SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It’s Draft Day. Every team has a clean slate. Hope fills the Sacramento Kings watch party.
”It’s an exciting time in Sacramento, so I’m optimistic about it,” said Brandon Perry, a lifelong fan.
”We can go no where but up; loyal fans will be loyal fans,” said Dan Wagner patting his shirt, “I’ll still wear the same jersey, same hat every year.”
Then the Kings made some moves.
“I’m a little shocked, I mean I don’t really know what’s going on,” said Perry after the Kings selected Georgios Papagiannis with the 13th overall pick.
“I don’t think we’re going to make the playoffs, I can tell you that,” said Greg Hyatt, shaking his head.
To the fans, some strange decisions were made by management. Trading down picks, and selecting a Greek player who was off everyone’s radar except maybe the man making the calls, Kings General Manager Vlade Divac.
“I think Vlade had a lot of things to clean up when he came in from the previous regime,” said Carmichael Dave a morning sports talk radio show host with KHTK, “I think it’s unfair to judge Vlade on one year.”
The Kings haven’t had a winning season in a decade, and have had nine coaches since 2006.
“It might be a turning point,” said Dave.
The nearly $400 million Golden 1 Center is set to open in 100 days. New uniforms were unveiled for next season and a new head coach will be drawing the X’s and O’s.
“I think people are going to be really excited about the arena and that will give the team time to really build the team,” said Hyatt.
All the “new” is an effort to attract top talent.
“It makes us more of a destination,” said Wagner, “players like stuff like that.”
But the big names went elsewhere.
“I was hoping we’d get Buddy Hield. That didn’t work out,” said Hyatt. Hield was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans just 2 slots ahead of the Kings.
“They could be playing in an arena made out of diamonds. If they don’t have the talent, they’re going to be a crappy team,” said Dave.
Fans at Firestone Public House holding on to hope.
“We’ll be all right man, give it some time,” said Perry.