I covered the Kings for one year for The Times. They were just plain sad.
Adam Deadmarsh didn’t play the entire season because of post-concussion syndrome. Neither did Jason Allison for the same reason.
Another high-profile player, Ziggy Palffy, lasted a few dozen games before he went down with a season-ending shoulder injury.
Somehow still standing through all of this, legendary but aging left wing Luc Robitaille slung some verbal arrows at the coach, Andy Murray, when Robitaille became a healthy scratch for a few games.
Dustin Brown was a rookie on that squad. If I had any advice for him, it would have been simple.
Run. Quickly. Avoid getting trapped in a franchise with decades of mediocrity.
Little did I know I would look like the foolish one.
He stuck around, put his stamp on the franchise with his gritty style and became the enduring image from their 2012 title thanks to his gap-toothed smile while holding up the Cup.
If the end of their 44-year drought wasn’t shocking enough, they’re now two for their last three.
This is supposed to be a Lakers town. This is supposed to be a Dodgers town. This is supposed to be a Clippers town. (Yeah, scratch that last one.)
The Kings have done more for their fans the last three years than the other three franchises combined.
The Lakers are foundering, the Dodgers haven’t won the World Series since 1988 and the Clippers have still somehow never made it past the second round.
The Kings’ curve is endless with so many savvy veterans, the game’s best goaltender and plenty of energetic youth.
Somewhere today, Brown is smiling. Yet again.