I might be the worst Southern Californian ever born. Seriously. I already talked about how I hate disneyland. I’ve previously mentioned that I am, indeed, a Laker hater. And, in the most heinous of crimes, I also despise puppies and the beach. (Just kidding. I actually love puppies and the beach. But most Southern Californians would agree that hating the Lakers and Disneyland pretty much means you have no soul, something on par with hating puppies and the beach.)
So what made me into the worst SoCal kid ever? How could I grow up in Anaheim, be a basketball fan, and still hate the Lakers? Why did I turn my back on the greatest franchise known to man in all professional sports? (That last line was a joke. Laker fans won’t get it because they think it’s actually true!)
Because the Lakers (and most of their fans) are a bunch of spoiled brats. Before every Laker fan tries to mob me, let me explain where this opinion comes from. Then, after I’ve said my part, you can all take me into a back alley and shank me.
First, let me touch on the Laker players. I began following the NBA in 2002, right at the end of the 3-peat. It should have been the perfect cocktail for me to become a fan– it was my hometown team, I had a young basketball mind ready to be molded, and they were a three time champion. But instead of collecting me as another one of their mindless zombies, they turned me away with their immaturity. I was 11 years old at the time, and I was more of an adult than either Shaq or Kobe. They were on their way to winning their third championship, with the potential for many more after it, and all they could do was bitch and whine about how much they didn’t like each other. I would think in a professional basketball league, players would act, you know, professionally. If you have a job and you don’t like someone, tough cookies. You go in to work every day, you give them the evil eye a couple of times, and then you shut up and do your job like you are supposed to. The unwillingness of Shaq and Kobe to work together was downright selfish. It cost the Lakers the 2004 title against the Pistons, and ultimately led to Shaq being traded away. The Shaq/Kobe Lakers left at least two more titles on the table. As a young mind ready to be won over, I couldn’t fathom rooting for a team that allowed the selfishness of two players prevent them from creating a dynasty.
In 2003, Kobe raped a girl. Seriously, how does no one remember this? Every time you Laker fans cheer for him, just remember that he committed one of the worst crimes imaginable. But Daniel, that was never proven and it’s not fair to say that he did that blah blah blah. Valid point. So let’s assume it wasn’t rape, Kobe didn’t pay that girl millions of dollars to go away, and it was a case of consensual sex. HE STILL CHEATED ON HIS WIFE. Which means every time Kobe sinks a three and you jump out of your seat, you are praising a man who publicly admitted to infidelity, then bought off his wife with a $4 million ring and pretended like it never happened. That’s definitely the guy I want for a role model.
In 2007, Kobe rolled out his bitch machine again. Unhappy from two mediocre seasons, he demanded a trade. After forcing Shaq out 3 seasons earlier, Kobe was already abandoning ship. Later that year Memphis gift wrapped Pau Gasol to the Lakers, they made it to the finals and everything was good in Lakerland again. Somehow, everyone forgets about this too. How do people not make a bigger deal about the fact that the supposed team captain was ready to bail as soon as things weren’t going well? And then as soon as his team gets better, he acts like he wanted to be there the whole time. Don’t you guys remember that kid in elementary school who would always yell and cry until they got their way? Didn’t you hate him? Isn’t that the exact same thing Kobe did? (Answers to those questions are yes, yes, and hell yes.)
In the 2011 playoffs, Andrew Bynum committed one of the worst fouls I have ever witnessed. You all know the play. J.J. Barrea running down the lane. Bynum making no play on the ball, slamming Barrea to the ground. Then walking off the court, tearing off his jersey in the process. Apparently, immaturity is contagious for Laker players. It happened again earlier this year when
the Artest formerly known as Ron Metta World Peace elbowed James Harden in the face for no apparent reason. I don’t need to discuss the irony in naming yourself World Peace, then sucker-elbowing a man and giving him a concussion. Afterward, MWP had the audacity to claim that he did not do it on purpose, that he had no idea Harden was there. But at least he apologized afterward. On Twitter. And misspelled Harden’s name in the process. Classy move.
When it comes down to it though, my real problem lies with the Laker fans. I’m not saying all Laker fans are bad. Far from it. I know plenty of Laker fans that are actually devoted team followers who love the NBA and just enjoy watching the game basketball. But because being a Laker fan is trendy (there are multiple celebrities at every game), you’re going to attract large amounts of people to the team who have no idea what they are talking about. Truth be told, the Laker fan base contains the most ignorant and biased fans I have ever encountered for any professional sports team.
These are the fans that adamantly defend Kobe as the best clutch player in the NBA even though the numbers don’t back it up.
These are the fans that, for whatever reason, have a sense of entitlement and feel like they are better than everyone else. They think they are supposed to win EVERY YEAR. And when some other team has even a hint of success, they bash them instead of congratulating them (See: 2012 Clippers).
These are the fans that said things like “Yeah Bynum, you show that midget Barrea who is boss” and “Harden should be suspended because he hurt Metta’s elbow.” If you are cheering for your team members to blatantly endanger a person’s health, you should not be allowed to be a fan.
So there you have it. Why I hate the Lakers. I’m locking my doors tonight.
Picture by bbyao06bball