Oct. 26, 1985: In a couple of years they’ll be wheeling and dealing soybean futures or some such in the warehouse-home the owners built for the Kings. They’ll gut the place after they build their bigger, more permanent arena, and make it into just another nondescript office building. Something the Pucker’s Pickles people might admire as a regional headquarters.
And there’ll be no evidence whatever of the things that went on there Friday night.
As far as that goes, someone will probably put a wrecking ball to the permanent arena, if not in our lifetime, then surely in our children’s. No, what went on there Friday night won’t have quite the lasting impact of what the Wrights did at Kitty Hawk.
That having been said for the sake of perspective, let’s take a moment for high-fives all around (cheers and tears optional; black tie, too). A major-league team with Sacramento in front of its nickname played a game of ball here Friday against a team from Los Angeles, before 10,333, which is capacity, in a wonderfully raucous building … and perspective eludes me much the way victory eluded the Kings.
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It was Clippers 108, Kings 104 in the first major-league game of anything ever played in this city. Derek Smith, a castoff of the Golden State Warriors only two years ago, scored 36 points for L.A., and Sacramento’s new team squandered a 19-point lead.
Joe Kleine, their future but not yet their present in the mind of his coach, Phil Johnson, sat out the fourth quarter.
It was not the sort of game that would get an arena designated a historic site.
But all the same, a small plaque seems in order:
“On this spot, on the 25th of October, 1985, Reggie Theus scored the first field goal ever scored in this city, and 10,333 people went out of their minds.”
What went down this night, the pride and the joy and especially all the noise made by Sacramentans, over Sacramentans, will linger in at least 10,333 memories.