When I moved to Los Angeles three years ago, I had a pretty good idea that I'd never become a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. They're the Yankees of basketball, of course, with all that hardware and a steadily-rotating crop of mercenaries bringing home NBA Championship after NBA Championship around the centerpiece of their one true constant: Kobe Bryant.
But after a while, I finally realized what being "the Yankees of basketball" really means: winning.
We all love a winner, don't we? And there is no team more used to winning than the glorious, fabulous Lakers. In every conceivable way, they truly are America's team.
What do I mean by "America's team"? Let me count the ways:
1. They don't take "no" for an answer
When Tyrant Stern handed down his decree that the Lakers could not obtain Chris Paul last year, what did the only REAL Los Angeles team do? They decided to swing even BIGGER blockbuster deals. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash?! From coast to coast, those moves made headlines. The only thing you hear around Los Angeles more often than "Dwight was so amazing last night!" is "C.P. WHO?!"
2. They wear purple and gold
Ah, the lordly hues of the Lakers, as recognizable as the Washington Monument. Their colors bring to mind legendary monarchies, kings and queens who rule with benevolence and grace. A humbling reminder of the undisciplined beginnings of our fledgling America ... and some perspective on just how far we've come.
3. They are transplants
Who among us hasn't come from somewhere else? The Lakers came West (just like Manifest Destiny) from the backwoods wilderness of Minnnesota, never to return to those dark recesses. "Bring us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses, yearning to be free ... " It doesn't get more "free" than Tinseltown, baby!
4. They love Jack Nicholson
Where does he get those wonderful tickets? -- Batman, 1989
5. They are winners
I believe I covered this in my introduction.
6. They have Kobe Bryant Yeah, that's right. The best player in the dang NBA and without question the best player of our generation. The Lakers may have gotten off to a rough start this year, but with "The Black Mamba" at full strength, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to bet against the Lakers to anything short of advance to the NBA Finals with ease. Make room for that sixth ring, Kobe. Soon you'll show the world that Michael Jordan was nothing more than your warm-up act.
what are you serious oh no oh god this is terrible what have i done