The sound is unmistakable to any sports fan. It's a cheer, or more specifically a noise, but an off-putting one because the din is rising in volume despite the fact that there is nothing remarkable happening on the field of play. Usually it means something that shouldn't be on the field of play has crossed the boundaries, like some lunkhead fan trying to follow through on a dare. During Monday night's Warriors/Kings contest, though, several pieces of what appeared to be black tarp continually kept falling down to Sleep Train Arena's midcourt area, stopping a classic competitive Golden State/Sacramento contest each time.
Watch the video:
You'll notice, during the first fall, Kings coach Keith Smart was the one that appeared to not only first spot the tarp, but dash out and grab it in order to run back to the sideline and place it in front of former Kings legend Brad Miller, who was attending the game.
Keith Smart saw a black tarp that covered an advertisement fall from the scoreboard above center court and ran out to grab the piece of plastic while his Sacramento Kings played defense on the other end. Officials whistle the play dead, and Smart sprinted back to the bench like a running back holding a football, drawing roars from a rare sellout crowd.
''I saw something that was a problem, and I had to rectify that problem immediately,'' joked Smart, the former Warriors coach. ''And I think I did a good job. I was worried about slipping, though.''
West coast Kings beat writers, on a deadline, did not mention the minor incidents during their game reports; but though a handy joke about the ancient (in NBA-relative terms) former Arco Arena is due initially, the falling tarps appear to be either a part of that evening's "Blackout" promotion, or a reaction to failing advertising fortunes. One that covered huge gobs of the arena (and the team's home uniforms) in black. The tarps that fell were apparently in place to cover four different massive ad banners that hung from the scoreboard above midcourt.
The Kings have been hurting for revenue for years, so it's not clear why they would cover the multi-colored signs for Monday's promotion. At best, it may have something to do with the 'Medieval Times'-styled halftime show. Perhaps the sponsors were left over from last year, and the Kings were too cheap/embarrassed to take the ads off, too unpopular to replace the sponsors, and too stubborn to let the lapsed sponsors take in some free advertising. We won't know for a while, but that's Sacramento Kings Basketball for you — it makes absolutely no sense.
Sacramento hung on to win its home opener, with unpopular owner Gavin Maloof watching from the sideline, to avoid an ohfer four start to the season; downing the Warriors after Stephen Curry's last-second shot fell short by a 94-92 score. We hope this isn't the only video we post of this team all season, and that they can give us some less embarrassing highlights to toss up as the rebuilding year moves along.