Wednesday evening in Sacramento was one of the saddest moments of the NBA season. The Kings faced the Lakers in what was likely their last game ever in Sacramento given their plans to move to Anaheim. It couldn’t have been a more bitter goodbye for Kings fans who watched their team blow a late lead to the enemy Lakers after mounting a huge comeback. But if there were some people who enjoyed seeing the outcome, it was Lakers fans.
Team USA star soccer player and LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan is an LA native and fan of the local sports teams. As a Lakers fan, he took particular joy in watching the team beat the Kings in their final game in Sacramento and gloated on twitter:
Donovan took massive amounts of heat from Kings fans as a result and followed up by saying “Jesus, one little joke brings out the passion. Note to self: don’t ever go to Sacramento…ever.” Then when things were explained to him from real people in Sacramento who are forced to see their team leave and have local jobs lost, Donovan started to understand and empathize. He apologized, writing “I apologize. I’m a diehard Laker fan and got emotional. I made a mistake, sorry to all the King fans.” He even took down that critical tweet, but thanks to Jose3030 on twitter it was preserved.
Donovan never had to apologize for his comments because he is a Lakers fan and that’s part of the rivalry. But after he connected with fellow fans who showed him how much it sucks to lose a team, he understood and apologized. He didn’t have to, but I’m glad he learned how painful this is for Kings fans and realized how insensitive his remark was. It’s the Maloofs who need the criticism, not the fans.