There is something different about Los Angeles Lakers fans. Like an expensive, well-done, Beverly Hills’ boob job, it’s hard to tell if they are real or fake.
In a city like Los Angeles, when it comes down to separating the authentic Lakers fans from the artificial fans and the artificial fans from the haters, the out-of-bounds lines are not as easily seen as the vivaciously-colored Lakers jerseys.
Following Monday night’s loss to the Houston Rockets in game one of the Western Conference playoffs semifinals, the fan base that was roaring confidently over the Lakers’ romping of the Utah Jazz in the first round is now growling out profanities against the team they so believe will take the championship this year. At least that was the experience at several Los Angeles bars.’
This only shows the fans’ apathy for the game and the team. These ‘fans’ only want to see the big win at the end. Bandwagon fans are abundant. True fans are almost unidentifiable in their own criteria.
Call it hypocritical of Lakers fans, but the question isn’t who is real and who is a pseudo-fan. In L.A., everyone is on a bandwagon. They just like to call it a ‘trend,’ like any other clothing style, new diet and/or plastic surgery that hits the area.
A universal code concerning what exactly someone has to say or how he or she has to act in order to claim they are true fans doesn’t exist, nor should it ever be established. Either way, what makes one person or a group of people qualified to determine what a true Lakers fan consists of?
What this whole differentiating of a Lakers fan creates is sort of a Lakers civil war between the different dimensions of a fan.
Watching a Lakers’ playoff game, those who see Snoop Dogg and Denzel Washington sitting courtside realize that being a Lakers supporter is ‘the thing to do.’ Fellow celebrities have turned attending Lakers games into a red-carpet event, and what Angeleno does not want to sashay on a red carpet in Hollywood?
The only ‘true’ celebrity is Jack Nicholson, who attends games rain or shine. However, he has managed to turn his fanaticism into a slightly neurotic affair.
From the celebrity fan derives the mimicked version of the Lakers fan, which is more commonly known for jumping on the bandwagon ‘- especially now that there is all this hype around the team. They want to be a part of all the energy. For those ‘fans,’ it’s environmentally-driven to become a supporter.
Then there are those who have courtside season tickets to the Lakers, but are not necessarily bigger Lakers fans than the people who religiously watch the team on TV at home.
The self-proclaimed true fans hate the other Lakers fans. They can’t afford the glitzy courtside Staples Center tickets reserved for Hollywood stars and, if possible, gather in the nosebleed section ‘- which is located near the stratosphere. Their anger comes because they are bitter that people want to jump on and show support.
But wait. Among those who watch the games from home, there are still further dissections of fanaticisms: those who watch basketball and those who know basketball.
This seemingly never-ending whirlpool of attributes that could sway one on or off the ‘true’ Lakers fan scoreboard is the prime reason why such a list of Lakers fan conduct cannot exist.
If someone knows his or her level of involvement and commitment to the Lakers, then he knows how big of a fan he or she is. Even though dedication criteria can be a discriminating experience, being a fan is really a relationship maintained between a person and the team.
So, instead of going around pin pointing who are posers and who are genuine fans, L.A. fans should just accept that they are in a league of their own. They should caravan the bandwagons together and point fingers to the haters that are jealous their favorite team didn’t make it as far this year. Yes, Phoenix fans. That’s you.
The focus of these playoff games needs to be on the competition on the court and not the competition in the stands. In the end, basketball and the Lakers are for everyone to enjoy.