Leading Off: Would it be so bad for Kings fans to cheer aging NBA greats?

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.

– Joe Davidson

What to watch

NBA, Kings vs. Lakers, 7 p.m., CSNCA: With Kobe Bryant still out, the Kings look to end their second five-game losing streak of the season.

What to do

Prep football, Elk Grove vs. Del Oro, 7:30 p.m., Hornet Stadium, Sacramento State: These longtime area powers will rely on power running games in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship.

Today’s poll

As a Kings fan, would you consider cheering briefly in appreciation of great players?

• No, never. They’re still the enemy.

• Yes, it’s a classy move ... then boo them.

To vote, go to

Thursday’s results

If you’re building an NFL team, which quarterback would you most want?

• Colin Kaepernick: 20%

• Robert Griffin III: 1%

• Andrew Luck: 44%

• Cam Newton: 6%

• Russell Wilson: 27%

• Other: 2%

Total votes: 396