Sure, if the Lakers win tonight, we will not have to face them in the first round. That saves our toughest matchup later, for when we get there. If the Lakers win, there's always the chance (0.1%) that Memphis or New Orleans might take them out before we play them. If the Lakers win, we can hopefully get a favorable matchup in the first round, and have a chance to win. I would not complain one bit about missing the Lakers in the first round.
But I cannot do that to the Kings. Not in this, what might be their last game in Sacramento. Kings fans have hated the Lakers for all the same reasons we have. Kings fans have put in a lot of effort in supporting their team their whole time there. And even though during this rebuilding phase, things haven't been as good, Kings loyalists have been there, rooting for the Purple and Black.
I saw what happened when our division rivals were taken out of their city. I saw the heartbreak of Seattle fans. I saw how much they mourned the loss of the NBA, cursing the name of David Stern all the while. And I cannot watch it happen again. I cannot stand by and do nothing as another city's fans are broken. As their children are left crying. As the next generation of basketball fans are killed before they're even born before our very eyes.
And yet, what can I do? I can do next to nothing. This may be the last game the Kings play in the arena formerly named Arco. I'm not in Sacramento. I'm not close enough to buy tickets, to cheer at the game. I'm not close enough to bring a sign, or to vote in their city elections. But I can do one thing. And it may mean nothing in the end. But I'm going to do it anyways. I'm cheering for the Sacramento Kings tonight.
I'm cheering for the Kings, even if that brings the Lakers as our first round opponent. I'm cheering the Kings even if that means our odds of making the second round plummet. I'm cheering the Kings, because the city of Sacramento deserves to have their team stay. And that I can't stand to see the Lakers win anything certainly doesn't hurt anything.
Go Kings! There you stay! And maybe a last second miracle can keep the Kings where they belong. With the fans that love them. This is for you Sactown. Go make the world proud.