In honor of the team's final games at Sleep Train Arena, Kings.com catches up with team legends who will be in attendance for the last regular season game.
Grant Napear has been the man behind the microphone for as long as the Kings have been in Sacramento, providing exciting and iconic calls for the biggest moments in the team’s history.
As the Play-by-Play Announcer for Kings TV, Napear’s voice has become a mainstay for basketball in Sacramento. Kings fans everywhere have grown accustomed to hearing his signature calls like “oh boy!” and “If you don’t like that, you don’t like Kings basketball.”
We recently caught up with Grant to get his thoughts and memories regarding the past 28 seasons he’s spent at Sleep Train Arena.
On what was special about playing in the arena:
“The intimacy and the fact that the fans support this team whether they’re winning or losing [are special]. In Sacramento, we know what it’s like to be a Kings fan, but if you don’t live in Sacramento you probably don’t know how special it is to be a Kings fan. That’s the best way I can put it about these fans and this building. I’ve been blessed to live in other areas of the country and I’ve found that there’s nothing like Sacramento and nothing like Sacramento Kings fans.”
On an instance where the crowd changed the game:
“Over the years, there have been many many times where the fans have had a direct impact in winning the game. We’ve had some phenomenal comebacks here, but even the close games with five minutes left against really good teams, I’ve always felt that the fans have had a tremendous impact on how this team does.”
“When this team was winning 50-plus games every year, you could talk to every player and they would tell you how important the fans were during that run. I am convinced that the fans were responsible for a number of wins in those years.”
On his favorite memories in the building:
“Opening night in 1988 is definitely one of my favorite memories. It was my first ever telecast in this building and the second ever in my career.
I think though my favorite memory is the first playoff game ever in this building in 1996. It was Game 3 against [the] Seattle [SuperSonics] after the Kings had won Game 2 up there. I’ve never heard the building as loud as it was that night.”
Personally, one of the other great memories was when I played tennis in here with John McEnroe and Andre Agassi in a celebrity match in front of thousands of people. Outside of basketball, that would be my fondest memory.”
On the opening of Golden 1 Center:
“I can’t wait for a variety of reasons. Number one is that we’ve been in this building for a glorious 28 years and I say glorious because even through the bad times, we’re still standing. It’s bittersweet because I’ve had my boys grow up in this building. I’ve laughed with these fans and I’ve cried with these fans, but there’s nothing like moving to a new building. I’ve been to every [NBA] arena in this country and I’ve seen what it can do and I know what [Golden 1 Center] is going to do for our community. So for that reason, I can’t wait.