Monday, March 24, 2014

The Seven Simple Truths Lakers Fans NEED to Face

Who are these people?!

How long has it been since the Los Angeles Lakers have been THIS bad? It’s not just that the Lakers are bad, it’s that they’re genuinely not interesting. Back in 2004-05, the year after LA traded Shaq to Miami, the Lakers finished 34-48 and missed the playoffs. They sucked but we had YOUNG Kobe. We had hope because we had the best player in the league and even if the team sucked, Kobe was gunning for 35 points a night and that was at least interesting.

The Lakers are as hopeless and uninteresting as the damn Bobcats right now. There are too many things to talk about as far as fixing the team, but that is not what this article is about. This post is about Lakers fans. Now, I fancied myself a diehard until saw the things some fans were saying about this team. This season has really helped me understand why people hate the Lakers and it’s fans.

Lakers fans are as passionate as it gets and winning has spoiled some of us beyond reality. I’m not a fan of Duke in college basketball, or the Yankees in baseball, or the Cowboys in football but I am a Lakers fans and get why people hate these type of teams. They win, and they win a lot (Not recently in the case of any of these teams anyway.) Winning breeds jealousy. So I get it, but the complete irrationality of some Lakers fans have become too much to stomach. So as a completely rational fan I figured it’s time to SCHOOL my fellow Lakers lovers. Remember I do this because I care. (This list is in NO particular order.)


Last year even with a healthy Kobe, (until D’Antoni ran him into the ground like a mad jockey riding a Shetland Pony in Kentucky Derby) and semi-healthy Dwight Howard, LA BARELY made it to the playoffs. This collection of players in LA is SOOO bad that even with two of the top 10 players in the league last season LA was only an 8-seed and STILL got sweep in the 1st round.  THAT’S HOW BAD LA IS!
Get use to seeing this face and THOSE type of scores.

There are ZERO trades to make, no marquee free agents are talking about coming to LA, no sure fire franchise player in the draft (ala no Duncan, Shaq, or LeBron. Anthony Davis was the last one.) and our best player, Kobe, is coming off the worst injury possible. This is not a quick fix situation. Get all those fantasies of every player and their grandmothers coming to LA. Irving isn't coming. Melo isn't coming. And at least not next season, Love isn't coming. You know who is coming back? Mike D'Antoni.

2.  Kobe IS NOT the best player in the league and HASN’T been for awhile.

This is one of the hardest things for LA fans to admit, but let’s have a moment Lakers Nation. Let me talk to you for a second. I love Kobe. Dude’s easily my favorite player ever, but I love the name on the FRONT of jersey far more than I do Kobe Bryant. The Lakers were great before Kobe and will be after Kobe. Now if you honestly think a 35 year-old shooting guard with 18 seasons, 45,000 minutes played, that's coming off of THE WORST INJURY IN SPORTS, is the best player in the NBA, then… well then you’re just fucking crazy. Kobe can’t stay in front of cardboard cutout anymore defensively and he’s basically the NBA equivalent of a DH in baseball. And I’m going to assume after what happened when he did come back, another injury, this is going to KEEP happening.
Like all of Laker Nation, I love Kobe too,
but some fans are like mama bears protect cubs.

It’s not that I’m “hating” on Kobe, but merely pointing out the fact that he’s just old. Something he's been for a minute but now he's old AND hurt. But there’s nothing wrong with that. This stage of a player's career happens to everyone. He’s got nothing left to prove to me, you or anyone. One of the best ever, but currently NOT the best. Right now today as of March 25, 2013 I can name about 15 players I’d rather have. And the same was true of Michael Jordan in March of 2003 when he was on the Wizards.


Want to hear something really messed up? NBA players are underpaid. Now that sounds crazy saying that people who are running around bouncing a ball playing a game and getting paid millions of dollars are underpaid but check this out. Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira would be the 2nd highest paid player in the league. When a guy that's not even the best player on his team and not one of best 25-50 players in all of baseball makes more that all but one player in the NBA that’s an issue.

That being said, Kobe has been WELL compensated for his services to the Purple and Gold. LA shouldn’t be paying anyone, even Kobe, for PAST performance. I could see giving him this deal if Kobe got "short changed" early on in his prime but he didn't. In fact, Kobe’s the highest paid player this season, still brings in more dollars off the court than anyone else and his total career earnings are top three ever.

