Some of us -- typically spread about Northern California, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Texas, Boston and Detroit -- don't need to be convinced that we should really hate the Los Angeles Lakers. It comes naturally. But for those of you on the fence about whether or not you dislike the Lakers and should root against them this season and forever, let this be your guide to gleeful freedom. Let me persuade to join the right side of history and absolutely loathe the L.A. Lakers.
2. I used to love Jason Segel. But his infamous line regarding Jordan's championships in those ads for Bad Teacher so closely resembles Kobe truthers' RINGZZZ line of attack that I can no longer enjoy Segel's other work. I even removed "Dracula's Lament" from my iPod. (Segel is also a Lakers fan. BOO.)
3. The Lakers will be in the postseason despite employing coaches that have recently tortured good fan bases in Philadelphia (Eddie Jordan), Cleveland (Mike Brown), Sacramento (Chuck Person) and Charlotte (Bernie Bickerstaff).
4. Despite a player payroll approaching $100 million, a half-billion valuation and the richest TV deal in NBA history, during the 2011 lockout the Lakers canned at least 20 employees in the scouting department, most of them longtime Lakers. But hey, you've got to pay for Steve Blake and Troy Murphy somehow!
5. Chris Paul requested a trade fairly quietly and decently, and ended up being sent to the Clippers, a team with a historical .367 winning percentage. Dwight Howard creates a devastating scene of indecision, hypocrisy and spectacle, and ends up being sent to the Lakers, a team with a historical .620 winning percentage. He deserves to be traded to the Juneau FrostDonkeys.
7. The Lakers' new TV deal (worth at least $150 million per season) easily pays for the team's entire player payroll, which will be the highest in the league. The Clippers, who play in the same TV market, can barely cover Chris Paul's salary with their own TV deal.
8. It would take 21 seasons for the Charlotte Bobcats to make $150 million from local TV. The Lakers will make that this season.
10. Not only does someone, somewhere make and sell gold Lakers charms, someone, somewhere wears them under halfway unbuttoned shirts with sunglasses indoors. And that someone is a completely unironic Lakers fanatic.
11. Lakers fans will claim they know pain. They will act bothered after a loss, and will be apoplectic if eliminated in the playoffs. Yet the Lakers have made the playoffs in 47 of 51 seasons since moving to Los Angeles. This is akin to Paul Allen complaining that his canoe has sprung a leak.
12. That lovable Metta World Peace? He tried to knock American Hero James Harden's head off of his shoulders less than a year ago.
13. The Lakers told Pau Gasol they were not trading him, then damn near traded him in a very public episode.
14. Pau Gasol is so European he thinks you can just go and touch people's heads whenever you want! Weirdo.
15. For real, though.
16. Kobe Bryant held the equivalent of a photo shoot to show reporters how hard he works after a 2011 loss to the Heat. Despite the Heat having a separate on-site practice gym, one which would not have required dozens of arena staff to pause their post-game clean-up if used, Kobe spent an hour taking shots on the main floor at AmericanAirlines Arena.
17. This was not a unique occurrence.
18. One of the reasons Brian Shaw was not hired as coach of the Lakers in 2011 is because the Lakers' owners wanted to excise all influence of Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson led the Lakers to five NBA championships in 11 seasons.
19. Team owner Jerry Buss got hit for a DUI ... at age 74 ... with a 23-year-old woman in the passenger seat. He spent the night in a cell. (Score one for sweet cosmic justice.)
20. Jimmy Buss, the new boss of the team, hired a close friend named Chaz as a scout. Chaz's work experience is apparently as a bartender.
21. Another Buss son (Jesse) was arrested for public intoxication near the University of Kentucky ... while apparently on a scouting trip for the Lakers.
22. The only people that indisputably benefit from the James Harden trade are the Los Angeles Lakers. Because of course.
23. Before his preseason Lakers debut, reporters asked Dwight Howard if he had any dreams about playing. Dwight's response:
"Maybe. I had a dream that one day ..." Howard said, trailing off as he struggled reciting Martin Luther King's famed "I Have a Dream" speech.
He tried to use MLK's speech as a goofball joke but couldn't remember how it went. Dwight. Howard.
24. Kobe Bryant hasn't been the best player in the league since at least 2008, and probably even longer. Try to tell a typical Lakers fan he's not the best player in the league right now. In 2012.
"Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant - he's my teammate, he's a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day when I go into work. I tried to talk with him about football. He tells me I can't talk to him, with a serious face. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I can come talk to him. He was dead serious."
26. One more from Smush Parker:
"I'll tell you a funny story. My first year there, we made the playoffs. We're playing the Phoenix Suns. Phil Jackson gives Lamar Odom his black card to take the team out to dinner and build camaraderie for the playoffs. We show up as a team and hang out as a team. We're all sitting at one table, the whole team, but Kobe Bryant was sitting by himself at his own table in the corner."
