May 24, 2012 6:30 pm

Kings appreciate turn in spotlight

The Lakers and Clippers are done. USC and UCLA are quiet. The Dodgers and Angels are playing, but they’re barely one quarter of the way through the baseball season, still getting revved up. For now, the Kings have a rare opportunity to capture a big chunk of the attention of Southern California sports fans. When the Kings returned home after Game 5, a huge crowd greeted them and cheered at the airport terminal (check out the video below). Dustin Penner joked, “We needed a grand marshall. A couple times (it was), `Not so close. I don’t want to drive over your foot. There are cops here…’’’

Willie Mitchell and Dustin Penner said they appreciated the airport greeting and the growing support they’re receiving in the area…

MITCHELL: “It was pretty cool. It was really cool. I had no idea what to expect. I’m from Canada and played hockey in Canada, so I know what to expect up there. [laughs] But it was quite a surprise and it was really cool to see that support. They’re itching for it here. It hasn’t been done and we’re looking to do it.’’

PENNER: “I think I set a personal best for most messages received, even when comparing it to Anaheim in ‘07. And that was another new experience, seeing that many people waiting at the airport for you. It was around 4,000 people, and seeing that is something you wish you could relive at a moment’s notice, because you probably won’t get that visual again until you win it all, if we do.’’

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