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SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 12: A general view of the Sacramento Kings playing the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden 1 Center on December 12, 2016 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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What Is Normal Anymore?

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

We have all heard the phrase or even uttered it ourselves, “when will we get back to normal?”

We all know what the thought process is behind that statement, but what do people truly mean by that? I believe they really want to know when things will return to closer to the way they were.

One of the great things about us as people is the ability we have to adapt. We may be resistant to change but out of necessity we need to adapt and then create the “new normal.”

That takes us to the sports world. For well over a year now, especially here in California, we haven’t had fans at the games. Being blessed enough to be one of the few that has worked all these Sacramento Kings games during this time it has been an adjustment.

Calling games off of a monitor while the team played in Orlando’s NBA bubble. This season, sitting behind plexi-glass while the teams play in front of us on the hardwood, or even behind that same plexi-glass watching the game off the big screen at Golden 1 Center trying to describe the action as best as possible. These have been obstacles, but challenges that have been met head on and now feels like normal.

When the Kings announced on Monday that fans would be coming back in about a week, I was very excited.

I also began to think of that as “abnormal.” Imagine being in a stadium built for 17,000 when you are one of anywhere between 15-50 people there on a nightly basis. Bathrooms built for dozens, occupied by one sometimes two. Concourses that are designed for thousands, now are filled with isolated foot steps. Currently not all the seats are filled but the ones that are belong to cardboard cutouts.

This is the normal that we have adjusted to.

The next adjustment will be easy. We have lived this before and we all want to live it again. Seeing fans in the building, cheering, booing, supporting, and agonizing over this team is what it used to be like. This slow return for the remainder of this season will likely lead us to where things appear to be going next season, which is a full arena. There were so many instances this year that I wished there were fans in the building to experience. It is better when they are there, there is a life in the building that is hard to describe but if you have been there you know it.

The players miss that, I miss that and the fans will bring it as they always have.

Imagine if they were there in person to witness the jump made by De’Aaron Fox, the strong first impression of Tyrese Haliburton, or just to go crazy over Harrison Barnes game winner against the Cavs.

Next week it will be time to adjust and adapt again.

That is what we do. That is what is required and then that will become the new normal again. It will be so great to have people back in the building to not only give the players a little life but I can tell you it will provide a nice jolt to the broadcasters too.

See you soon, Kings fans.

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