The fan experience is a unique one.
None of us play for the teams that we cheer for, but we take the losses just as hard the players we devote ourselves to do.
Very few of us make any money off of our love for a team, but we’ll gladly spend thousands of dollars in our attempts to support one.
But if nothing else, being a fan gives us all memories in life that we can share with our friends, our families, and, hell yes, even the players.
The sixteenth Lakers championship is a special title, and a special memory. Special for Kobe Bryant, Phil, Jackson Pau, our Los Angeles Lakers, and it’ll remain special to me — and I’m sure to all of us Laker fans — forever.
It’s special because I’ll remember when I started writing for the Lakers Nation, and showing that even the Bay Area “Loves L.A.!”
Because I, and many others, called out Derek Fisher for being over the hill, but of course he spit it in our faces and showed why he is as great as he is. Thank you D-Fish! My friend Duane put it best, “There is no fear in the beard!”
I’ll remember how my homie Glen and I, would constantly yell at the TV screen at a certain Ron Artest, and wish that we still had Trevor Ariza still. And then he too proved the doubters wrong and led the Lakers in game 7. QUEENSBRIDGE!
We’ll look back and admire how Andrew Bynum, played through a torn meniscus and was a massive black knee-braced reason why the Lakers will raise banner number sixteen.
Of course I’ll reflect on how I was right about Kobe Bryant having a pretty serious knee injury, but how I completely underestimated that man’s will to get it done when it matters the most. No matter what. We still don’t know how much it was hurt, what surgery he’ll have, or how it’ll affect him in the long run, but I now — more than ever — realize that you can’t bet against “the heart of champion” (cliché as hell, I know… thanks Rudy Tomjonavich).
This playoff run had a lot of ups and downs, but there will always be Pau’s and Ron’s buzzer beating tip-ins, revenge on the Phoenix Suns, and beating the Utah Jazz again for the hell of it.
How about six straight 30+ point performances, or those daggers in Phoenix? “All together now” indeed!
Most of all, I’ll remember going over to my friend Kelley’s apartment, and watching the playoffs in a cramped ass room, but with a 50″ HDTV. How we would only wear certain sneakers, hats, t-shirts, etc… all in the name of superstition, or Karma, or whatever you want to call it (or in Kelley’s case, so that Kobe would have a monster game).
I’ll look back on this time of my life — newly graduated, but poor as hell, and without a real job — and think about eating way too many 99¢ chicken burritos from Taco Bell, and WAY too many Little Ceasar’s $5 pizzas while watching this postseason. How for games 6 and 7 Kelley decided to put his lucky Kobe hat and shirt away, because we all knew that to beat the Boston Celtics, a monster Kobe game was going to do it — we needed the team to step up — and of course they did.
For me, it’ll be about my crazy as hell buddy Kione, bursting into tears after the final buzzer sounded and the game had ended. And how in that game we saw a Lakers team finally beat the Celtics in a game 7, by doing it “the Boston way,” and beating their asses with defense, rebounding, and grit.
These are the memories that makes being a fan rewarding. The bonding with your friends, the brotherhood you share while you watch the team you love beat their rivals for the championship, and the connection with a city on the other side of a state.
I love the Lakers. I love my friends. I love you, Lakers Nation, and of course “I Love L.A.”
Let’s remember this title, because even Kobe said “this is the sweetest!”
What will you remember?