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In Defense of Gold

Let's talk about gold on jerseys for a moment, shall we? Wait, wait, put the pitchforks down and hear me out.

I possess very few basketball hot takes in my life. I still feel like Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all-time and that the Kings were robbed in Game 6 and that Space Jam is fun but almost entirely due to nostalgia. Tepid is just about as warm a take can get when it’s emanating from me. But there’s this one thing, this tiny, inconsequential thing that comes up from time to time that can take me from Vlade leaning on a wall watching a game to Boogie Cousins fifteen rows deep, fed up and flinging his mouthpiece into the stands and wouldn't you have it, but they're back in the news: those goddamn gold jerseys.

If your pandemic-altered existence has yet to bring it to your attention, Senior Writer Ryan McGee over at ESPN.com wrote an article ranking the worst NBA jerseys of all time and for the first time in a long time, the Kings held the #1 spot in something. Since then, there’s been some fun piling on by various basketball personalities. James Ham tweeted out his support for calling them the worst jerseys ever on Tuesday night saying "Worst unis ever". Pete Youngman, former trainer for the Kings tweeted out that they were the worst “In the history of sports...all sports, everywhere!” to which former Sacramento Bee reporter Jason Jones jumped into the festivities, tweeting in response: “Yes”. Even the Sacramento Kings themselves had fun tweeting about their fashion-phobic past:

I need to say this so that you understand that I'm not a stark-raving lunatic. No one here is in need of saving. The franchise thinks they’re bad, most fans and local media agree and the former owners who commissioned these jerseys couldn’t get me to defend them if this was a pick-up game for my mother’s soul. Yet, here I am - climbing the highest of horses in my whitest of armors and riding out, maybe not entirely for the honor of those mustard monstrosities of ‘05-’06, but to defend the idea, to raise the flag at the all-but-abandoned Fort Knox of Fashion, to light the fire during these cold days and warm up the hottest take that I've got left: 

The Sacramento Kings should have gold in their jerseys.

Take a moment. Stop violently shaking your head and let me talk this out. There are exactly two teams in this league that can stake a claim with gold: The Kings and the Denver Nuggets.  Denver has their alternative colorway for years to come - their City Edition Rainbow Skyline jerseys are up there with Miami's Vice uniforms for best in the league. Sure, Sacramento's regular home and away uniforms aren't bad overall, most of which I attribute to being designed before Nike took hold, but for nearly the entire run that Nike's design team has had they Kings have run out of the tunnel in uninspired, unimaginative kits.

You want to talk about the royal blues for a moment? Okay. The royal blue alternate this year was really quite nice if not a bit short lived, I agree. Having those put aside for a broad swath of the season for that Cranberry "Sactown" jersey design, literally just a color swap from the year previous, was quite possibly a crime against humanity. It was a music festival where Adele was followed up by a guy who farts show tunes into a kazoo. Like many other disappointments in the history of the Kings franchise, it was met with "eh, maybe they'll look better on the court!" and then a very quick "well, nevermind". The royal blues were good, if not cold. Some computer plotted a graph where the x-axis was design time and the y-axis was profit, and the royal blues were picked because it hugged that vertical line. They were another throwback to an era of actual design untouched by a bored Beaverton designer, a copy-paste for Nike so they can spend the extra man hours figuring out if "Cream City" is too obviously horny to put on a jersey.

I've digressed.

The Kings are uniquely suited for gold. There is the obvious allusions to royalty, I don't need to list these and honestly, living in a time where we're seeing democracy crumble around us and wealth disparity of unimaginable proportion, Nike dropping some Scrooge McDuck jerseys, with gold coins or bejeweled crowns might fling me into writing a manifesto. But there are other, better and more clever uses of Gold. Sacramento owes its population and status in California to a literal rush for gold in the 19th century. Again, most of you took fourth grade history, you don't need the lesson.  But, a black jersey with golden piping or accents around the lettering to represent (let me get my best designer voice going here) "the spirit of Sacramento's roots and the hard working pioneers who brought this city into existence, whose drive and determination we echo today in our quest for a golden trophy of our own". Does that work? No? Okay, so then let's have a quick chat about landmarks. Tower Bridge has only truly been gold since a vote was held in 2001, but it is still one of the iconic landmarks in the city. There's been plenty of amateur jersey mock-ups that show the iconic bridge used as siding on the shorts or jerseys. Toss the tower bridge there or around the waste band and you've got yourself the best jersey in the Ranadive era. If not Tower Bridge then incorporate the Gold Ball & Cupola that graces the top of the Capitol. Don't like that? Give Slamson a partner, toss a California Grizzly (aka California Golden Bear) on a jersey and call it a day. We murdered that guy into extinction, an alternate jersey and a goofy mascot is the least we can do. If Memphis complains, tell them that Texas BBQ is better and Z-Bo wasn't that good and send them on their way.  The point I'm beating you over the head with is that the implication of royalty, the history of Sacramento, the current landmarks of the city all point towards a city filthy with auric opportunity. The sooner we accept it, the better the Sacramento Kings jerseys will be.

