When they say that sports are the most dramatic theater in the world, they aren't kidding. As an NBA owner, I can honestly tell you that I've been moved to laugh, cry, curse, and celebrate by what has happened on the court. In this past episode though, it was what was happening off the court that was causing me the most pain.
If I could have waved a magic wand or been granted a wish by a genie that day in Sacramento, I would have asked for everything to align in time so that we could get a new arena deal done with city leaders, partners, and the rest of the powers that be. We'd tried for a decade to get this done so that we would be able to give our fans what most of the other NBA franchises had -- a state of the art, fan-friendly arena that was competitive in the league. After this episode was filmed, my family was able to find a way to stay for one more year to see how we could get the deal done and give it one more chance. At present time, it's out of our hands.
The business of basketball however doesn't account for the heart of basketball -- and that's what you saw at that last game of the season. I remember sitting in that limo, watching the fans outside and wanting to tell them that I was right there with them, aching from what seemed to be inevitable at the time –- having to move the team elsewhere.
As a parent, I remember the euphoria of my boys' first game, and as a fan I remember winning impossible games and losing my voice in the process. Some of my best memories as a mother are courtesy of that arena floor. I will never forget the image of my boys out there before a game, drowning in their own jerseys and standing only knee-high to some of the players. Their eyes were wide with awe as they looked up at the men who would later whip the crowd into a cheering frenzy. I remember watching my babies chasing the basketballs, trying to throw one up towards the board but being barely able to lift it in the first place. And I remember seeing those little beings running around in front of thousands of people who were piling into their seats, and knowing that the fans around us cared as much about us as we do about them. All of the moments, the sounds, the games -- the sheer history of what we'd shared was hitting me right then. I mean, if you think that there is sweat and tears that goes into an episode of our show, you'd be right -- but most times it doesn't compare to the anxiety of sitting with thousands of other fans and biting your nails until the final buzzer.