By Dave “Deuce” Mason
Back-to-back home games during an NBA season are rare.
What’s even more rare is back-to-back crowds of 15,500-plus for a team whose owners agreed to sell the team nearly a month ago.
Add to the fact that the Kings are 14-games below .500 and on their way to seventh consecutive spring without a playoff appearance, Sleep Train Arena should be a ghost town.
Yet over the weekend Kings fans showed the sports world why Sacramento deserves to have an NBA team.
A night after a raucous 16,193 fans attended “Here We Buy” night, 15,526 witnessed the Kings beat the Rockets 117-111 on Sunday.
That’s 31,719 fans in two games.
That’s 31,719 who continue to support a franchise that has flirted with other cities and now could be headed to Seattle.
“This is a night we’re going to show the NBA how viable of a market we are and how awesome of a fan base we are,” said Kevin Fippin—one of the coordinators of “Here We Buy Night.”
“Not only that but how viable and awesome of a fan base we’re going to be for years to come,” Fippin said on Saturday.
Kings veteran big man Chuck Hayes said he’s not surprised by the support from the Sacramento fans.
“The fans are unbelievable, man. The Kings are all they have so they show their appreciation and we try to do the same,” Hayes said following the Kings win on Sunday.
“When we’re playing well and this place is rockin’…It gives you goose bumps.”
Kings forward-center Jason Thompson has spent all five seasons of his career with Sacramento and credited fans for giving his team a spark.
“If you look at some of the articles, Utah [Saturday’s opponent] was saying it was a tough place to play,“ Thompson said.
“‘Here We Buy’ night was definitely good spark, a lot of highlights, a lot of energy, and that’s when we’re at our best.”
A Look Ahead:
-The Kings hit the road for two games (@ Mem, @ Dal) before the All-Star break. The team returns to Sleep Train Arena on Feb. 19 when they host the Spurs.
-Former Kings forward Lawrence Funderburke and Rick Fox will be on The Jason Ross Show on Monday (12-3 p.m.) on CBS Sports 1140.
Hear Dave “Deuce” Mason on The Jason Ross Show (12-3 p.m.) on CBS Sports 1140 and follow him on Twitter: @DeuceMason