11th NBA Arena: Sleep Train Arena. Pelicans v. Kings

A quick stop in Sacramento during a road trip with my wife merited an 11th NBA arena visit to the Sleep Train Arena, better known as Arco Arena, home of the always-disappointing Sacramento Kings. The Kings took on the New Orleans Pelicans in a matchup that didn’t mean much this late in the season between two teams who won’t make the playoffs.

This is more than likely my final arena visit for the 2015-2016 season. I’ve gotten to see two other arenas this season in Milwaukee and Washington DC. You can also check out the rest of my visits here.

Arena 11: Sleep Train Arena, Pelicans vs Kings, 2016, Sacramento, CA ✔️


It was a late arriving crowd. Wednesday games are always hard for NBA teams to get good attendance for a game that didn’t mean much. The only exciting part in this one was getting to see Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, the two centers who are better than Karl-Anthony Towns right now, go up against each other. Going into the game the Pelicans were 24-42 and the Kings 26-40. The game would end with the Pelicans killing the Kings 123-108.

A few game observations. Anthony Davis is impressive, that is obvious. I never paid attention to James Anderson of the Kings but he had a nice stroke from three. Speaking of nice strokes from three, baby Dirk aka Ryan Anderson couldn’t be stopped. He was splashing from every corner of Sacramento. It was also interesting to see Seth Curry get meaningful minutes with RajOn Rondo hurt for the Kings. I was trying to imagine him as a consistent NBA player and I couldn’t. He just didn’t seem to add much, but I am sure he will find his way around the league. He had 11 points off the bench for the Kings.

In terms of arena, Sleep Train Arena is in its final season of operation. The Kings are building a new stadium that prevented them from moving them to Seattle a few years back. The Kings have played 28 years here, a year longer than the Wolves have played in Target Center. There is a good amount of history between the Wolves and Kings in this building as they had epic playoff battles in the early 2000’s. One moment that sticks out is when Anthony Peeler elbowed KG in the face here. It was the definition of a traitor move.

As I walked around the arena, there was still remnants of those early 2000 Kings teams. There were tons of Bibby, Jackson, Webber, and Divac Jerseys. The older players even made appearances via video in the stadium. The old Kings were fun to watch, but for whatever reason it seemed like Kings fans were holding onto that glory. I even saw a lot of Tyreke Evans jerseys. Remember, he won Rookie of the Year and looked like he would be a super star at one point.

It was Latino Night at the stadium and it was done great, compared to what was displayed for Latino Night in Minnesota. The Kings displayed the diversity the Latino culture has and had lots of in game entertainment from a Salsa and Beso cam to mariachi bands. How the Timberwolves approached this night was laughable and likely would’ve been offensive had the Wolves had a larger Latino fandom.

Outside of that, the arena looked old. It had wood flooring around the stadium. The chairs were worse than the seats at the Metrodome. But you can’t be mad because it was their final season there. The fans were incredibly passionate once they arrived to the game. Lots of boos once it was half time and the Pelicans scored 74 points. Many fans stuck out the entire game regardless as the casual fans exited the building with 7 minutes left.

As I visit these, I think eventually I will start ranking my experiences. This will definitely be amongst the lowest. But I will develop a scoring system that will make it less subjective.

P.S. I posted this before finishing since I am on the road still. But I hope you enjoy!

 

The Timber Rebuilder.

9th NBA Arena: Verizon Center ✔️

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’ve probably seen our bucket list to visit all NBA arenas in which we had previously visited 8 arenas. The 8 arenas were the Target Center, Madison Square Garden, the Rose Garden, Staples Center, TD Garden, Phillips Arena, the Amway Center,  and the United Center. Today, we got to visit the Verizon Center in DC.

Arena 9: Verizon Center, Wizards vs Kings, 2015, Washington D.C.

The venue was definitely lit and exciting. Fans were really engaged and supportive of the Wizards. We sat around a good amount of season ticket holders and they were cheering like the team was still good. They seem quite knowledgable about the game. They were excited to see some DC-products in Rudy Gay and Caron ‘Tuff Juice’ Butler come home and play, both went to UCONN. The chairs in the stadium were roomy and the stadium crew was constantly playing great background music. It also helped that there was a Dunkin Donuts in the stadium as my wife and I were fairly tired heading to the arena.

The NBA-wide marketing scheme of giving out something free in the fourth quarter if an opposing team player misses two consecutive free is pure genius. Just admiring it from a business-perspective. Fans definitely go crazy for some free Chic-Fil-A.

The Wizards were without Gary Neal and Bradley Beal in this one, so they needed someone to step up. Those guys were Martin Gortat and Garrett Temple. Gortat was huge in the first quarter. Temple provided much needed three-point shooting and defense. Kris Humphries has definitely developed a three-point shot as well. As much as I dislike the former Minnesota Gopher, he has found a way to extend his career in the NBA. The rookie Kelly Oubre Jr filled in well for the struggling Otto Porter. John Wall was definitely impressive posting a career-high 19 assists in the game.

Former Timberwolves included: Gary Neal, Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins, Kosta Koufos, and head coach Randy Wittman. Did Martell Webster get released after his season ending injury? If not, add him to the list. All reminders of days that should be forgotten.

While at this game, the Wolves lost to the Celtics. Kevin Garnett did not play but received a standing ovation from the Boston fandom. Andrew Wiggins seemed to struggle early but had 26 points. The young Dream, Karl-Anthony Towns had a monster line: 25 points, 16 rebounds, & 3 blocks.

Reporting live from DC. The Timber Rebuilder.