This is where I have to actually speak to the credibility of the infamous '05-06 jerseys. Are they bad? Yes. The asymmetrical purple-and-white swoop is some brutalist architect's idea of aiguillettes. The jersey's numbers were too large, the wrong font and it forced the cursive Kings logo to the midsection.  Are they the worst jerseys of all time? No, but I don't have the strength to argue with you. I've seen soccer kits with Simpsons characters, G League jerseys that were fashioned to look like pizza (thanks for that Stockton), minor league baseball jerseys themed after The Price is Right.  No way.  The Mavs had the oily, platinum step-sibling jerseys to the Kings gold that were so god awful, Mark Cuban personally pulled the cord on them after a single game. The difference here is that the Kings didn't have Mark Cuban, they had the Maloofs and like all golden opportunities that smacked them across the head, they promptly found a way to fuck it up and couldn't take the financial hit of changing their minds.

The Maloofs were selfish. It shouldn't be a surprise that the same guys that gave a collective thumbs up on those jerseys were the one's that thought eating a $6000 meal from Carls Jr. would somehow give them sex appeal. Like most who claim to be billionaires, they couldn't see that gold is an accent, not something to be slapped everywhere you can physically have it. The Kings and the rest of the league have learned from the gluttony of Gavin, George and Joe. Just this year the NBA champion Toronto Raptors unveiled a Drake/OVO inspired black-and-gold color theme that is absolutely something that the Kings could not only copy, but top.

Run the Tower Bridge or the Capitol dome across the back above the player's name, throw that retro cursive "Kings" that fans all love on the front and print enough money to build a Golden 2 Center.

Obviously, I know this has very little to do with the actual franchise. From what I understand, Nike has all say on design and the scheduling of what jerseys get worn and when, so I'm writing this as much to that single Nike intern who has 5 minutes to come up with a jersey for the Kings next season as I am for the collective conscience of the Kings fandom. Yes, I know the phrase "gold jerseys" triggers flashbacks to Grey Poupon ladened guards and the various and ugly hair styles of 2006. Believe it or not, I even know those old jerseys were bad. But the idea... The idea wasn't. It's time we all give gold another shot.

I mean, how bad could they be?

[yop_poll id="3"]

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Greg
Admin
May 7, 2020 8:24 am

Will: Gold should be an accent color

Also Will: makes the cover art a jersey covered entirely in gold

Aykis16
Admin
Nostradumbass 13
Nostradumbass 13
May 7, 2020 8:31 am
Reply to  Greg

Also Will: comment image

Nardell
Nardell
May 7, 2020 8:35 am

comment image

ArsLegendi
May 7, 2020 8:48 am

I’ve always loved the black-and-gold color scheme.

But, counterpoint:

Those are LAFC’s colors, which we’re about to see a whole lot of in Sacramento.

richie88
May 7, 2020 1:50 pm
Reply to  ArsLegendi

If the Kings wanted to do something like the Toronto jerseys, it should be purple & gold instead of black & gold. That’d really tie into the royalty theme.

Kingsguru21
May 7, 2020 9:04 am

When you use terms like ‘auric opportunity’ and ‘aiguillettes’, you’ve clearly digressed Will. I’m sorry to be the one to inform you of this.

I agree about the Tower Bridge on a City jersey, although I’d add another twist in there (which from a design standpoint is probably impossible). I’d add the Discovery Park shot of the Sacramento/American rivers merging which isn’t necessarily the best (or my favorite–especially when people are nearby) landmarks in the area but probably the one that could easily capture all the things that makes Sacramento unique and is easily recognizable. The Discovery Park part would be a muted background part of the bridge, if possible. Black perhaps? A jersey version of a graphic tee would probably be the way I’d sell it.

Anyway, your point is true. You could incorporate gold, and effectively. Even have it be a dominant color…..done correctly. Those silly jersey’s were….not done correctly. Obviously.

Well done Will. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
May 7, 2020 9:40 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I like the Tower Bridge concept as well. Can someone post an image of the Rivercats hat that has the Tower Bridge in it (I still can’t figure out how to post images of the internet). It has a cool design that I kind of wanted the Kings to incorporate somehow.

https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.MnwEInzon9RzNkN4h6FEzwAAAA&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

Marty
May 7, 2020 10:01 am
Reply to  Adamsite

This is a pin…

comment image

marvmadness
May 7, 2020 10:13 am
Reply to  Marty

HatClub went a step further and took the River Cats logo and even gave it the Kings treatment.

