SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — About 10,000 people filled Golden 1 Center on Monday night to watch a basketball game happening hundreds of miles away.
The Kings held a first ever summer league watch party. Fans could come for free and watch the Sacramento Kings play the Los Angeles Lakers in Las Vegas on the big screen surrounded by other fans.
“It’s going to be wild,” said John Hampton, a Kings fan.
“I’ve never had this opportunity, so it’s pretty cool,” said another fan.
“We think we’re going to have more people here than they actually have watching the game down in Vegas,” said Kings President John Rinehart.
Rinehart says he’s not surprised by the overwhelming support and turnout for this free event.
“I know we have the best fans and we know the excitement will carry forward,” said Rinehart.
The game gives fans a chance to see the four new draft picks play with last year’s rookies.
“A lot of talent coming in. I’m excited to see where this goes in the next few years,” said Evan Reid, a Kings supporter.
Nine Kings players have less than two years of experience in the NBA.
But, the team added veteran leadership, signing Vince Carter, Zack Randolph and George Hill. They have a combined 40-plus seasons of NBA play.
“They’ve been around, they can help these younger guys out,” said Reid.
The mix of youth and leadership is forging a culture change that fans and the front office are proud to celebrate.
“It only happens here in Sacramento, it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world,” said Reid.