When I moved to Los Angeles ten years ago, I chose to cheer for the Clippers. I have hated the Lakers my entire life! Something changed this year though. When two of the Clippers starters went out for the entire season (Livingston and Brand), when Kobe demanded a trade and then decided to play hard anyway, and when the Lakers signed Derek Fisher I admit it, I decided to root for the Lakers.
With Kobe sharing my last name and the three-peat earlier this decade, it has been tempting to root for the Lakers, but I never did or could. I avoided all three championship parades.
The fact they have been winning with a young and improved Andrew Bynum, traded for Pau Gasol, and an MVP season for Kobe have all helped cement my newfound allegiance.
The final factor: I had a chance to go to two Lakers games this season, including last night’s playoff game against the Spurs (the other game I saw was the one when the Lakers beat the Spurs for home court advantage throughout the playoffs). Last night, we sat on the 6th row!
KOBE’S FREE THROW
As a sports fan and with all of my extended family being in the San Antonio area, I have always rooted for the Spurs. They are an impressive organization with likeable winners like Duncan, Parker, Ginobli, and David Robinson before them.
TIM DUNCAN (JACK NICHOLSON IN THE BACKGROUND)
Last night, I could tell I was truly a Lakers fan. With Kobe scoring 2 points in the first half and with the team down 20 points with less than 18 minutes to go in the game, the Lakers looked destined to lose. With the crowd roaring and celebs all around screaming, the Lakers pulled off a very improbable comeback and win!
(If they don’t win, Go Clippers! and if they don’t win Go Spurs and Mavericks!)