We saw a license plate frame from a few weeks ago that read "I know true heartache -- I'm a Kings fan." My first reaction was one of empathy -- after all, I lived through the devastating play-off loss to the Lakers way back when. But recent team injuries and losses, coupled with general fan malaise has me thinking quite the opposite. In fact, if I were to create a license plate frame, it would read: "I know true joy -- I'm a Kings fan."
Some might think I'm crazy. (I know my son often thinks I'm a bit addled when I tell him to think more positively.) But here's my rationale:
- We've been sorely affected by injuries to key players, BUT they're on the mend. Cisco's back, and Kevin will likely play Tuesday.
- We've had to pull from our bench and play rookies in the starting line up. BUT, hey, our rookies are gaining experience that other teams' rookies aren't. And we've seen some moments of brillance. And where there are moments, there are the seeds of an entire game.
- We've endured a physically exhausting 17 games in November -- more than any other team except one. BUT, November is history. Let's look forward.
Sacramento is known for its amazing fan base, but you'd never know it by looking in the stands, reading the paper, or listening to the radio. Everyone's an armchair coach (yes, even my kid) but we need to start focusing not only on improvements, but what the Kings are doing well. Again, there are moments of true brilliance. We need to focus on the unbelieveable play we're seeing in the first half of games, the fact that we're going toe-to-toe with teams (that aren't affected by injuries) -- and we're nearly winning.
In this season of miracles, let's focus on the glass being half-full: Let's recognize that we have a talented team that plays with extraordinary heart, that never gives up; that we have players who are beating themselves up far more than we are; that we have a team that wants to win, needs to win and will win. And when they win, we'll be watching. We'll never stop watching or whooping it up or experiencing the pure joy that comes from watching our hometown NBA basketball team.
As I always remind my son, it boils down to faith. If you have it, dreams will follow.
We need to have faith in our Kings. We need them to KNOW we have faith in them. That's when amazing happens.