Sacramento Kings inspire a tale of two NBA cities

Thu, Apr 14
1:14
PM ET
Sacramento Kings fansKyle Terada/US PresswireWhat began as a raucous evening ended as a somber night Wednesday for Sacramento Kings fans.

The Sacramento Kings might have played their last game on Wednesday.

The city's beloved franchise is likely leaving for Anaheim, a move that would end the Kings' 26-year stay in California's capital.

With that in mind, Page 2 opens the history book to compare Wednesday's game to the team's last game in its previous home of Kansas City:


APRIL 14, 1985: LOS ANGELES LAKERS 122, KANSAS CITY KINGS 116

Site, attendance: Kemper Arena; 11,371

Opponent absences: Lakers played without Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy.

Leading scorers: Byron Scott 25, Mitch Kupchak 19 (L.A.); Mike Woodson 25, Larry Drew 22 (K.C.).

Selected fan signage: "Nuke Sacramento," "Kill Axelson," in reference to vilified general manager Joe Axelson, whom many fans blamed for the team's departure.

Final Kings record: 31-51, last in the Midwest Division.

Future NBA head coaches who suited up: Kurt Rambis and Byron Scott for the Lakers; Larry Drew, Reggie Theus and Mike Woodson for the Kings. Also, future Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak played for Los Angeles.

Kings coach's quote: "We wanted very much to win this game for our fans here. I felt something special, and I know the players did, too." -- Phil Johnson

Closing music: "Auld Lang Syne," played a few minutes before 4 p.m. CT.




APRIL 13, 2011: LOS ANGELES LAKERS 116, SACRAMENTO KINGS 108 (OT)

Site, attendance: Power Balance Pavilion; 17,641.

Opponent absences: Lakers played without Matt Barnes, Steve Blake and Andrew Bynum.

Leading scorers: Kobe Bryant 36, Lamar Odom 22 (L.A.); Marcus Thornton 33, Tyreke Evans 19 (Sac.).

Selected fan signage: "Here we stay," "Here we belong."

Final Kings record: 24-58, last in Pacific Division.

Future NBA head coaches who suited up: If Page 2 gets its wish, Ron Artest.

Kings coach's quote: "We felt the love of Sacramento. I was very proud of our team. Very proud of the progress we made this year. Really sorry the season is over." -- Paul Westphal

Closing music: "Love Song" by Tesla, played shortly after 10 p.m. PT.


Sources: The Associated Press, Sacramento Bee.