A Los Angeles Lakers’ fan since the age of 4, Jose Fernandez always dreamt of having a place where he could display his passion for the franchise that captivated his attention from the minute he first remembers laying eyes on the purple and gold jersey.
Growing up, Jose didn’t come from a wealthy family; therefore, Lakers memorabilia to decorate his room just wasn’t in the family budget. That didn’t deter Jose in showing his pride for the Lakers. Jose remembers cutting out photos of the Lakers from newspapers and hanging those clippings on his bedroom wall. “Always had a Lakers room in my own eyes,” Jose said proudly.
Jose went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps and fought in “Operation Iraq Freedom.” While serving our country, Jose still kept the Lakers in mind. He vowed that once returning home, he would finally create that room that he dreamt of as a child, a room completely dedicated to the Lakers and one that would accurately project the love and pride he had for his hometown team.
One of the pieces of Lakers memorabilia Jose obtained for his Lakers’ room and his personal favorite is a signed jersey of his favorite player as a child, Magic Johnson. The jersey now hangs on his wall in a glassed frame.
Jose had the very fortunate opportunity to meet both Jeannie Buss and Lakers’ legend, Jerry West. One of best pieces of memorabilia displayed in his room is a signed basketball from “The Logo.”
One item that stands out from his collection is an exact replica of the Larry O’ Brien trophy. The trophy is the exact size as the original, and even has the same engravings. Jose customized the trophy further by engraving all of the Lakers’ 16 championships.
A photo of beloved Lakers’ owner Dr. Jerry Buss fittingly sits next to the Larry O’ Brien Championship trophy. As Jose puts it, “I also have a Dr. Jerry Buss photo I put up because none of this would be possible without him.”
Jose’s passion for the Lakers is not confined by the walls of his Lakers room. In the Fernandez family, being a Lakers fan is a culture that is ingrained from birth. Not even the family Jack Russell Terrier, named Kobe, is exempt from displaying the Lakers’ pride.
Four years in the making and that room that Jose dreamt of as a kid has taken shape and it is absolutely awe-inspiring. The walls painted in Lakers’ purple and filled with banners, signed cards of his favorite Lakers’ players, and countless pieces of Lakers memorabilia. In the center of the room sits a 9-foot pool table with purple felt and a massive Lakers logo in the center. Lakers’ games are watched on a wall mounted 55-inch LCD TV and heard through a Kenwood sound system.
Jose’s hard work has resulted in a creation that any Lakers’ fan would be envious of and is now being recognized. His room has been featured on TWC Deportes, TWC Sportsnet, and most recently, won the The Los Angeles Lakers’ “I Love the Lakers” Fan Photo Contest.
Jose has come a long way from the days of filling up his wall with newspaper paper clippings. He’s realized a lifelong dream of creating a place of his own that captured his unyielding passion for the Lakers. The Lakers might be down at the moment and possibly for the foreseeable future, but it is stories like Jose’s that shows the type of spirit and dedication that fans of the Lakers possess through both times of triumph and adversity; far from the fair-weather, band wagon types in which the fan base is many times unfairly portrayed.
A special thanks for Jose and the Fernandez family for allowing me to tell his story and share photos of his impressive Lakers creation. Also, to say thank you for his years of service Jose provided in protecting our country. If you would like to see more photos of Jose’s Lakers room you can follow him on Instagram, @rozay_life. You can also follow Jose on Twitter, @lakeshow81.
You can reach me at the my Twitter handle, @fullcourtfern, or on Instagram @raining3sdotcom, to discuss this article, anything Lakers or NBA related, or if you want to invite me to go grab a beer somewhere in L.A. You’re paying of course.
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