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The W - Basketball - "No love for Laker fans"
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Kawshen
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Bronx, NY

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.84
Here's another "most of your fans are fair-weather bandwagoneers" article from ESPN.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ espn/page3/story?page=lakerfans/ 040505

In L.A., celebrity protocol reigns supreme. If Ashton Kutcher wears a Von Dutch hat, I have to be ripped off for $50 to keep pace. If Paris Hilton has a crummy, little rat dog, every trendy lunch spot has to cater to these creepy little canines like they're British royalty.

Nowhere is this need to fit in with the cool kids more obvious than with the Los Angeles Lakers during their annual playoff run.

I have to be tortured every year, as the big names come out of the woodwork pretending to care about the only franchise in L.A. that matters. Denzel, Sly, Leo, Tobey, Ashton and Demi, Will and Jada, the young studs from "The OC," Cameron and Justin, and of course king Jack, all flock to the Staples Center for their complimentary courtside seats that they'll never pay a penny for.

(For the record, I truly believe that Jack is an actual diehard Laker fan, unlike the rest of them. However, Jack is part of the problem, not the solution. If Jack were David Hasselhoff, maybe being a Laker fan wouldn't be so damn cool.)

These A-Listers are a bunch of frauds. I adore Denzel Washington, the Oscar-winning actor, but Denzel "The Laker Fan" ... I despise. Notice that he's always wearing a Yankees cap as well. Let me guess, his favorite football team is the Cowboys. Please. If you want me to take you seriously as a sports fan, you have to like a team that's not so fashionable (unless of course you grew up in L.A., which is never the case).

Bill Murray, from Chicago, always shows his love for the Cubs. Always. He wouldn't be caught dead rooting for a team that wears purple and gold!

Billy Crystal. Now there's a celebrity sports fan I admire. A native New Yorker; he was a Yankees follower even during the dark years when Don Mattingly was their only good player. Then when he had to spend some quality time in L.A. to make movies, he became a Clippers fan! (Note: For all you celebrities that want sports fans like me to take you seriously, follow Crystal's lead.)

I wouldn't get so frustrated if the celebrities were the only ones ill-informed, fair-weathered and vacant. It's like deciding on political issues based on Barbra Streisand's philosophy. It doesn't matter that she's crazy, but it's disturbing when people listen.

Same thing with the Lakers.

I watch every Laker game with my boys, who are the rare real deal. As Laker Fans, they hate Laker fans. Game 2, we're sitting next to this idiot at the bar. He keeps bitching about how they have to take Karl Malone out because he's just too old.

Game 4. Same bar. Same moron. Malone goes for 30. Guess who's now his biggest fan. "I told you he still had game," he declares. We've gone to the same bar all year to watch Laker games, and this guy, wearing a Von Dutch hat, Gucci sunglasses (indoors, no less) and a white wife-beater, has coincidentally only started showing up for the playoffs. Where's that deadly ball and chain weapon from "Kill Bill Vol. 1" when you need it?

I know, jumping on the bandwagon happens in every town. True. But try pretending to be a die-hard Eagles fan in Philly. Or Boston. Or Chicago. They'd skin you alive.

You can join the bandwagon, but you'd better keep your damn mouth shut.

Not in Tinseltown. Any loser wannabe can become a Laker fan overnight. And this is where celebrities must take full blame. They treat the Lakers like any trendy accessory. It's like the slick vintage jacket you only wear once every year, but you pull it out on the night when you actually think you might get lucky at the bar.


During the regular season, unless I'm playing ball at the Hollywood YMCA, there's no talk about the Lakers. Even with the Kobe fiasco, not a peep from the beautiful people. As soon as the playoffs hit, suddenly every model/actress/singer becomes Jerry West.

I attended the NBA Legends Viewing party for Game 3 of the Lakers-Rockets series. Every beautiful person there claimed to bleed purple. The game, on large screen TVs everywhere, was a nuisance. In fact, the sound was muted so a DJ could bust out some tunes.

Even Michael Cooper, a Laker legend, seemed more in tune with the ladies flirting with him than the game. The only time these L.A. "fans" checked out the game was when they were killing time at the bar, waiting for their free vodka tonics.

"Laker fans are so fake," agrees "Malcolm in the Middle"'s Frankie Muniz, a Clippers season ticket holder for seven years. "They're like every other fair weather fan out there. Like Shaq, who's 7-foot-3, will be wide open and barely jump and dunk the ball, and everybody goes crazy as if he just did a 360 dunk through his legs. That annoys me."

Good point Frankie, but here's the problem: If Muniz ever makes the leap and becomes a big-time movie star, he'll become a Laker fan. His agent will force him. It's just part of the Hollywood landscape.

I know what you might be saying ... the Knicks are just as bad. Spike Lee, P. Diddy, Woody Allen, Jay Z.

Here's my counter. Like Jack, Spike Lee, Jay Z, and Woody Allen are at every game, not just playoff games.

Secondly, there's plenty of rich and powerful people besides celebrities who can actually afford those ridiculously expensive courtside seats.

