Home > Uncategorized > Some “Perspective,” After a Magical Lakers Win!

Some “Perspective,” After a Magical Lakers Win!

I have been spoiled by being a fan of The Los Angeles Lakers all of my adult life: I had no idea that they were going to be this much fun to watch! I am a fan of The Lakers because I grew up in Los Angeles with parents who grew up in Los Angeles, who met each other at U.C.L.A. I love watching NBA teams compete at a high level, no matter who is playing. My perspective on this team wavers at times, even though that constant of being able to watch one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball does satisfy most fans on most nights – win or lose. Yes, Kobe Bryant can be extraordinary; yes, Kobe Bryant is an extraordinarily well-gifted athlete who makes some really miraculous shots! There are very few players that can perform at such a high level as Kobe Bryant these days: Does the number of elite NBA players number more than 10 for you?

“We the fans” of The Lakers are lucky that an owner like Jerry Buss has had guys around him like Mitch Kupchak and Jerry West before him to make great player acquisitions! The Denver Nuggets got Andre Iguodola in the monster trade that sent Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia and gave us Dwight Howard: Who made out the best with that move? Bynum should have made The 76ers instant contenders, in the Eastern Conference; but, he hasn’t even played yet this season! And, I dare say that Jodie Meeks played better than Andre Iguodola, last night! They were teammates a year ago, so maybe there was some competition last night between them. Who knows. It sounds like there was conversation between Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison before the game that motivated themselves to be the players The Lakers expected when they acquired them over the Summer. I liked the moves at the time, but in that Princeton Offense that we started the season with, they were awful. 

How much of a fan of the NBA are you? Or, are you merely a Lakers fan – only? I ask because (pardon me if this is too obviious): The league is becoming unwatchable, and The Lakers were beginning to match that “lowest common denominator” level of play that just isn’t entertaining, or indicative of how a high-priced payroll of top-level players should play. Is it? How much of a Lakers critic are you? I ask because of the movie I recently watched with my children: “Ratatouille.” To say “Anybody Can Cook” is worthy of criticism, just like it would be to say “Anybody Can Dribble A Basketball” and then expect this year’s NASCAR Champion Brad Keselowski to do it well at a halftime show in Charlotte recently: Not! Yes, everybody can learn how to dribble, but not even my favorite Lakers players are getting much playing time right now: Jordan Hill and Rob Sacre. Of course, the movie ends well, as “we the fans” hope will be the case for The Lakers as the season draws closer to the playoffs. To still be playing .500 ball now is a bit frustrating, for them, for us, and maybe even the league! David Stern did us a favor, I think, voiding the trade that would have brought Chris Paul to The Lakers – and cost us Pau Gasol, whom I hope is still salvageable with the return of Steve Nash.

Last night’s game should have lent to a review by me that was upbeat, encouraging, thankful – last night; instead (reviewing what I had written), I was surprised, apathetic, yet hopeful that my lowered expectations might rise if consistent play were to eventually develop. I have a bad back, so I am having a difficult time expressing joy or even smiling – my wife & I recently bought a car, which we bought for an amazing price, and I had to tell the salesman I was smiling on the inside since there was just pain for an expression on my face. So, maybe my writing imitates life? The thing about it is, I am a big believer in living a life of: “Honesty is the best policy.” I do sleep well at night, because I don’t hold back my emotions, and I don’t let guilt get a grip on me. Yes, I am still wearing my “Got Forgiveness” t-shirt I was wearing yesterday. A shower is imminent. But I woke up this morning, after tweeting throughout the game last night, therefore watching the replay at 11pm to see what I missed. This morning, I am watching the post game interviews – again! There is definitely a lot of enthusiasm by John Ireland, James Worthy, Dave Miller, Andy Adler, Antawn Jamison, Chris Duhon…

But will last night’s blowout victory of a team like The Nuggets, that caused us trouble in the playoffs last year, be a steppingstone toward better things to come? Or will we continue to see a rollercoaster ride of play, where The Lakers bottom out – either offensively or defensively – against teams they should beat but just can’t put away and allow opportunities to steal away victories from them such as what happened in The Spurs game or The Pacers game? Should “we the fans” of this year’s version of The Lakers accept such ragged, inconsistent play? Or, is it helpful for us to announce our disappointment, shouting it from rooftops, blogging about it, or to tweet it in the moment when it occurs, in an effort to somehow be an encouragement to them to perform better? The Los Angeles Lakers have been an organization with elite teams from the beginning of the NBA – other than The Boston Celtics, is there any other team that has been as good as The Los Angeles Lakers? No. So, yes, we’re a bit spoiled. But, I dare ask: How is that my fault, if I grew up in Los Angeles, and I was raised by a father who was already a fan of The Lakers?

My dad is a fan of NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon, and therefore I bought my parents tickets and went with them to the opening race at California Speedway in Fontana way back in 1998. I mention it because: I wasn’t much of a fan of NASCAR, at all, at that time. I was a pseudo-fan of Jeff Gordon, but only for the purpose of sharing the joy of NASCAR with my dad when I would come over to visit on weekends. As an adult, I had an ability to make a choice of my own: At that race, I chose Jimmy Johnson! Who knew what he would become as a driver most NASCAR drivers were offended at being a SPRINT Cup driver so early in his career at that time? And look what he has done: Amazing! Jeff Gordon won that inaugural race at California Speedway, and he sponsored Jimmy Johnson – backing him with his winning car. So, fans are fans because of life circumstances that are beyond being able to be known or understood in that moment- and sometimes those choices turn out very well! Just because The Lakers haven’t always been that watchable this year doesn’t mean I am going to suddenly become a converted fan that will move forward only rooting for The Los Angeles Clippers! Good luck, Clippers fans! But this Lakers fan is a fan for life.

C’mon, Lakers! Let’s show the rest of the NBA that you’re the team to beat – even before Steve Nash returns to guide us into the playoffs. The better The Lakers are able to play now, the more fearsome they will become later – that’s the way I see it. Hopefully my vision of The Lakers is what they will now become!

Go, Lakers!

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