Kings' new arena features cowbell for players to ring

When the Sacramento Kings take the court inside Golden 1 Center for their home opener Thursday against the San Antonio Spurs, each player will be able to literally ring in the start of another NBA season.

That's because the Kings' new arena features a 3-foot-tall cowbell hanging from a wall in the corridor between the locker room and the hardwood.

Cowbells have been a proud tradition of Kings basketball since the turn of the century, when former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson called Sacramento "an old cow town." Fans responded by bringing cowbells to home games during the 2002 Western Conference finals between the two teams, and the idea stuck.

Kings season-ticket holders received mini-cowbells that commemorate the inaugural season of the Golden 1 Center, a 17,500-seat arena that opened last month in downtown Sacramento.

-- Nick Ostiller