Despite My Better Judgement, I'm Rooting For The Lakers In Game 7

HOUSTON - MAY 14:  Guard Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after making a shot against the Houston Rockets in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 14, 2009 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Mats EngdahlCorrespondent IMay 17, 2009

They're allegedly the best team in the West.

We're hot like J.R. Smith, but the danger of going cold is always near.

They've won in the playoffs before.

Before this year, we suffered through six years of first-round defeats.

They're driven by a Jordan-like hyper competitor.

We get defensive energy from the Birdman.

Digesting all of this, as a Nuggets fan who loves his team's chances to make it to the Finals, I still find myself rooting for the Lakers to knock the Rockets.

Perhaps I listened to Ron Artest's rap album. Perhaps a hatred of Texas teams is ingrained into my soul. Perhaps I'm terrified of Aaron Brooks.

Most of all I want the Nugs to knock off Kobe and steamroll to the Finals.

It is rare for athletes to come along whose arrogance seeps out of the screen toward you as you sit on the couch. Who puff their lips in such a way that it cause you to throw laps at the idiot-box. Who are the subject of an embarrassingly biased documentary by Spike Lee. We know while Kobe is great from normal NBA broadcasts, a documentary is superfluous.

I think back to the flagrant foul Kenyon Martin committed against Dirk Nowitzki in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals. I want the one he administers to Kobe to be harder.

Hate, much like love, is inexplicable when it is heartfelt.

Kobe is more annoying than Vince Carter. He is the subject of too many ESPN stories.

He shoots too much.

He's a sociopath.

I want him to nail a three over Ron Artest, so Carmelo can nail them over him. I want Denver to send LA into offseason chaos. The Nuggets can do it, they have the scorers and the bench. They need to commit NBA schadenfreude.

Seeing a star dismantled by your team is so sweet, the upset factor would make the Nuggets victory so much sweeter.

So do me a solid Kobe and I promise Denver will return the favor.  

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