Thirdly, they're actually from New York. And most importantly, and this I can't emphasize enough, the Knicks never win. When Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller scorched the Knicks year after year, Spike Lee was still talking smack for his battered boys in blue. That's a true fan.

Being a fan means misery and heartache, and Knicks fans, even the celebrities, have experienced plenty. Look, even when the Lakers lose, like they did to the Spurs last year, it's still sunny and 80 degrees everyday of the year in L.A. It's a win-win situation for the beautiful people.


I have a simple solution to this dilemma. While I would love to ban celebrities from Laker games, I know that's part of the Tinseltown charm. It's our identity.

The Lakers are "Showtime." They are Hollywood. This year proved that. The drama surrounding this year's team was better than any movie script in town. That I can handle. However, for all the wannabe Denzels, Ashtons, Camerons, and Will Smiths who infest this town like cockroaches when playoff time comes around, you have to take a Laker aptitude test. I'm not talking brain surgery. In fact, Jim Harrick's son could create the questions.

If you get a perfect score, no matter how much I hate your player outfit, you're allowed to watch the games and comment within reasonable discretion (unless, of course, you have a rat dog, then you automatically fail).

If you pass, you're allowed to watch the games, but just like any bandwagoner in any town across America, you must keep your mouth shut. It's bad enough you're crowding up my bar.

If you fail, not only can you not come to my bar, but you must leave Los Angeles, vowing never to return. Because let's face it, Luke Walton has a better chance of putting up a triple double than you do of actually making it in this town.

I think that's fair. It's an easy test, and after this measure passes on the ballot in the next California election (because that's easy to pull off), we could rid ourselves of the Brad Pitt look-alikes (a.k.a. the most annoying fans on the face of the planet) and open up bar space to those Laker Fans that actually care.

Then again, it would probably rid L.A. of all the Cameron Diaz and Britney look-alikes as well. Hmmm, whole Laker fan plan needs to be rethought.




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ekedolphin
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
Hmm, I agree somewhat with that, but isn't this kind of thing cyclical? During the Bulls' first three-peat run in the '90s, the only jerseys you could see in Indianapolis (other than Hoosiers jerseys) were #23 Bulls jerseys. The Pacers made their run immediately following Jordan's retirement, and the Pacers jerseys were out in full force (probably for the first time since they joined the NBA).

Then Michael came back, and people with no real-world connection to Chicago were talking smack about their beloved Bulls. I remember an interesting debate in my high school study hall the day before Game 7 of the Pacers/Bulls Eastern Conference Finals series in '98. Half of us were defending the Pacers, half of us were defending the Bulls. (It actually seemed to me that the Bulls fans were getting more defensive, because no one had expected the Pacers to stretch the series to seven, so they had nothing to lose while the Bulls had everything to lose).

Now, the number of people who come in to the store, see an NBA Playoffs game on TV and say, “How are the Lakers doing?”-- hoping they're winning-- would knock you out. But having said that, there's an equally vocal number of people around here who can't stand the Lakers.

So, in their favor, the Lakers have been successful enough that every casual basketball fan has some kind of opinion on them. I doubt that teams like the Timberwolves, for example, have reached that point yet because they haven't been as successful.

But then, that's just the view from over here. Anyone else?



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.46
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    So, in their favor, the Lakers have been successful enough that every casual basketball fan has some kind of opinion on them.


That's pretty much why the Lakers are my team. They were the first team I really heard anything about, largely thanks to Magic and that 30 minute NBA puffery with Ahmad I saw every week. I backed the Bulls for half their championships too, but because of Luc, not MJ. Consequently I have also been a Spurs, Mavs, and T'Wolves fan because they had Aussies. The Lakers are still MY team though.
avonhun
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Since: 21.4.04

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.70
this is ENTIRELY true, and boy does it piss me off. los angeles has some of the worst basketball fans in the world and they dont deserve the lakers. the real lakers fans are the middle class hard working los angelinos that will never see a playoff game live because these yokels fill the seats. drives me crazy. the UCLA bruins are the same way, i make it to their games a few times a year and these laid back allumni fill the seats with golf claps. what is up with that?
JoshMann
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Since: 17.11.03
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.93
    Originally posted by avonhun
    the real lakers fans are the middle class hard working los angelinos that will never see a playoff game live because these yokels fill the seats.


Given how much tickets cost, that differs from any other city in the NBA *how*?



"I never understood how the hell they got more chicks than I did. Now I know. They sold crap on eBay."
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
You're right about that, Blanket Jackson.

I like to think my family's got a relatively comfortable living, but I haven't gone to a Pacers game in about two years, and believe me, it's not due to lack of interest on my part.



“Finally, finally, my God finally, Chris Benoit is the Heavyweight Champion of this world!”
--Jim Ross, WrestleMania XX

Wiener of the Day Title History:

Won the title on 5/27/02 from Lunacy in a hardcore match; lost the belt the following day to wheresitat42 via offbeat shenanigans

Regained the title on 7/3/02 by pinning SKLOKAZOID in a triple-threat match; lost the belt the next day to NickBockwinkelFan via heel chicanery

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BOSsportsfan34
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Since: 2.1.03
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
I think the point than needs to be made is that you'll find frontrunning fans everywhere, not just in LA.



