Relax, Ron, Sacramento Isn't That Bad
Ron Artest, welcome to the Capitol City! While I know the phrase “You’ve been traded to Sacramento,” is the NBA equivalent of hearing, “The judge denied your request for clemency,” that’s what you get for being an out of control whack job. You didn’t really think they were going to send you to Miami, did you? But Ron, even though Chris Webber has claimed to have cried when seeing nothing but rice fields driving from the Airport to the Arena, I assure you there is plenty to do in the place often referred to as “The NBA’s Siberia.” And, honestly, Ron, it’s not like you’re coming from New York. Unless you have a previously unknown penchant for the IRL or regular-season football, there ain’t much you were getting in Indy that you can’t get in Sac. Except sub-30 degree temperatures.
Luckily for you, Mr. Artest, I happen to be a native of Sacramento. And since Governor Arnold is not exactly rolling out the welcome mat for you, I would be remiss if I did not let you know some of the wonderful things about California’s Capitol City:
1. The Railroad Museum – This is exactly as exciting as it sounds. If you are as fascinated by freight hauling as I am.
2. Old Town – Because no other city in America can boast an “Old Town”
3. Arco Arena – You will not have to deal with any of those “parking,” “traffic,” or “other physical structure” issues that plague inconvenient downtown arenas. Nor will you have to encounter any actual “people” until you arrive at practice. Just watch where you step when you go back to your car.
4. The Capitol Building – Should you decide to raise your kids in Sacramento, there will be no shortage of places to go on field trips
5. The American River – Oh, wait. You can’t swim, can you? Never mind.
6. Los Angeles – Yes, the gleaming Hollywood Hills and Sandy Beaches of LA are only a short drive away. At least they are if you ask anyone from the East Coast. Feel free to start cursing me around hour 5.
7. Skiing – Only three hours of traffic up snow and ice covered US-50 has you in Lake Tahoe for some of the best winter sports in the country. The best time to go is typically November thought April or, as you might know it, basketball season.
8. Vibrant Nightlife – I believe Vlade Divac is the city’s most high-profile club owner.
9. San Francisco – (Noticing a theme, Ron? Half the things on this list are actually other places) Sacramento has been called “overflow parking for the bay area,” which his pretty accurate as it is a long shuttle ride down I-80. And when you hear people say, “I’m going to the city,” they don’t mean they’re going to downtown Sac.
10. Cal Expo – Though Sacramento has not managed to lure the big-dollar sport of thoroughbred racing yet, we do feature a lovely, state-of-the-art harness track. Because nothing says class like harness racing.
11. Sutter’s Fort – I lived in Sacramento for five years and I still have no idea what this place is. My guess: there was some guy named Sutter and he built a fort. (Sidenote: If you go by my boyhood home on 34th Street, you can see the historical “Meltzer’s Fort,” built entirely out of couch cushions and old bed sheets)
12. Sacramento Rivercats Baseball<> – Sacramento has the best attendance in all of AAA baseball. This is what happens when there’s nothing…..I mean “That’s because Sacramento has the best sports fans in the world!”
15. I got it……
16. No, never mind, I don’t……
Okay, look. There’s a reason they’ve sold out an 18,000 seat arena for 20 straight years. And it ain’t the winning tradition. But, look on the birght side; in two years you are going to be playing at The Palms anyway. So if you can just find yourself some fans to fight and some teammates to belittle between now and then, I guarantee your stay with the Kings organization will be a pleasant one.