27. In 2007, Kobe asked for a trade. When 99 percent of NBA stars ask for trades, they get traded for a package made up of something between a liverwurst sandwich and toilet hooch. When Kobe asked for a trade, his team instead swung a deal for an All-Star power forward, won the Western Conference three straight seasons and added two championship banners to the rafters.
28. In 2008 in Sacramento, a Lakers fan yelled "Brad Miller sucks!" very loudly during the national anthem. I'm positive that was not an isolated incident.
29. Have you attended a Lakers road game in which the home team wins? Oh my God, it becomes an instant history lesson. "Yeah, the Lakers just lost by 15, but RINGZZZZ. How many titles the FrostDonkeys got, HUH? 16 banners in STAPLES, clowns." It's insufferable.
30. The one truth Lakers haters could always rely on over the past decade is that L.A. would always have an underwhelming point guard. Derek Fisher, Smush Parker, Steve Blake, Ramon Sessions ... they signed Steve Nash this summer. What the Hell?
31. The Lakers don't have a mascot. Why do the Lakers hate children and also grown adults who like laughing at furries embarrass themselves?
32. The Lakers also don't have an inflatable mascot. Why do they hate fun?
33. The Lakers boast that the Laker Girls were the NBA's first cheer squad, but Indiana's Pacemates go back to the ABA. But if a tree falls anywhere other than L.A., it doesn't clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
34. Kobe Bryant is seriously acting as if he might miss the opener between the Mavericks and Lakers on Tuesday. Everyone knows he's going to play. Everyone knows he's not going to leave the fate of the world to Jodie Meeks. Yet he continues with the charade so that everyone is forced to note how gutty it was for him to play with an obvious injury (the obviousness of which was made apparent by the last-minute decision to play). It's all a very bad joke.
35. Kobe commutes via helicopter. You sitting in traffic this morning? You schlubbing onto the bus or strapping on your bike helmet? You jumping in the vanpool with seven of your closest friends? Kobe's in a helicopter.
36. What's worse than commuting via helicopter? Claiming that you're doing it to be a more effective player. From the above-linked GQ story:
But sexy as it might seem, Bryant says the helicopter is just another tool for maintaining his body. It's no different than his weights or his whirlpool tubs or his custom-made Nikes. Given his broken finger, his fragile knees, his sore back and achy feet, not to mention his chronic agita, Bryant can't sit in a car for two hours. The helicopter, therefore, ensures that he gets to Staples Center feeling fresh, that his body is warm and loose and fluid as mercury when he steps onto the court.
Look, if you're going to commute to work via helicopter, own it. Don't try to hide behind it with some "my helicopter ride is like working out!" B.S. Own it.
37. 2002 Western Conference Finals, Game 6. So egregious Ralph Nader got involved.
38. 0.4 seconds. Possibly not even physically possible. But the Lakers have purchased their own laws.
39. How much of a brat is Kobe Bryant? As his Lakers were losing to the Suns in Game 7 in the 2006 playoffs, and after scoring 50 in a losing effort in Game 6, Kobe protested his supporting cast's mediocrity by basically refusing to shoot in the second half. (He scored one point. Kobe Bryant. Scored one point.)
41. Lamar Odom met Khloe Kardashian as a Laker. It literally ruined his career.
42. Khloe Kardashian broke up with Rashad McCants to date and marry Lamar Odom. It literally ruined Rashad McCants' career. Los Angeles!
43. Kobe Bryant nicknamed himself (first offense) the Black Mamba (second offense), which is not actually black and thus makes no sense. It's like Kevin Love calling himself the Brown Recluse.
44. While still a TV analyst, Doug Collins had the temerity to suggest Shane Battier was playing effective defense on Kobe Bryant. Kobe lit Battier up the next game, and repeatedly screamed "He can't guard me!" at Collins while running back on defense.
45. You may know a decent person who is a Lakers fan. Know that for those three hours four times a week when the Lakers are on TV, that decent person is not decent. That person is rooting for darkness.
46. You think Ray Allen leaving Boston for Miami was bad? Steve Nash has been warring with the Lakers for a decade. And he ditched Canada for L.A.
47. According to TMZ, every player who has ever played for the Lakers and been to a nightclub is a "star."
48. For real, though.
49. Kareem Abdul-Jabfreakingbar had to grouse in public before the Lakers agreed to give him a statue. What is wrong with these people?
50. Why should you root against the Lakers? Because the alternate is rooting for L.A. and being an accessory to all of the above. Don't do it. Don't do it. Just say no to the Lakers.