It was a good time the other night for Sacramento, where they don’t get to have a lot of basketball good times, to see future Hall of Famer Russell Westbrook come into town, shoot 2-for-14, and be lampooned on the scoreboard as the “Ice Cold Player Of The Game” while the arena DJ played Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice” after several of those misses.
Westbrook didn’t really notice during the game, but he got a chuckle out of it and a chance to remind everyone that he’s been damn good in this league for a long time and given Sacramento plenty of rougher nights than Wednesday.
According to Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 Sacramento, though, the NBA was not down with the 1977 hit being used to troll a superstar. If it, ahem, “Feels Like The First Time” that the league has dealt unfairly with the Kings, well, it isn’t. Perhaps the folks who screwed Sacramento in the definitely* rigged 2002 Western Conference Finals simply haven’t tormented California’s capital enough.
*Everyone gets to believe a conspiracy theory here and there, right? Game 6 was some of the biggest bullshit in the history of officiating, and 20 years later, it still stinks to high heaven.
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Is it childish for an NBA team’s game ops to try to play “Head Games” with an opponent? Sure, but it’s not an “Urgent” issue to get all “Hot Blooded” about. This is pro sports, and when you’re a “Long, Long Way From Home,” nobody expects to be treated like a “Juke Box Hero.”
The Kings found a way to be humorous about trolling an opponent in a way that wasn’t personal, that fans could appreciate, and that wouldn’t get redundant — most stars aren’t going to come into Sacramento and miss 85 percent of their shots. The NBA could’ve, and should’ve, just said “That Was Yesterday” and moved on.