The NBA Season Matters to this Lakers Fan

For whatever its worth I grew up rooting for the Raiders, Lakers and Dodgers. They’re my hometown teams so it was just natural. As a result I’ve heard it all. Never mind that I love my teams but the sports themselves are my first love. Instead I get the usual heckles.

You only like the Lakers because they win. You only root for the Raiders to act like a bad ass. You only like the Dodgers because of Vin Scully.

Now Vin is a big part of my Dodger love. No doubt about that. But otherwise all of those remarks fall squarely under the hater category.

While we’re on the subject of haters. I’ve got a real beef with all these pundits claiming nobody cares about missing the start of the NBA season. These are the same cats that claim nobody cares about the NBA season until after Christmas, players included.

Again, these statements are as ignorant as the people who confuse the Hank Williams Jr. employment issues with free speech. I’m not going to get into that right now. But if you’re arguing for free speech then do yourself a favor and walk into your boss’ office, toss out an inflammatory statement then try and argue free speech while you’re filing for unemployment.

But enough about that…

I’m here to dispel these lockout myths.

I love hoops. It just so happens I root for the Lakers. I enjoy every chance I get to see my team play. I’m not in it just for the titles. Some of my favorite Lakers never even sniffed a banner. Guys like Eddie Jones who gave it their all every single night. I appreciate anyone that honors the purple and gold uniform. Winning is great but playing with class means much more. That’s why I’m having issues with Andrew Bynum there days. Again, that is another subject…

On the subject of the lockout now officially threatening the NBA season, I’m upset.

I’m mad that more wasn’t done by the players. They took their sweet time in pressing the issue. I’m mad that the union acted as if everything was going to work itself out. They had to know the owners were going to play hardball. I’m mad at the owners for expecting a bailout for their bad business practices. Don’t act like there is any union rule making it necessary to overpay for the services of Joe Johnson or even Luke Walton for that matter.

Basically I’m mad because I’m passionate about my Lakers and I love NBA hoops. Now, thanks to some of the worst negotiations since Tommy Boy first took over for Big Tom Callahan, I’m going to be without my Lakers for…well…who really knows how long?

I get that everything in the media is based on numbers. Business folk need something tangible. They look at ratings, ticket sales, page views and downloads as proof of popularity. When NBA ratings go up in January the argument is that people don’t care until then.

The truth is the hardcore fans, such as myself and most anyone reading this, cares YEAR ROUND.  We follow every move. We watch every second of every so-called meaningless game. While we are in the minority we do exist. Feel free to ignore us but just know we’re the people that helped make this game as popular as it is.

Long before 24-hour sports news stations and YouTube there was only word of mouth. When some fair-weather fan overhears me and my Laker faithful talking about the sick dunk Orlando Woolridge threw down last night it helped to spread the hoops gospel. Said fair-weather fan might have exhausted all reasonable possibilities to see Orlando’s dunk and in turn might have been exposed to even more hoops in the process.

Thus a new fan is born and the product grew.

So feel free to act as if you’re speaking for everyone, overpaid gasbag. We the real fans are miserable and wallowing. I want all 82 games and then some. The last thing I want is to try and defend a Lakers’ title coming in a lockout shortened season. That won’t go over too well in trying to save face after all my San Antonio bashing for their asterisk championship.

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Eddie Jones Hank Williams Jr. Joe Johnson Los Angeles Lakers Luke Walton NBA Lockout Orlando Woolridge Vin Scully

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