Friday, June 18, 2010

World Champions Back-To-Back Los Angeles Lakers

OK, I'm a Laker fan. Not as huge of a fan as i once was, but I'm still a fan. And as you probably know (or could guess from this blog title), the Lakers have won the NBA World Championships, and they beat the Boston Celtics to do it.

Growing up, when I started following professional sports, it was a given that I would be a Laker fan. My brother moved to Los Angeles when I was starting seventh grade, and sent me a Laker T-shirt for my birthday to move the process along for me a little more quickly.

I was fascinated by Earvin "Magic" Johnson and his no-look passes, and wanted to be known as an assist guy with sweet passes on the court and ankle-breaking moves to the basket. I also wanted to develop my own form of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Sky Hook and Magic's Junior Sky Hook and shoot from the outside like Michael Cooper. And at times, I admit, I even wanted to grow my hair out and wear glasses like Kurt Rambis. (PS the rambis link is pretty cool--even an anti-mchale site there too!).

As a Laker fan, I had two jobs. Cheer for the Lakers and have nothing but disdain for the Celtics. I loved both of them. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, Robert Parrish, and Dennis Johnson were like super-villains. I put them in the same category as Skeletor, Cobra Commander, and Darth Vader. The truth is they were some legendary athletes, but I guess that's why they made great super-villains and not just regular villains.

I've followed the Lakers pretty consistently through the years, but never as passionately as I did during the Showtime era. I even had a pair of the Lakers' Magic Johnson style Converse Weapon. Man did I think I was cool, but wow was I so far off from the truth.

This year's NBA Finals just had me feeling a bit nostalgic. While I still cheer on the Lakers, I really thought the Celtics had an incredibly talented team, and I couldn't look at them as Super-Villains. Maybe I'm getting soft.

What did you think of the series? Are you a fan of either team? Did you have a childhood basketball player that you looked up to? Who was it and why did you like him?

1 comment:

Eric said...

Fascinating glimpse into your soul, Billy. :-)

When I grew up and had just moved from western Wisconsin to northern Ohio (at the age of 10), I made a point to forge my identity around fanaticism for all Minnesota sports teams and disdain for all Cleveland teams. Except at the time, there was no Minnesota basketball team. So rather than settle on the Cleveland Cavs, I choose the Phoenix Suns, rather randomly. My favorite player at the time was their point guard, Kevin Johnson.

Now, however, I've switched allegiance to the Cavs (though I'd still prefer to see the Suns win the West in any given year). I still go for the Twins over the Indians, or the Vikings over the Browns. But I've come a long way towards embracing my identity as an Ohioan now (ironically, as I've now been living away from Ohio for almost 8 years).