As the rest of the Golden State of Mind staff was chatting about the L.A. Lakers signing Andrew Bogut about a month ago, Daniel Hardee posed a question related to the Golden Moment he posted about Baron Davis beating the Lakers in front of all of their Stans that used to show up at Oracle Arena: Was there ever a time during the lean years decades for the Warriors that you found yourself rooting for the Lakers?
I mean, everyone has a second team -- especially when your home team is consistently terrible — but the Lakers? Really?
Since many of us appreciate(d) Bogut’s contributions to the rise of the Warriors in recent years, that will undoubtedly leave some in DubNation to develop a soft spot for a team that most of us at GSoM hold a genuine hatred for.
Free agent center Andrew Bogut has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, agent David Bauman of ISE tells The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 19, 2017
So the following is the conversation that ensued. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.
Daniel Hardee: We all know how Dubs fans had to adopt a second team just in order to keep themselves sane and enjoy competent basketball … so … how many of y’all were Laker fans during the early 2000s?
Brady Klopfer: As a Dodger-hating Giants fan, I was preconditioned to root against other California teams. I never hated the Lakers, and I always enjoyed watching them play, but I never, ever rooted for them. I was an enormous MJ Stan, so the Wizards were the closest I got to having a second-team, until the Pistons emerged. Ben Wallace emphatically patrolling the paint? Rasheed Wallace’s outstanding antics, and the shooting of him, Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, and Tayshaun Prince? How could you not root for that team?
Duby Dub Dubs: If you ask me, the Pistons were the cool team in early 2000s. I've always loved the Center position and Ben Wallace was the perfect no offense center (probably the best no offense center of all time IMHO). Plus Rip and Chauncey? Amazing.
Nate P.: It was not possible for me to root for the Lakers in the 2000’s; the Chris Webber Kings existed, which was just beautiful basketball...I rooted for that stacked Blazers team that choked in Game 7 .... and I was a massive Reggie Miller fan.
On the other hand, despite my natural NorCal hatred of all things L.A. from Kirk Gibson to Kardashians to the entire Kobe Bryant era, I was admittedly a Showtime Lakers fan: LOVED Magic Johnson and Byron Scott as a kid....but that was mostly because they weren't the Celtics (my parents had lived in Boston and passed along every negative stereotype).
When they traded Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones to make room for that cocky kid out of high school, I was done.
Greg Thomas: I agree with Brady. Growing up in NorCal, my resentment for Los Angeles spans across all sports. Back in the day, I had a strong affinity for those Shaq & Penny Magic teams. It was so fun to see Shaq just dominate the paint and the flashiness of Penny Hardaway. Once Shaq bolted for LA to join Kobe, I evolved into a “Laker-hater”.
While the Warriors were stinking up the joint, I gravitated towards those Webber/Bibby Sacramento Kings, Dirk/Finley Dallas Mavericks, and Walker/Pierce Boston Celtics. I will never root for the Lakers. I detest Kobe Bryant, I respect his game but could never root for him.
My dream is to see the Lakers rise back to relevancy while the Warriors are still an elite title team. I want to see the Warriors crush the Lakers with every chance they get.
Charlie Stanton: I was too busy watching Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler crush the one-and-done game in Chicago. I had no reason to be concerned with Rick Foxx and his friends. That said, I was intrigued with the Lakers during the Smush Parker era.
Tom Bevilacqua: Owing to having family from Texas, I always had a soft spot for the Spurs from the early 2000s and wanted to see them beat the Lakers and keep the title out of their hands. Tim Duncan, The Admiral, Pop, a certain 3-point shooter coming off the bench who seemed like he’d make a good coach someday — they had a collection of talent that (I found) to be easy to root for (when it wasn’t negatively effecting the Warriors of course).
Also, I had a lot of friends in high school who loved Kobe so I'd tell them about how Duncan was a much better player if you actually watched the game closely. Christ, I was pretentious even then.
Ivan B.: The premise of this inquisition is ridiculous on its face. It’s like Nate thinks GSOM has a mole within its ranks and he’s testing us. Well I am not the mole! I never liked the Lakers. The undeniable dominance of Shaquille O’Neal — honestly, he’s gotta be underrated at this point — always triggered my underdog bone. My favorite teams of the first half of the 2000s were the Western Conference challengers to the Lakers hegemony: Webber’s Kings, the Portland Jailblazers, and the Minnesota Kevin Garnetts.
Sami Higgins: I grew up a Bulls fan because I was a kid in the mid-90s living in an area that didn’t really have a regional basketball affiliation. Scottie Pippen was my favorite player. Though, as Brady mentions above, I was also raised a Dodgers-hating Giants fan so I have never been able to root for an L.A. team. Also, I’ve always seen the Lakers as similar to the New York Yankees, and could never root for that kind of team (whether that’s a fair association or not.)
Justin Mak: I never could root for the Lakers. I didn't have the strong hate force that many from the Bay seemed to have for them, but I'm a stickler for the underdog and they always fell on the opposite end of that spectrum. Them early 2000 King's squads were my goto. I mirrored my game after Mike Bibby and gave major kudos to Doug Christie for clocking Rick Fox that one time...heh, guess I did have some repressed hate for the Lakers then.
What do you think? Was there ever a time when you rooted for the Lakers? Let us know in the comments. (I won’t judge you for your answer, but I reserve the right to ban those who have not yet repented for their sins.)