[imgcomment image[/img]

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
May 7, 2020 10:22 am
Reply to  marvmadness

If that baseball were a basketball, I’d totally buy it.

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 10:25 am
Reply to  marvmadness

Just replace the baseball with a head shot of Jerry Reynolds and we’re all set!

Marty
May 7, 2020 11:12 am
Reply to  RobHessing

comment image

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 12:14 pm
Reply to  Marty

River City Reynolds!
comment image

ZillersCat
May 7, 2020 2:21 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Take my money $

richie88
May 7, 2020 1:53 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’m not really into the idea of the Tower Bridge representing Sacramento. It just seems like a knockoff Golden Gate Bridge to me.

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 3:17 pm
Reply to  richie88

Fair enough – comment image

Hozr
May 7, 2020 4:45 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

What does the War of the Worlds have to do with Sacramento?

Kfan
May 7, 2020 4:47 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Rec’d for using the City of Trees version rather than the Forked up Farms version

Kingsguru21
May 8, 2020 8:23 am
Reply to  Kfan

That is indeed not cool. Lame, even.

TheFifthMookie
May 7, 2020 9:07 am

Hot Take: Gold Jerseys are better than that red catastrophe they ran out on the court last year.

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
May 7, 2020 9:29 am
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

That I would actually agree with.

Malrock
May 7, 2020 8:20 pm
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

Completely disagree… the gold was awful.

Ialmostmissthemaloofs
May 10, 2020 12:47 pm
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

I’m actually in agreement with this. I hated the gold jerseys, but I hated the red ones even more. The gold was actually much uglier, and the red jerseys would be ok… just not for this team. Can’t understand the Kings in red at all.

Otis
May 7, 2020 9:20 am

The asymmetrical purple-and-white swoop is some brutalist architect’s idea of aiguillettes.

comment image

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 10:10 am
Reply to  Otis

This is what happens when Will subcontracts a paragraph to TJ Macias.

Marty
May 7, 2020 9:23 am

I’m willing to listen to your argument Will, just as soon as I see an actual King and an actual lion hanging out on K street, preferably not pushing a shopping cart. Otherwise, this whole “royalty” thing makes no sense.

“The point I’m beating you over the head with is that the implication of royalty“

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 10:05 am
Reply to  Marty

Maybe not hanging out on K Street, but stop by your local jail and you can see an actual Lyon hanging out…comment image

Marty
May 7, 2020 11:15 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Why do you hate bathroom surveillance cameras?

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 12:53 pm
Reply to  Marty

They never get my good side.

Carl
May 7, 2020 3:46 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Try turning the other cheek

Hozr
May 7, 2020 4:47 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

You just need to bend over more before you sit down

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
May 7, 2020 9:32 am

My major pause on having gold is that a certain last place team down I80 has “Gold” in their name. Also the historian in me says San Fran has more of a history in the Gold Rush then does Sacramento. From that, gold should not be used for historical reasons.

Also, I just don’t like gold anything. Stick to purple, black and/or blue, but fuck the red uniforms.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
May 7, 2020 9:35 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Also.. it looks like a page refresh lets you vote again. Shenanigans!

ZillersCat
May 7, 2020 2:25 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

But the red were so Christmas’y
comment image

ZillersCat
May 7, 2020 2:25 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

OK that was bigger than I wanted .. I’m more a demure cat.

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 3:14 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

St. Nik Rocks!

Omr_14
May 8, 2020 7:34 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Have to disagree with you on that one. The gold rush literally started in the Sacramento region and was just as important to the city’s existence as it was to SF’s growth in population. Who cares if they have a football team named after miners, it’s just as much part of Sac’s history as it is theirs.

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 9:46 am

First, let’s state that I could give a flying fig about what ESPN has to say. That said, the gold jerseys were easily my least favorite permutation of Kings unis.

A little gold as an accent would be fine with me, and purple and gold would certainly be in line with royal colors. That said, there is a certain team down south that has rocked those colors for years and years, and that is problematic. A black and gold alternate would be fine with me, and let it go at that.

Marty
May 7, 2020 10:04 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Royal is right there in front of us. Such an easy choice.

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 10:06 am
Reply to  Marty

Yep – fine with me.

Kingsguru21
May 7, 2020 10:15 am
Reply to  Marty

I would be a huge fan of changing the name back to the Royals. HUUUUUUUGGGGGGEEEEEEE fan.

