City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 10, 2011
Stojakovic on what the Kings mean to Sacramento

One of the reasons I started this blog was to explore what the Kings mean to this city and what the impact would be if they were to leave.

With that in mind, I headed to Arco Arena Wednesday night to pose those questions to one of the franchise's greatest players, Peja Stojakovic.

Stojakovic was in town with the Dallas Mavericks. After watching him smoothly work his way through a pre-game shoot-around, I asked Stojakovic if he could picture this city without the Kings.

"I don't know what to say about that," he said. "We had a great connection with the fans, great support from the city and I would be really sad to see if this team leaves this city."

Stojakovic spent his first seven-plus seasons with the Kings and was here during the team's most successful years in Sacramento. He's since made stops in Indiana, New Orleans, Toronto and, now, Dallas. But have any of those teams had as strong a connection with their fans as the Kings had with this city - especially during the glory years?

"What we had here was something special," he told me. "I think we kind of grew together. It was just a great relationship that we developed and something that we're going to cherish for the rest of our lives."

For you Kings fans, I wanted to add this old Sacramento Bee photo of one of those great teams Stojakovic was a part of.

Peja.JPG

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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