Friday, June 15, 2012

Report: Los Angeles Kings credit Sacramento Kings for Stanley Cup win

When the Los Angles Kings captured their first championship in the franchise's 45-year history on Monday night, the city of nearly four million people gave a hearty sigh. Well, at least the five hundred thousand or so southern Californians that care about hockey. This support from the surfing community was much appreciated by the Kings. However, it was a professional basketball team in the state's capital, some 400 miles to the north, that gave the team its edge over the New Jersey Devils.

"Honestly, we couldn't have done it without the support of the Sacramento Kings," said Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards, who joined the team last summer through a trade. "They sent us inspiring texts messages and even came to a few playoff games. There's a special bond between two pro teams that share the same name in different sports. Like, for example, the San Francisco Giants pulling for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl in February.And, the New York Giants cheering for the San Francisco Giants to win the World Series in 2010. There's really nothing like it. We owe a lot to them."

Richards makes a great point. How quickly we forget how the Giants unbridled support of the Giants captivated the nation only five short months ago. Eli Manning called the S.F. Giants backing "stronger than the Golden Gate Bridge."

And, here it is again. The Sacramento Kings were invited by the Cup winners to participate in the championship parade on Thursday. "We thought we would be mixed in with the Kings on multiple buses," said Marcus Thornton, the club's leading scorer this season. "Never in a million years did we think we would have our own bus ... at the front of the parade."

"There has long been a perceived divide between northern California and Southern California," explained a teary-eyed owner Philip Anschutz to NBC hockey analyst Darren Pang in the Kings' locker room following the game six victory. "Some have gone as far to suggest that the state be divided into two. Well, I'm here to tell you the northern part of the state and the southern part of the state became unified over the last couple months. The Kings and the Kings came together. It's a special, special thing, Darren."

When Pang asked Anshutz if the entire Sacramento roster would be outfitted with championship rings the politically conservative owner smiled nervously and replied, "Abso-f-ing-lutely!" Additionally, the Sacramento Kings will all have their names engraved onto the Cup.

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