RikSmits
May 7, 2020 10:22 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I prefer the alliteration of Sacramento Serfs. More modest too, and fitting the franchise’s accomplishments.
The only way we can affix the word “Royal” to this franchise is combining it with “clusterfuck”.

Ialmostmissthemaloofs
May 10, 2020 12:51 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I think Sacramento “Court Jesters” is fitting.

marvmadness
May 7, 2020 10:39 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Good idea.

But once the KC Royals decide to bring the team to Sacramento, the basketball team will be the Kings again.

Or the baseball team will be the Kings.

Marty
May 7, 2020 1:22 pm
Reply to  marvmadness

Haven’t you heard? Baseball folds by 2028.

Hozr
May 7, 2020 4:49 pm
Reply to  Marty

Maybe they’ll get a new crease on life.

RikSmits
May 7, 2020 10:16 am

comment image

marvmadness
May 7, 2020 10:33 am

Next phase of historic tied Sacramento Kings jerseys:

Brown and Orange, for the colors of the ponies that represent the terminus of the Pony Express route.

TheFifthMookie
May 7, 2020 1:42 pm
Reply to  marvmadness

Brown and Orange, so the Kings match their peer team in the NFL!

RobHessing
May 7, 2020 3:13 pm
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

The Washington Generals unis had gold in them..comment image

Vlawde
May 7, 2020 10:38 am

Gold accent is ok but that’s it. Personally I like the purple/black combo, baby blues are almost as bad as all gold, ugh. BTW I’m signed into the site but when I tried to vote it said I had to log into WordPress. Huh? I don’t have a WP account

Malrock
May 7, 2020 10:49 am

Terrible idea. You can not defend the indefensible. Gold jersey is nothing but an abomination.

Jman1949
May 7, 2020 11:46 am
Reply to  WGriffith

With life as we knew it on hold,
Will dares defend unis of gold!
That take’s a hard sell
Here in Basketball Hell—
I’ll give him one thing: it is bold!

AmateurNerd
May 7, 2020 10:52 am

Defending the gold jerseys? May have to give Sactown Royalty another look now…

Kidding. But NO GOLD GOD NO AAAHHHH.

ZillersCat
May 7, 2020 2:29 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

True .. if you like the gold jerseys .. you need to spend 10 days at Sactown Royalty. If you like the red .. life .. no parole !

Carl
May 7, 2020 3:57 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

There’s certainly no problem with social distancing over there.

Dr.209
May 7, 2020 12:09 pm

I’d be down for some redesigned gold jerseys. Agree w you – definitely better than the rando red jerseys they gave us.

Kosta
May 7, 2020 3:21 pm

comment image
comment image
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ZillersCat
May 7, 2020 6:47 pm
Reply to  Kosta

You’ve got skills 🙂

mdeedublu
May 7, 2020 8:20 pm
Reply to  Kosta

You have too much time on your hands…

Have a plus anyways.

Marty
May 7, 2020 8:55 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Finally a nice looking gold jersey.

ZillersCat
May 8, 2020 5:53 am
Reply to  Kosta

I’d go with the trees alternates. People make fun of Sac would go with the tomatoes. The nuggets are already taken by Denver.

I’m glad we can finally get back to some in depth analysis of basketball. I’ve missed it. Also, Ziller needs to clean the cat box.

Jman1949
May 8, 2020 8:40 am
Reply to  ZillersCat

Slamson would definitely look different if we went with tomatoes!

comment image

ZillersCat
May 8, 2020 2:42 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

That might be a good Halloween jersey. Does it have to keep winking?

kingsforaday
May 8, 2020 7:43 am
Reply to  Kosta

Sacramento Seasonal Allergies. Sponsored by Zyrtec.

ZillersCat
May 8, 2020 9:19 am
Reply to  kingsforaday

The Blue Diamond patch may be coming due for a new sponsor? Zyrtec .. yeah .. that is Sacramento too.

Ialmostmissthemaloofs
May 10, 2020 1:03 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Do not like the green. Reminds me of the Sonics, who tried to shoplift our team.

SlamsonsRollerskates
May 9, 2020 10:08 am

I’m just glad as a Kings fan you’re defending the Kings jerseys (as ugly as they are) when a certain Laker fan at a former Kings fan site is clearly enjoying ESPNs ranking thoroughly.

Ialmostmissthemaloofs
May 10, 2020 1:02 pm

Wonder how long it will be before they fold up Sactown Royalty? I mean, if no one reads it except the two plants they have posting messages, what is the point of those articles being written?

OH… and please…. no gold. Ever again. Thank you. Or red. Thanks again.

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