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avonhun
Cotechino








Since: 21.4.04

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.70
that is true blanket but at least in other arenas the rich folk cheer. in LA its all about showing up fashionably late, and leaving early. and LA is near the top in ticket prices i believe, i live near denver now and i could have gotten seats in the lowest section for pretty cheap(like around $40 i cant remember exactly), but i couldnt make it.
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95

    Originally posted by avonhun
    that is true blanket but at least in other arenas the rich folk cheer. in LA its all about showing up fashionably late, and leaving early.
This is the most rediculous thing I have ever heard. Rich people dont cheer? It's all about what now? Do you even WATCH the games???

Everytime I turn on the Laker game, EVERYBODY is cheering and I never see anybody showing up "fashionably late" (How do you know if someone shows up late on purpose or not??) or leaving early, unless a team is getting blown out, in which case EVERYONE leaves early, not just the rich.

I sure wish I (or you) knew what the hell you were talking about.





Jaguar
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Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.86
I don't watch the NBA because I'm a basketball fan, but those statements are true for about any of the top-tier teams with the exception of Duke. Ever since Carolina built the Dean Dome and moved out of Carmichael, all the best seats in the house are owned by alumni. And they do exactly that, show up late, leave early, and never ever stand or shout. Cameron Indoor is such a hard place to play because Duke has never sold out the students by using alumni money to build a bigger stadium. The Dean Dome was packed and absolutely rocking two years ago when we were hosting NIT games - why? Because the alumni are too lazy to buy tickets.

-Jag



Pat Tillman, rest in peace.

I don't think you understand how hard it is to drive a brand into the ground, and erode the popular support that has flourished for over thirty years. I get up early. And I don't go to bed until I've made some very poor decisions.
avonhun
Cotechino








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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.70
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      Originally posted by avonhun
      that is true blanket but at least in other arenas the rich folk cheer. in LA its all about showing up fashionably late, and leaving early.
    This is the most rediculous thing I have ever heard. Rich people dont cheer? It's all about what now? Do you even WATCH the games???

    Everytime I turn on the Laker game, EVERYBODY is cheering and I never see anybody showing up "fashionably late" (How do you know if someone shows up late on purpose or not??) or leaving early, unless a team is getting blown out, in which case EVERYONE leaves early, not just the rich.

    I sure wish I (or you) knew what the hell you were talking about.


first of all, i do know what i am talking about. if you watch laker games other than just the playoffs you would too. to say that there isnt a difference in noise level between places like sacramento and los angeles in the arenas is ridiculous. sure people cheer, but not with the intensity that is seen in other arenas across the nba. i have seen games where people leave early during close games. how do i know if people show up late on purpose? if the game has started and more than half the seats are empty for a sell out, i think that is a pretty clear sign. im not trying to be hostile but i have been going to and watching lakers games for many years and there is truth to what i am saying.
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95

    Originally posted by avonhun
    first of all, i do know what i am talking about. if you watch laker games other than just the playoffs you would too.
You're joking, right?


    to say that there isnt a difference in noise level between places like sacramento and los angeles in the arenas is ridiculous. sure people cheer, but not with the intensity that is seen in other arenas across the nba.
I thought we were talking about rich people who are not "real fans" buying up all the expensive seats at games then not cheering. (BTW, all the celebs in courtside seats I saw at last nights Lakers/Spurs (Gm 6) game looked like they were standing & cheering to me). If you want to debate on which cities are the loudest, be my guest, but that's not what we were talking about.


    i have seen games where people leave early during close games.
So? What does this have to do with anything? Are you implying that all these people leaving early during close games are rich? Or that the rich do it more often?


    how do i know if people show up late on purpose? if the game has started and more than half the seats are empty for a sell out, i think that is a pretty clear sign.
A pretty clear sign of what?? Bad traffic? Bad weather? And since when are fans in L.A. the only people that ever to show up late to games? Or are you actually saying that L.A. fans show up late to games more often than fans in other cities?

Gee whiz.





I sure hope the Kings lose!
JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
Posted for Frosty & JT...





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RYDER FAKIN
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Since: 21.2.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.52
As always with these kind of columns, a "counterpoint" appears before too long...going to show that the winners write what's right! SPIKE WHO?

FLEA



Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high...

FLEA - 1ryderfakin.com - THE IWC 100! And The Wrestling Dead Pool!!
StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.64
    Originally posted by avonhun
    how do i know if people show up late on purpose? if the game has started and more than half the seats are empty for a sell out, i think that is a pretty clear sign.


It's been pointed out in another thread in the Wrestling forum that the Staples Center sucks at letting people through the gate, so maybe these Laker fans are showing up before the game starts but just can't make it to their seats before tipoff.

I still hate the Lakers though.

- StingArmy
avonhun
Cotechino








Since: 21.4.04

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.70
im done, you win. its a crime to argue at such a great time in laker history

(edited by avonhun on 17.5.04 1739)
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