of players that took the court in the early part of the ‘00s was no different than the people who were in the stands.

With the likes of Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Vlade Divac and the rest of crew, they were a team of NBA castoffs, left for dead with this forgotten franchise. Before those days, the Kings were anything but NBA royalty and instead maintained the position as perennial cellar-dwellers in the Western Conference. When you least expected it, things just started to click. The team nobody expected anything from began to turn heads. From the starting five to the boisterous bench, the Kings began to hit on all cylinders. Things felt different. The city was different. It felt alive. You’d go to sleep with a smile on your face and wake up with it in the morning. They put Sacramento on the map and gave us something we could actually be proud of.

We had our time at the top, but due to injuries, crooked referees and a lucky Lakers team, the Kings never reached the promise land. When Chris Webber left, a big part of the Kings felt lost as well. The 6-10, 250-pound heart of the Kings was no longer there. Slowly but surely every player from that magical team left town, as did much of the support. No wins meant no fans, and the only time people really packed the place was to see Kobe once or twice a year. The Ron Artest years were interesting to say the least, but the excitement wasn’t the same. It didn’t feel like a team, or at least not our team.

When Tyreke Evans fell to us the through good graces of the basketball gods, that feeling of excitement started to build back up. There was reason to watch games again as he was the first sign of hope in a number of years. Questions of the Kings’ possible movement were only in their infancy, but Tyreke looked to be the answer. His eye-catching display on the court was going to be enough to get us a new arena and begin a new era in Kings’ basketball. But it was too little, too late. The flailing Kings couldn’t even hold on to sponsors for their arena, as the formerly named ARCO Arena is now named after Power Balance bracelets that have been proven to do nothing — fitting for this failure of a team which has been lacking any sort of power or balance throughout the season.

There was a time when a ticket to a Kings’ game was almost impossible to get, but you can’t even give them away now. The unfortunate truth is that a majority of the citizens just don’t care about the team. They don’t remember what it was like to win — that feeling of utter joy and exuberance as you jump out of your seat and shout whatever animal-like sound you can muster up. Losing is like a disease that leaves you with no recognition or even concept of how it feels to win. This spreading sickness wiped out the Kings’ bandwagon quicker than a case of dysentery in a game “Oregon Trail.”

Those who are upset with the turn of events are simply looking for somebody to point a finger at, but in all actuality, everybody is to blame. The city, fans, front office and even players; each played a part in the franchise’s failure. Most of the blame seems to be falling on Mayor Kevin Johnson, but what it really came down to was that not a lot of people truly cared anymore.

ARCO Arena was old 10 years ago, and is now more than ever in need of a renovation or a replacement. Sadly, the Kings are no longer relevant in the public’s perspective. Sacramento is small enough as it is, but factor in a losing team and you have the turnout equivalent of a bad night of Monster Jam. The inadequately small ARCO Arena can barely even house monster truck shows since the only death-defying feats it can permit are three-point turns. In this economy, it’s a wonder how any small market team can afford to accommodate a major sports team both financially and spatially. As the Maloofs have said, this is a business, and you can’t blame them for looking out for the best interests of the team. It’s just disappointing that they couldn’t find that here in Sacramento.

We may snivel, sob and pout about this outcome, but if there is anything that DeMarcus Cousins has taught us it’s that crying gets you nowhere. The Kings are more than just a team. The franchise was a part of the community. For the last quarter of a century, we welcomed the Kings into our homes every night and, ultimately, into our hearts. While there may be a sort of disconnect between big cities and their teams, we had something special. There was a love there that many seem to have forgotten.

Whether it was reporting my first NBA game or just spending quality time with my dad, the Kings have played a huge part in my life through childhood, early adulthood and the beginning of my career in journalism. Though the Kings may be leaving, their place in my life has given me a wealth of memories that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. It is with this that I say goodbye to the Kings and wish them well in whatever endeavors they may undertake in their Anaheim-bound afterlife.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for all of your love and support. The ceremony was beautiful and only thing missing was Craig Sager in a repulsively purple two-piece suit. He has fashion sense of a broke, blind pimp, but that’s just what we love about him.

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