Kings of the court, finally? |

Kings of the court, finally?

Don Rogers

We feel it in the bones: Surely this is Bob Hernreich’s year. His corner mall in Edwards opens, and his team finally puts it all together.

Hernreich, for those who don’t know, is part owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, which has owned the league’s best record despite missing their best player all season.

The Kings’ chief nemesis, those hated Lakers, can’t claim the same. Take out Shaq and they can’t beat the Denver Nuggets, which isn’t nearly the insult it was last year at this time.

All-Everything-But-A-Championship Chris Webber has been sidelined with a knee injury, but he should return with just enough time to work himself into game shape for the playoffs.

His replacement in the lineup, Indiana country giant Brad Miller, has turned out to be more than the somewhat lazy lug insiders feared. Why, he was an all-star this year, displaying the keen passing touch of another 7-footer on his team, “Floppy” Divac. Floppy for this solid, canny player’s ability to fall on his backside at the slightest touch and thereby fool referees into whistling fouls against opponents.

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Once Webber is back from injury and suspension for being a knucklehead in real life, this team will have the size and toughness, as well as the talent, to go get that championship. At last.

Should be some fun times at the Sanctuary in Vail Village, home of the NBA-sanctioned Kings Court, where Hernreich certainly ought to be holding court when he’s not at the games.

Meantime, those dysfunctional Lakers are looking like they might finally implode, and that may not be a bad thing.

Sure hope Kobe sounds more sincere on the stand in Eagle for his rape trial than he did over the all-star break about wanting to be a Laker for life while refusing to sign the contract that would be a genuine step toward making it so.

There’s so much talk about where he might go next in the NBA that folks seem to have plumb forgotten that this guy could be a Colorado resident for life. And we ain’t talking about signing with the Nuggets.

If there’s any justice in this world – outside the courtroom, of course – he’ll wind up in Toronto or Orlando, living the Vince Carter or Tracy McGrady hell. Either of those fellas would trade places in a heartbeat, and it sure sounds like the Kobe-weary Lakers would receive them with open arms.

Sacramento’s unselfish, fun team game is a welcome break from the ego-addled, prima donna Lakers. Well, Laker.

The valley’s ties to the Kings – especially as champions – would be sweet respite from Bryant’s lingering shadow stretching all the way from LA.

Now there’s a good reason to break out those cow bells during summer.

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