Holding fast to the Kings
The Nuggets, overjoyed to reach the NBA playoffs, took a quick exit, as expected. The Avs saw their Cinderella comeback die over in the NHL this week. So Colorado is done this playoff season. But wait, there’s one more team with a Colorado and Vail Valley tie in Bob Hernreich, part owner of the Sacramento Kings. The Kings remain the pick of this corner of the newsroom to win the NBA championship.
Sure, they tumbled from best record in the league to fourth in the Western Conference while working injured star Chris Webber back into the lineup. Though widely criticized, that move will pay off as the team’s top player works himself closer and closer to 100 percent.
Somewhat quietly, the Kings clobbered the West’s top regular season team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, on the Wolves’ home court in the first of their seven-game series.
The series under the spotlight, of course, is the one between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs – who between them have won each of the past five championships. The valley’s connection to the Lakers by now is infamous and thoroughly unwanted with the rock-headed Kobe Bryant headed toward his rape trial. Meantime, a poetic sort of justice may be playing out between the assemblage of fractured and feuding future hall of famers meeting the epitome of a team. Thus far, the true team is kicking the superstars squarely in the rear end.
This may work to perfection for Hernreich’s Kings, who have been knocking at this championship door for a handful of years now. Let the titans work each other over, and take the Kings perhaps too lightly.
This might be the year for local fans to hoist a cold one at the Kings Court in Vail Village’s Sanctuary, in honor of a new champ. D.R.
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