With the Kings' possible relocation to Anaheim still the hottest of local topics, former Kings and current Rockets Brad Miller and Kevin Miller chimed in with some pretty forceful comments after Monday's game. Both players referred to Sac as sort of an NBA destination city in the early to mid 90s, largely because of the team's success and the impassioned (if diminished of late) fan base.
First, from Miller, who lives here in the offseason because "it's my wife's dream house," on the possible move:
"It stinks. You think obviously, of when I got here (2003). Sacramento is one of those places ... the arena is what it is, but it is as loud as can be. It would be incredible for the city itself just to have a better venue for concerts and other events, give the area a little more prestigious feel. It's what, Power Balance now? It's changed a lot, but it would be so sad to see the Kings leave because I don't think they would ever get a team back out here."
Miller, who grew up outside Indianapolis, also dismissed the notion that All-Star caliber players aren't attracted to smaller and mid-size markets. "I came to Sac ... the Kings kind of jumped in at the last minute ... I was going to go to Denver, and my agent said at the last hour, "hey, Sacramento came up.' I thought, 'wow.' I had played out here, I knew how crazy it was. It drew me in just because the team was so good."
Now, from Martin, who welcomed his trade to the Rockets a year ago because his backcourt pairing with Tyreke Evans was an absolute non-starter, not because he had soured on the community: "Speaking as a player who played here for six years, I can relate to probably what the fans are relating to, to maybe losing the team. That would be really sad for a player like me, like Brad. We wouldn't even be able to come back here and play. I mean, we get excited to come back here and play because of the way the fans support us. It's like ... what's this city going to be without a professional team? Every time I come here I get a great response from the great. It gets me going me."
Asked how he envisioned the fan base in Anaheim, he laughed. "It won't be like Sacramento fans. If they end up there, or wherever they go. The fan base ... they got some work to do to get on the same level as Sacramento fans."
My colleague, Jason Jones, quoted former Kings coach and current Rockets coach Rick Adelman at some length in Tuesday's Bee, but after acknowledging that arena endeavors would have been easier if the club had won a championship or two, the Kings' all-time winningest coach added one final thought: "This city deserves a team."