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Carmichael Dave parked his purple RV outside the arena. He drove to New York and back over the last three weeks on his “Playing To Win Tour,” stopping at NBA cities to rally for Sacramento’s cause. He encouraged his fellow fans to treat this game as the “season finale, not the finale.”

John Silva wore a purple “Maloof the Maloofs T-shirt,” using the owners’ name as a derogatory verb that has become part of the vocabulary in California’s capital city.

“I’m optimistic the Kings will be back. The main thing this time is our bid is more concrete,” Silva said. “There was a lot of uncertainty last time (in 2011). It seems like it was a miracle that the Kings were able to stick around for two more years. I’m optimistic the Kings will get a fair shot by the commissioner and the NBA owners. This time it won’t be a Maloof decision.”

Others aren’t so sure.

Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro was drafted in the second round by the Kings in 1988. He said both Sacramento and Seattle deserve to be NBA cities.

Coincidentally, the first game of Del Negro’s career for the Kings also was the franchise’s first in the current arena, a 121-103 loss to Portland on Nov. 5, 1988.

“It means I’m getting old,” Del Negro said. “I played in the first game here, and I may be coaching the last one here.”


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