For the first time in 17 years, the Sacramento Kings are in the NBA Playoffs. It is the longest playoff drought in major league sports. The most salient memory I have from my first decade of life is watching Mike Bibby and Peja Stojakovic in a heartbreaking loss in the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

The next two decades of Kings fandom consisted of attempts to move the team to Anaheim, then Seattle, then ultimately getting bought by Vivek Ranadive; some very questionable draft decisions and 12 different coaches. It has been a roller coaster cheering for the Kings, if roller coasters were constantly disappointing. You don’t even have to watch sports to know that the Kings are bad.

However, it’s a privilege to be a fan of such a notoriously terrible team.

The Kings have taught me how to uphold dignity while being ridiculed and mocked by everyone you meet. Ironically, it’s even worse when the Kings have a good game because opposing teams are extra rude if they lose to the Kings. They have built a quality in me in which I love – the ability to have high hopes without getting (fully) crushed or become entirely jaded.

There is a fine line between loyalty and stubborn delusion, and I may very well have crossed that line. It is unlikely that we will make it very far in these playoffs, but I will continue to hold out hope for this team that keeps trying. I love this team and its fans because they have to believe in themselves when no one else does. What is more honorable than trying, time and time again?