Here are the 5 reasons why I really hate the 21st century Los Angeles Lakers...
1) The fraudulent leadership abilities of Kobe Bean Bryant
2) The GM mastery of Mitch Kupchak
3) The way the Lakers lay down when they know they're getting mollywhopped
4) The signing of Ron Artest
5) The fair weather arrogance of the fringe/casual/neanderthal Lakers basketball fans
Seriously, I could end this entire article with those five reasons. Its a known fact as to why I hate the Lakers. If you asked Kenny, I would bet that he dislikes the Lakers for similar reasons. However, watching the Lakers get their teeth kicked in, get their lunch money taken from them, have to pay taxes to the IRS, and getting a swirly in the toilet on national television was almost unnerving in a sense. Its something we've seen before in Kobe's legacy as a Laker, but it still doesn't seem right.
Maybe that's where the Laker hate begins...
Regardless of everything the big homie Shaq, the Zen master Philip Douglas Jackson, and the phenom Kobe Bryant have done for this Lakers franchise, their work will never top what the Showtime Lakers did in my mind from the 1980's. Outside of Celtics/Pistons/Bulls fans (who all peaked in chronological order from 1980 to 1991) I don't recall folks hating the Lakers like that. Realizing that I was born in '83, I had to go to my Uncle Bill in these times to fully understand the mindset of basketball fans in the 80's.
"Everyone loved the Lakers, unless you were a Celtics fan it wasn't even close on who the people's team was. They dominated the West for an entire decade with virtually no opposition outside of the Twin Towers (Sampson and Dream) in '86. Why would you hate the Lakers back then? They had the coolest player in basketball (Magic), the signature brand of basketball (Showtime) that brought excitement, and they were winners. What more could you want?"
This 21st century version of the Lakers brought something different. When the Shaqobe Lakers' were in full force, they seemed literally unbeatable. However, was it just me or did it seem like Lakers' fans seemed very segmented on who they pulled for. It wasn't just "The Lakers" it was...
"Man, its all about Shaq."
"Kobe is the greatest player in the league, tell Shaq to get out the way."
"This team would be nothing without Shaquille O'Neal."
"Shaq needs Kobe more than Kobe needs Shaq."
It almost seemed like Lakers' fans were pulling their own team apart for no reason. Only a few sane Lakers' fans realized the true greatness that a Shaqobe pairing with both parties buying in meant that this duo was literally unstoppable. However, as much as the fans seemed segmented, the players did too.
Kobe ultimately got what he wanted, Shaq left to South Beach and got ring #4. We seem to remember those horrible teams that Kobe had, the 81-point game, averaging 35 points/game and being somehow robbed of the MVP (of course, you should NEVER win the MVP when your team only wins 38 games), and yet...
- What I remember is the demanding of a trade, the threat of becoming a free-agent and signing with the Bulls or Clippers
- The desire to get rid of Andrew Bynum to bring in Jason Kidd and Jermaine O'Neal to LA
- The Lakers getting their brains beat in and quitting in crucial game 7's (Kobe's clutch?)
- Kobe decides to "not shoot" to prove his point to the team
- The trade from hell that sent Pau Gasol to LaLa land for a dozen donuts, some chapstick, some Jasmin incense, and a pack of black-and-milds
- The "Drive for 5" in '10 even though the Lakers were pushing for ring #16
Lakers fans act like these things didn't happen, and when we bring this up you just tell us "quit hating" or "kiss the rings" or some other fooleywang malarkey that really doesn't mean anything. Go kick rocks with that bullshit.
The fact of the matter is this...I can't despise Phil Barnett, I can't despise Phil Colston, and I can't despise any Lakers' fan who keeps it 100 with their team. I'll admit that my hatred for the Lakers is somewhat (ok very) irrational, but I'm okay with that. Realistically though, we're jealous to a large degree on how successful that franchise is. Mitch Kupchak is a genius, Jerry Buss is an awesome owner, and Phil Jackson is arguably the greatest coach in all of sports history. What in the hell did the Lakers do to deserve such luck?
I don't really hate the Lakers as an organization, I just despise these Lakers and the some of the irrational fans that come with them. It makes my head hurt and brings the venom out of me.
That organization deserved better than what those players gave them in Game 4 Sunday, and knowing how that organization rolls. They'll figure it out, make some moves, and be an elite team in the very near future...
...and I'll probably hate them even more for it.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!