Three of the last five years, the Lakers have made the journey to Denver for game three of a playoff series. In 2008, the Lakers cruised to a sweep in a season where Carmelo Anthony admitted that he gave up on the series and was almost traded. In 2009, the Nuggets had trouble inbounding the ball late in games and ultimately met their end in a Game Six of the Western Conference finals at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The Nuggets have to win one of their next two games to avoid another series ending in their home arena to Kobe Bryant.
Of course, Kobe Bryant’s court case in Eagle, Colorado makes him an unpopular figure among Coloradoans, but he will still hear friendly cheers. The chants of “Beat L.A.” starting again tonight in the Pepsi Center will be drowned out with every Pau Gasol dunk and Kobe Bryant three. The L.A. bandwagon is back in town.
The most infuriating thing about the Lakers is the company they keep in Coloarado. Californians love to move to Colorado, but bring the Magic/Kobe championships with them. It’s hard for these fans, who likely will still leave the road arena early tonight, to wrap their heads around supporting the home team.
If the Nuggets do not discover their identity tonight, it will be another long night for their fans, who suffer the same routine every time. Whether they are long time Lakers fans or spring time Kobe fans, they will taunt and ridicule the Nuggets faithful who accept first round playoff exits like tax returns. Nuggets fans are happy for the acknowledgement, but really just want to wipe that smile off the Lake Show’s faces.