If you've been anywhere near STAPLES Center and LA Live during the 2013-2014 hockey season, you've seen in big block letters the statement "We are all Kings" displayed boldly and proudly. As the double decker buses turned on to Chick Hearn Way early this afternoon, another statement was added: We are all champions.
The Los Angeles Kings completed their improbable run through the 2014 NHL playoffs with Lord Stanley's cup in their possession once again. They've also gained a reputation as a team of historic grit and perseverance. A team that now always expects to be competing for a championship. Los Angeles loves a winner and the Kings are the only ones putting on rings lately.
"This is a big [expletive] day," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proclaimed as he raised a beer over his head during the championship rally. The crowd roared. The team's beloved hard scrabble coach, Darryl Sutter, talked about family and what it means to be a team. The crowd roared. Luc Robitaille reminded us all of what it's taken to get here for the second time in three years. The crowd roared. Dean Lombardi, the architect of what the Kings have become, told us he felt like the luckiest man in the world. The crowd roared again.
Even with no game being played on the ice, this is what it's like to be there live. This is what makes LA a hockey town. The hockey town.
The mayor might be right. This is a big day.
We are all kings. We are all champions. This is Los Angeles.