Perennial World Champs...perennial villains the world over.
Sixteen World Championships means you're doing something right. Something very right. Some NBA teams (13 to be exact) have never even tasted championship champagne spray once. Not once. The Lakers have done it 16 times over the last 62 years. That's roughly 25 percent of all the NBA titles won in that time span.
Winning that much is sure to garner a world wide legion of fans...and an even larger throng of people like me...haters.
What have the Lakers done to deserve such enmity though? Why hate them? Here are the top reasons we hate the Los Angeles Lakers.
L.A. in January, where blizzards come in cocktail glasses.
Remember the freak blizzard of January 2011 that threatened to cancel several NBA games? The one where the Grizzlies battled the Bobcats with about 1,000 (or less) people attending because no one could make it through the storm to come to the game?
Well no one in So Cal does. Most fans probably attended a Lakers game during that week in their flip flops, shorts and Kobe jerseys (no t-shirt). You can't rationally blame the Lakers for the weather being so nice all the time in L.A., but whoever said hating is rational?
The stars we pay to watch pay to watch the Lakers.
Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Sophia Bush, Tom Hanks and Jack Nicholson. No, that isn't the ill conceived lineup for a superhero summer blockbuster film...it's a night at Staples Center.
Since their days of glory at the Great Western Forum, the Lakers have always been an A-List draw for the A-List crowd to see and be seen. The City of Angels' best and brightest stars have historically made seeing the Lakers game a glamorous pastime.
For those Lakers fans who can afford tickets, it's probably awesome rubbing elbows with Oscar winners. Fans living outside of La La land though, have to settle for an occasional sighting of Matthew Mcconaughey. Take your pick: the winner of three Oscars or the guy who starred in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past?
Lakers coaches tend to rise above all others.
They have 3,084 wins over 63 years.
Just let that stat soak in for a minute. That's an average of 49 wins a year. Even taking into account the current format of 82 games (66 for 2011-2012), you still have an almost 50 win team each year.
The Lakers have had men at the helm like Phil Jackson (five rings), Pat Riley (four rings) and the great John Kundla (five rings) all of whom are considered a part of the top 10 coaches of NBA history. NBA HISTORY! It ain't right, I tell ya. How is the rest of the league expected to compete with superior game preparation, legendary film study and the Triangle Offense? Why doesn't any other coach run the danged Triangle Offense? It just seems like the Lakers fall into the hands of the greatest coaches far more often than any other team except maybe the Celtics....arguably.
When Kobe Bryant walks away from the game, he will have five (or more) rings to polish all day and wax poetic about to his super athletic future grand kids. If Kobe had been retained by the Charlotte Hornets on that fateful draft night, he would be able to add something else to his freakishly outstanding resume when he reminisces. He could say, without argument, "I was the greatest Hornet that ever played the game."
In reality, when he retires as a battle tested Laker, he'll have to say "I was ONE of the greatest Lakers to ever play the game." ONE of the greatest. Competing with Kobe would be players like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal, George Mikan, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, and the illustrious Pau Gasol. Okay, maybe not Gasol (we'll get to him later) but the all time roster for the Lakers leaves one to wonder if they'll have any jersey numbers left to hand out in 20 years. Seriously, they may retire about 30 more players before too long. Superior coaching is one thing....but do they have all the best players too?
Have you ever been to a car lot? Let's say you go to a BMW dealership and you roll away with a 2012 five series BMW with navigation, blue tooth controls, iPod built in, custom speakers, beautiful alloy wheels and push button ignition. Let's further suppose that all you had to do to pay it off completely was trade in your 1990 Geo Metro, complete with...well...nothing. We all know in the real world that this doesn't happen unless you find a disgruntled BMW car salesman on the day he has decided to quit the business, OR unless the dealer is your family member, right?
Well, the Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol trade accomplished just that in a nutshell. This was the day the NBA died. It was the darkest, most underhanded trade that our beloved Commissioner Stern EVER allowed to transpire. I mean it. I will never forget this trade. Jerry West, the former Lakers great, played the role of the family member car dealer.
It resulted in back to back championships for the Lakers without them giving away anything in return. Now, you could argue about the draft rights for Marc Gasol and blah blah blah...but that's not two NBA rings is it? Bill Simmons doesn't think so, and neither do I.
The biggest reason to hate the Lakers is that they never lose. Sure, they lose, but not like other teams. They don't go through droughts. A Lakers drought is five years. Yet, if the team does win a ring, the city explodes and riots and sets fires to buses like they've NEVER WON BEFORE! You win ALL the time (16 times in 62 years). Relax.
You may be champs again soon, Los Angeles Lakers, and we may watch you...but (and I say this with love) we will always hate you. Break a leg.