Is it so bad to cheer for great opponents?
In the early days of the Kings’ inaugural 1985-86 season in Sacramento, fans were so delighted to have the NBA in town that they regularly offered rousing standing ovations – for their team and visiting legends in the making.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving were especially moved by the Sacramento adoration.
That doesn’t happen now, of course. The design now is to let foes hear their roar for their own colors while opponents are lustily booed. But why not appreciate greatness when it comes your way, even for just a moment? Such as the next time Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett stops by, as it may very well be the final visits by the sure Hall of Fame forwards.
Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, for years a primary target of Kings fans, considered making his season return tonight at Sleep Train Arena. It reportedly won’t happen as the veteran continues to round into shape after Achilles’ surgery.
But would Kings fans be ruthless traitors for applauding the return of one of the game’s all-time greats when he does eventually play at Sleep Train Arena? Why not acknowledge his return, his impact on the game, and appreciate how difficult it is to return from such an injury? Then they can boo him every time he touches the ball or looks aghast when a call doesn’t go his way.
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