SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – On the night of the verdict out of Minneapolis, the NBA team that plays there happened to be in Sacramento for the Kings very first home game with fans in more than a year.
The Minnesota Timberwolves took the court only five hours after the guilty verdict came down, adding to the emotions heading the game Tuesday night.READ MORE: Hield's 18 Points, 11 Rebounds Help Kings Top Thunder 103-99
Fans brought their handmade signs, illustrating a COVID comeback inside the Golden One Center. Masked fans sat spread out amongst the cardboard cutouts, watching live NBA basketball again.
Eight-year-old Deion Noland made a picture of the COVID comeback: A DeAaron Fox dunk.
“It feels very exciting,” Noland said. “I just miss really being here.”
The Kings hosted 1,600 frontline workers for this first game with live fans in more than a year.
The small-sized group made the fan experience different.
This was no jam-packed, cowbell-clanging crowd.READ MORE: 'Wish It Would Have Been Handled In A Better Way': Grant HS Moves On From Legendary Football Coach Mike Alberghini
“I don’t think I’ve ever been here when there’s been less people here but it’s cool to see live basketball again,” Kings fan Seth Sternin said.
The Timberwolves tweeted a photo of player Jarred Vanderbilt outside the downtown Sacramento Sawyer hotel wearing a “hate free” sweatshirt before the game.
“I know it’s probably extremely emotional for them as a city as a team, as a people just as a collective grouo, so it’s special we could be a part of that today in such a monumental historical case,” Kings fan Kaleena Noland said.
It was a pivotal day for social justice and a coronavirus comeback at the Golden 1 Center.
The Timberwolves won this game.
Neither team made any formal reference to the verdict during the game.
Because of the unusual COVID NBA schedule, the Timberwolves and Kings actually play again here Wednesday night.MORE NEWS: Kings Fall To Timberwolves For Second Time This Season
More fans will be allowed inside for that game.