The Kings have played in Sacramento since 1985, more than enough years to develop a base of rabid fans, folks who have rooted for the team through the high times of the past and the lows of recent seasons.
It's those fans who dread the possibility of their team being yanked away. They've stuck by their Kings through thick and thin, proudly wearing Jason Williams and Chris Webber jerseys and displaying their Peja babushkas.
They feel betrayed by the Maloofs, the one-time semicelebrity owners who confirmed last week that they have a deal to sell to a group that intends to move the team to Seattle.
I certainly understand how they feel. I was born in Baltimore and raised with the Colts. We had services twice every Sunday during the NFL season first at church, then either at old Memorial Stadium or in front of our TV.
I was working at the old News American in the early stages of my journalism career when Bob Irsay broke our hearts during a snowstorm at 2 a.m. on March 29, 1984. I will never forget the images of the Mayflower vans lined up to move the team to Indianapolis.
Our friend Ricig made an Irsay dummy that hung in effigy at a local pub, and the News American published a "dartboard" with Irsay's face in the middle (it was later featured on an episode of "The Wire," the Baltimore-based police drama on HBO).
We never cheered for the Colts after they moved to Indianapolis, but many old friends and family members who still live in Baltimore gradually adopted the Ravens when Art Modell moved his team from Cleveland in 1996, trying to ignore that fans in Cleveland were angry and hurt, much like they were just 12 years earlier.
If you've cheered for a team for 28 years as fans have for the Kings, it will be a sad day if they leave and one that won't soon be forgotten.
Will the Kings still be "your" NBA team if they move to Seattle?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Who was the greatest 49ers performer in the Super Bowl?
Joe Montana: 72%
Jerry Rice: 16%
Roger Craig: 3%
Steve Young: 9%
Total votes: 355
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Tom Couzens
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.