This past week I wanted to do something special for my father and younger brother. My father talked about how much he desired to attend the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers game on December 26, 2009. The Kings were coming off of a 35 point comeback at Chicago and an overtime loss at home versus the Clevand Cavaliers. The Kings and Lakers brought back old memories. The rivalry that once sparked later night sporting affairs was now renewed.
My father and younger brother experienced conflict on Christmas Day. It was one of those situations that couldn't be resolved, so my father decided to release his ticket. I really wanted him to go, but he wouldn't change his mind. I asked my best friend if he would like to attend the game. He told me the night before that he would possibly go to the game because the Kings regained their identity as being exciting yet again.
On the day of the game, my brother wanted to drop off the ticket. He knew that my father deserved to go and see the game. My father wouldn't change his mind about the game. He refused to communicate with my brother. There was nothing that would change his mind. My best just left the movie theater. He watched James Cameron's Avatar. With the story, sounds and intensity of the film, he turned down a chance to attend the game. It was a tough decision to make, as my brother and I would have to take a chance on selling the ticket and not losing too much in the process.
This was no ordinary game. The young Kings team has showed heart, even in losses to very good teams. We knew that tonight's game would have some drama. My brother dropped by and we drove to the game. I felt bad that my father didn't go to the game. He would have enjoyed the game. The holiday traffic clogged up the road like a parking lot. We took a shortcut, deciding that we should take the back roads instead of sitting on the freeway. After carving through the road with precision, we made it past a majority of the traffic.
We had three tickets on hand, but only two of us were attending the game. After reaching Arco Arena, there were many fans hanging out; more Lakers fans than Kings fans waited in line to enter the stadium. We tried to sell my father's ticket to one guy asking to buy extras off of fans. He offered $20, but I wanted more. I paid more for the ticket, and didn't want to lose out on it. He upped his offer to $30, but that was still not good enough.
The guy said that I wanted a mortgage for a Kings ticket. He conveyed that I was acting greedy and I should have some Christmas spirit. This was no ordinary game, it was the new and improved Kings versus the NBA defending champions. Most importantly, my father's ticket had sentimental value. I wanted to receive what it was worth to me - it was his Christmas present.
We walked over to the other entrance, noticing that there was a longer line, and also others looking to purchase tickets. One guy offered $20. He offered $30. Then again, he upped his offer to $40. I mentioned that another guy on the other side offered $45. It looked as the ticket would remain with me for the entire night. We walked back to the original side, hoping to get $45 for the ticket. The original guy had left his spot. It was decided that we would let the ticket go for $40. The ticket was sold to the second guy which offered $40 for it.
With the ticket now sold, we stood in line, waiting to enter the stadium. The surrounding areas was packed to its full capacity. We entered the game, knowing that a good game was in the making. Kobe Bryant and the rookie phenom, Tyreke Evans would surely put on a show tonight.
When we reached our seats, there were many Lakers fans filing in, as if we were at Staples Center. The game soon started. Kings were out to an early lead in the 1st Quarter. The new Kings were fun to watch. This team was far better than last year's team. There is no comparison of how good they become in a matter of 6 months.
We started to feel bad because the game was so good, and my father had missed out on a rare experience. The Kings had a slim halftime lead. They managed to keep the game close; they were tied with the Lakers going into the 4th Quarter. With a few minutes to go, they held the Lakers scoreless and recovered from a 6 point deficit. My brother mentioned that with every Kings shot, it made him feel worse about my father didn't come to the game. He said that he could sat on the other side of me.
The Lakers and Kings made it in the first overtime. This was after Tyreke Evans failed to get off a shot in time before regulation ended. He took the ball with 23.9 seconds remaining, but slipped in front of Kobe, failing to attempt a game winning shot. Kings worked into the first overtime, taking a 7 point lead with 2:36 remaining. That would be the last time they would score in the first overtime. Kobe started to get hot, bringing the Lakers within 2 points.
The Kings missed their shot, which Kobe and another Lakers player also missed before Gausol tipped it in to force a second overtime. What was interesting about the entire experience was that a Lakers fan had purchased the ticket from the guy that had bought the ticket for $40. He was really cool, and even complimented how good the Kings were and how good of a game it was. He said that Evans and Thompson were up and coming players that would be the future of the NBA. The second overtime didn't go so well because Kings were attempting too many 3 pointers and they were barely missing them.
Throughout the game, I never got nervous. I figured that if the Kings could be competitive, they would learn from their losses to become a better team. This team was so awesome tonight. They have a ton of talent. It reminded of the Chris Webber era. The new Kings matched up the Lakers perfectly. After the Kings lost in the second overtime, I realized the game as being one of the best I've seen. Every seemed to be happy about the double overtime game, even if the Kings had wasted good opportunities to win in regulation and in the first overtime. My brother was nervous about the game. He wanted the Kings to win, as much I wanted them to produce a W too.
Even with a loss tonight, and my father not attending the game, we had a great time. My brother attended a game in which he didn't have an alcohol beverage. He had a coke and some popcorn. I am really proud that he sat and watched the entire game without getting up besides at halftime. It was really an awesome experienced. After the game was over, I shook the hand of the Lakers fan that purchased the ticket, and told him that it was a good win for his team. He thanked me for the ticket. The Kings and my brother made the game a memorable event.
The only thing that would have made the night perfect is if my father also attended the game. The Kings will have many more fun and exciting games this year. This team will get much better. Wait until Kevin Martin returns to the lineup. Because of Martin's broken wrist, Evans turned in a dominant player. He drove through traffic and made finger rolls and really looked good out there tonight.
Though, there was times in which the Kings had isolated him from running the offense. This new Kings team has a ton of potential to make a run in the near future. The starting lineup is young and athletic. We are one great player away from contending for a NBA title. After the veteran teams start to flounder, the Kings will emerge as the favorite. The next time, I will take my father to the game. I will try to purchase front row seats so he doesn't have to climb a large flight of stairs. His foot has been giving him problems. It will be my goal to find a future game to attend.
The Kings did not disappoint tonight. They were one bad decision away from winning the game. They have played two overtime games against two competitive teams in the last few days - Cavaliers and Lakers. We have hope that the Kings will continue to grow, learning from their missed opportunities to close out games. They have to show more patience, and avoid relying too much on 3 pointers.
The Kings and Lakers game is one to remember as being priceless. The only that would have made it perfect and was missing at the game was my father. The Kings game on December 26, 2009 is the best I have watched in recent time. Everything will be better the next time around. That is when my father will attend a Kings game and one in which they will win the game.