As last night’s game in Dallas wound down, I couldn’t help but notice the empty seats in the stadium. Of course the game was more or less decided in the first half, as the Lakers held a 20+ point lead throughout the third and fourth quarters. It seemed as though the only fans that stayed the entirety of the game were Laker fans.

Photo Credit: The Sideline Agenda

Then something strange happened: a “Let’s go Lakers” chant broke out in the American Airlines Center, much to the displeasure of Mark Cuban.

This isn’t the first time the Lakers have received praise from the crowd in a road game, and no, I’m not talking about when they play the Clippers “on the road.” Remember Boston, 2007? The Boston Celtics, as in the Lakers’ biggest rivals in history, heard “MVP” chants for a Laker in their arena. Surely, a few short years later, it turned into this.

But what is it that attracts so many people across the nation, even the world, to be fans of the Lakers? Is it because of the team’s winning tradition? Or is it the big names that have played for the organization? Is it because the Lakers know how to win? Because they’re good?

For people who live in Southern California, where the Lakers have been for 52 years, it’s our home team. Some people are born into a Lakers family; they’re raised as Laker fans. Others have a patriotic devotion to the home team.

My question is for those Laker fans who are born and raised outside of Southern California.

And a similar question applies to people who are born and raised in Southern California, but hate the Lakers. Why?

Why are you a Laker fan?