 In a salary cap driven league, tying that much money to one player is already stupid, but to gurantee that much money to a player coming off injury, his 17th season, and who got injured as soon as he came back for the aforementioned injury was damn near negligent. Paying Kobe all that money is like putting an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet in a strip joint; it’s just an all around bad idea and no wins. But if you still aren’t convinced, ask yourself this; if Lakers brass could go back in time and do that deal again, do they do it?

BONUS: Kobe's 5 Rings AREN'T A VALID REASON TO SAY HE'S BEST. By that logic, Robert Worry was better than him and Jordan.

4. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA, has been for a while and the gap between him and next best is not close. 

I’m 90 percent sure most of you just stopped reading, but saying LeBron James isn’t the best is akin to saying water isn’t wet or fire isn’t hot. It’s just illogical. Dude has the 3rd highest scoring average EVER. EVER. There haven’t been 5 players ever than can average 27 points, 8 boards and 8 assists a game,

Sorry, but right now and, for the pass three seasons,
the guy in black has been better.
You remember how crazy people looked bashing Kobe when he was dropping 81 or when he dropped 50 six games in row? Remember how completely petty those people looked because they weren't judging Kobe on his ON COURT ABILITY? Lakers fans, we look the same way when we say LeBron sucks. Lakers fans are OBSESSED with bashing LeBron like racists republicans are with bashing President Obama.

Look, I didn't like Michael Jordan growing up. Mainly because my first real lasting memory of my Lakers involved MJ killing LA in five games during the Bulls first title. That being said I at least recognized MJ's greatness. So why can’t we just do that with LBJ? It’s like getting to watch Jordan, or Magic, or Wilt. We’re watching an all timer, at his peak no less, and even though he’s not a Laker, we can still recognize game.

5. The Miami Heat are NOT a rival for the Lakers!

How many times has LA and Miami met in the Finals? I’ll wait…. Oh the answer's zero you say! That’s why LA and Miami are NOT RIVALS. The Lakers have NEVER been eliminated from the playoffs by the Heat. That's why seeing Lakers fan rooting for the Spurs in Finals last season after they (the Spurs) waxed the floor with LA in round one was crazy to me. How many times has LA tasted the bitterness of defeat at the hand of Duncan and the Spurs?

Spurs, Celtics, and Clippers are far more natural rivals as there is PLAYOFF HISTORY BETWEEN THE TEAMS. (Clippers not so much, but they’re in same building so…) Those games mean more, so until a bond is forged in the heat (pardon the pun) of playoff fires, l look at the Miami Heat like Muhammad Ali looked at the Vietnam War in 1969. “Ain’t no Viet Cong ever call me nigger.” “Ain’t no Heat ever stopped my team from winning a title.”

6. All our problems are NOT Jim Buss’ fault.

The funny thing is Jim Buss has been in charge of things for the Lakers longer than you think. Who do you think drafted Bynum? Or helped with the Gasol trade? He’s done some great things for LA. Sure the Lakers are a mess right now, but it’s not from a lack of effort on Buss' part. He DID trade for Chris Paul. He DID trade for Dwight Howard.
This is a shadow few men could get out of.
Cut Jim Buss some slack. He's following the best ever.
Both were smart/box office moves at the time. The Paul failure was not his fault and Howard just wasn’t built for LA. He’s (Buss) a problem, but let us not forget that the dude tried to stop this from happening, Had David Stern and the NBA not owned the Hornets, Paul is STILL here and at the time we hadn’t traded Bynum so we clearly would have flipped him for Howard. On a team of Howard, Paul and Kobe, Kobe's still alpha dog and LA has pieces in place after Kobe retires. Didn't work out but he did try.

7. Our 16 titles mean jackshit right now.

I get it, I get it. It’s about team pride and blah, blah, blah. But just like I don’t let Cowboys fans, or Norte Dame fans, use PAST GLORY to talk about their team's CURRENT circumstances, we can’t use it either. We suck right now. Magic ain’t walking through the tunnel. Shaq ain’t walking through the tunnel and neither are those titles.

Look Lakers fans, we’ve been on the top of the mountain so long that our heads are spinning from the lack of oxygen so I get why some of y'all are nuts. We can’t always be good. We can't get every free agent. And we can't win the title every season. I know this wasn't easy to read but someone needed to say it. Every team has to go through this. Now it’s our time to go through it, but it's tough because we're Lakers fans. We NEVER go through this. We’re at the bottom but if history holds true…That won’t last too long.

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