Suns fans, I know you’ve got acres of purple fabric in your closet; today is the day that we put all of that to good use to support a fanbase that needs all the help they can get.
Representatives from the NBA are in Sacramento today on a fact-finding mission regarding the potential move of the Kings to Anaheim, and the city’s residents were well-prepared for their arrival:
Kings fans and business leaders have launched a campaign called “Here We Purple” in anticipation of the NBA’s arrival. The movement grew on Facebook and Twitter, where organizers are encouraging everyone in the city to paint the town purple and wear purple clothes Thursday and/or Friday.
Elected officials from as far away as Loomis, Yuba City and Yolo County joined Mayor Kevin Johnson for an hour-long meeting and press conference he held to drum up support for the team.
Johnson will meet with Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, who chairs the NBA Board of Governor’s Relocation Committee, and NBA Executive Counsel Harvey Benjamin on their two-day fact-finding mission here Thursday and Friday.
The Kings and the arena where they play have been regional assets that have brought jobs, business, marketing opportunities and a national identity to the six-county region – which includes Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Yuba and Sutter counties, several leaders said.
“The NBA and the Kings span the entire region. They are not simply part of the city of Sacramento. They are one of the region’s most important assets,” West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon said during the press conference.
“We want to make it clear to the NBA that the entire region is standing behind Mayor Johnson, the city of Sacramento and the Kings to assure that the NBA remains a critical part of this community and this region,” he said.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Kings fans and businesses used social media to get the word out on efforts to swathe Sacramento and its residents in purple.
“Deserves” is an overused word when we’re talking about sports. Too often, discussions center on whether or not a player deserves to win a ring; deserves to be an All-Star; deserves the accolades; deserves the venom.
But no fanbase, especially one as devoted as the cowbell-wielding faithful, deserves to have its team ripped away from them due to the ineptitude of an ownership group that couldn’t make a casino work in Las Vegas. There are long-term questions about the viability of the Kings and their current arena - hard questions that need to be answered. Those questions deserve a detailed investigation and an exploration of all options, if for no other reason than the people of Sacramento deserve nothing less.
I strongly support the people of Sacramento, the fans of the Kings, and the civic and business leaders in their attempt to keep their beloved NBA team in their city. I hope that you’ll do the same. And if someone asks you why you’re decked out in purple Suns gear when their season is over, remind them that for some teams, the promise of next year is in danger of being removed.