Domas, Fox happy for Kings fans as playoff drought nearly snapped

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The city of Sacramento and Kings fans around the world have experienced 16 long years without NBA playoff basketball -- the longest active playoff drought in American professional sports. 

But now, for the first time since the 2005-06 season, that soon will change

“I just want to do it for the city,” Domantas Sabonis told Stadium insider Shams Charania in a recent interview. “For the city, for the fans. I’m scared of what’s going to happen to be honest.” 

Scared because in his short time living in Sacramento, the three-time NBA All-Star is fully aware of how passionate Kings fans are. And he knows once the Kings officially are postseason-bound -- or when they host their first playoff game at Golden 1 Center -- fans will be as loud as the cowbells they are ringing. 

The Kings made the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons from 1998 to 2006, and Arco Arena was a place no opposing team looked forward to playing in. It’ll be a new arena this time around, but the same fans and the same environment. 

Sacramento’s 2022-23 squad has made basketball in the 916 fun to watch again.

And all season -- all the way back to Opening Night against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 19 -- Kings fans packed G1C, rooting for the team they’ve loved and supported all their lives. Now, their hopes and dreams of getting back to the postseason are becoming more than just wishful thinking. 

The Kings enter Monday as the No. 2 seed in the West with a dozen regular-season games remaining. Their storybook season that many thought would start and end in Chapter One continues to be written. 

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And for De’Aaron Fox, who has spent his entire six-year NBA career with the Kings and seen the ups and downs the franchise has endured, he knows how much a playoff berth would mean to the city and its fans. 

“No matter who we’re playing, it’s loud," Fox told Charania. "This fanbase shows up no matter who you’re playing. The last TNT game, 'cause I don’t remember how it was when we played [the] Brooklyn [Nets], the last TNT game when we played [the] New York [Knicks], I thought it was great that the world got to see that.” 

Sabonis, Fox and the Kings will look forward to showing the world a whole lot more in the coming weeks.

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