The Sacramento Kings played their first game at Golden 1 Center since March 11 and it was a clear indication of what life will be like going forward as the new normal.

There will be no fans for the foreseeable future at Golden 1 Center.

Just like the rest of the NBA teams, there will be no fans to tip the scales. The Kings going against the Golden State Warriors in a preseason game on Dec. 15 resembled a practice day for everyone involved.

Outside of the players competing on the court, social distancing was the story around G1C, and the staff working the facility operated the place with a skeleton crew. The cardboards in the seats were not up to full capacity, either.

The local media representatives were spread out around the arena, too. But the most important thing is that professional basketball is back in Sacramento — even if the fans are not.

The Kings will play their first regular-season game against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 23. Back-to-back matchups against the Phoenix Suns start with a Dec. 26 game at G1C, and then a Dec. 27 game in Phoenix.

Denver is on the schedule again in a home game on Dec. 29. The Kings will end 2020 with a New Year’s Eve game against the Houston Rockets.

The 72-game regular-season schedule is split into two segments, with the first half running through March 4, 2021. The schedule for the second half of the season (March 11 – May 16, 2021) will be released during the latter part of the first half portion of the schedule.

The second half schedule will include the remainder of each team’s 72 games not scheduled in the first half as well as any games postponed during the first half that can reasonably be added to the second half schedule.

As part of this shortened season’s unique scheduling assignments featuring a focus on divisional matchups, Sacramento will host the L.A. Lakers and Phoenix twice at Golden 1 Center, while visiting Golden State and the L.A. Clippers twice.

By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer