Groans and a sustained "No!" rippled through the Mix Downtown after it was announced that the Charlotte Bobcats had taken forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist second in the NBA draft.
Three picks later, the reaction turned to an eruption of cheering and applause.
A crowd of about 100 fans gathered at the Sacramento club lauded the Kings' selection of Kansas forward Thomas Robinson with the fifth pick in the draft Thursday. Robinson had been projected to go as high as second in some mock drafts.
"I think it's a good pick," said Stephen Clemons, 47, of Sacramento. "He's a big, strong forward. And a defensive rebounder will be awesome. That's what we needed last year."
Nobody at the draft party organized by the Kings was surprised when Anthony Davis went first overall to New Orleans. Kidd-Gilchrist, though, had been projected by some pundits as a fit for the Kings and seemed a favorite among Sacramento fans.
Selections of Bradley Beal and Dion Waiters third and fourth, respectively, were met with nervous nodding. As the Kings prepared to pick, shouts rang out of "Lillard!" and "Barnes!" The name on commissioner David Stern's lips was "Robinson."
"We'll take it," Clemons said, clapping.
Cemal Richards, 26, of Oakland, raised his arms triumphantly when the pick was announced. "He's going to play well next to DeMarcus (Cousins)," Richards said. "He could be a double-double guy."
Kings guard Marcus Thornton, who arrived just before the Kings' selection, called it a "great pick." Forward Jason Thompson said he expects that Robinson "can definitely help out with the frontcourt."
"We'll have to wait and see how he does," said Thornton, who added he and Robinson have the same agent. "But from what I saw him play in college, he's a tough guy. He gets under the goal, does all the dirty work, and he's a winner. He plays hard, and that's what we need."
Fans quieted as Robinson, a player known for toughness and who led Kansas to this year's NCAA title game, became emotional during an interview on the draft telecast, then cheered when he vowed hard work in the NBA.
"I like his demeanor, his heart," said Ame Mathies, Clemons' mother and a season-ticket holder. "He's not looking like, 'Aw man, the Sacramento Kings, they haven't gone to the playoffs in years.' You could tell he was happy and that's important to us fans. If you're not in it, you're not going to give your best."
Draft day is brimming with optimism, and some fans were already projecting an improved Kings team next season. Robinson, at 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, figures to bolster a front line that includes Cousins, Thompson and forward-center Chuck Hayes.
"I don't think this is going to propel us into the playoffs or anything, but it'll help us maybe challenge for that eighth playoff spot," Richards said. "It'll definitely increase our win total."
Last season the Kings won 22 games. Since then, a proposed deal for a new downtown home for the team has fallen through, making for an uncertain future.
Victor Calderon, 30, of Carmichael, said he believes the Kings landing a touted player like Robinson "will go a long way toward getting back some of the goodwill after the arena deal."
"Robinson is an exciting player," Calderon said. "Wins will ultimately get fans more excited."