15 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Los Angeles Lakers Fan

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You Know You're a Lakers Fan When...

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These days, “fans” of the Los Angeles Lakers are a dime a dozen. You walk down the street in the City of Angels, and you’re bound to find a couple of folks donning Kobe Bryant jerseys spouting off about how great the Lakers are. Even if you bring up their recent lack of success, it’s outweighed by the exuberant amount of rings.

Today, I’m looking to separate the Lakers fans from the Fakers fans.

Put simply, the pool of Lakers fans is polluted with people who root for them because they’re the Lakers. They weren’t around in the mid-2000s during the team’s dry spell. They weren’t around before the late 1990s, when the purple and gold put together a sensational three-peat. The only reason they’re even around right now is because Bryant is hurt and they believe his return will bring the struggles to an end.

The truth is, the real Lakers fans have been around even when they weren’t winning. They were battling through the 2004-2005 season – the first year since 1993-1994 the Lakers didn’t make the playoffs – and continued to stay true to their favorite team during a rough patch.

It takes more than just knowing a few of their big-name players to be a real fan of the Lakers. It takes more than just living in Los Angeles. It takes dedication to a team that, despite the general perception, has had its fair share of struggles throughout the years.

If you’re a true Lakers fan, you’ll know what I’m talking about when you read these 15 reasons.

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15. You’re tired of hearing about Colorado 2003

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Yes, that sexual assault case that Bryant was tied up in during the 2003 season. It wasn’t pretty, but Bryant played some of his best basketball during that distraction. In the end, Bryant escaped charges and managed to convince his wife to keep him around. It was over a decade ago, and opposing fans still try to use it as a weapon. Let it go.

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14. 81 is more than just a number to you

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In one of the greatest individual performances in NBA history, Bryant went off for a whopping 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. It’s the second-highest scoring effort ever, falling short only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point showing in 1962. Bryant has had hundreds of sensational games, but this one stood out as one the best individual efforts the NBA has ever seen.

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13. You can’t stand Tim Duncan, but still respect him

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For years, the San Antonio Spurs were a thorn in the Lakers’ side. Their top player, Duncan, always seemed to have something up his sleeve when he faced the purple and gold. As obnoxious as he is, though, it’s hard to hate a player with tons of talent and class.

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12. Bryant and Gasol aren’t the only Lakers you know

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If you ask most wannabe Lakers fans these days, the only players they’re likely to be able to name are Bryant and Gasol. They wouldn’t know about some of the greats like Magic Johnson or Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Chances are they couldn’t even recount players like Devon George, Rick Fox or Tyronn Lue, who played significant roles in the Lakers’ recent three-peat. Either you know the Lakers, or you need to get out.

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11. You are a firm believer that Andrew Bynum is a huge waste of talent

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What a joke! So much talent and potential, yet a poor attitude, immaturity and bad knees forced Bynum to become one of the biggest wastes of talent in recent NBA history. Even though he’s still raking in big stacks of money with other teams, Bynum will always be remembered for the potential he never lived up to during his time with the Lakers.

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10. You know the answer to “Why are the Lakers called the Lakers?”

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Before the Lakers were the Los Angeles Lakers, they were actually the Minneapolis Lakers. In 1960, then-owner Bob Short decided to leave the Land of Lakes and take his team west, landing in the City of Angels. Hence, the nickname that doesn’t seem to fit the locale. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

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9. You wish Derek Fisher was your uncle

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While he will never fit into the category of Laker elites, Fisher will always be remembered for his leadership, perseverance and clutch shooting. I don’t care how awesome your uncle is – he could never make a clutch shot with .4 seconds left on the clock in the middle of a playoff atmosphere.

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8. You hate Dwight Howard with a passion

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What a coward… Howard wanted to join the Lakers so bad, got what he was asking for, and bailed a year later after a disappointing first season in Los Angeles. The Lakers couldn’t have known that he would be such a poor sport about that one bad season. Good riddance to the overrated cry baby.

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7. You think Bryant - O’Neal was the greatest duo ever

Bryant O'Neal
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It may not be true, but Lakers fans are led to believe that Bryant and O’Neal formed the greatest duo in NBA history. As biased as it sounds, they aren’t completely off target with that assertion. Unfortunately, drama between the two forced a parting of ways that caused ripples throughout the franchise. Still, it was pure awesomeness while it lasted.

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6. Dr. Jerry Buss is the greatest owner of all time in your mind

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When Dr. Buss died in 2013, Lakers fans everywhere lost a family member. He was the heart and soul of the Lakers, putting together one championship team after another with his calm leadership and mind for the game. Unfortunately, his son doesn’t have the same skill and is widely considered to be the reason for the recent downfall.

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5. You know where you were when Robert Horry hit “the shot”

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When Horry hit one of the most clutch shots in NBA history, I was camping with my family at Lake Perris. We watched the game from a small television we powered with a generator. All 20-something of us huddled around the screen and screamed in mass hysteria as the ball swished through the net. It was glorious. Where were you?

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4. You vehemently avoid the color green

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Whether you’re wearing something around the house, buying a new car or planning your wedding, you avoid using the color green at all costs. It reminds you of the Boston Celtics, the Lakers’ favorite team to hate. The two have been rivals since the early days of the NBA, and that will never change.

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3. You wish Phil Jackson was still coaching the Lakers

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Why couldn’t the Lakers have just given Phil what he wanted instead of hiring Mike D’Antoni to be the next head coach? The Zen Master simply knew how to win rings, with 13 to his credit throughout his time in the NBA. If they had just hired Jackson, the Lakers might not be a bottom-of-the-barrel team right now.

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2. Bryant is the GOAT, and you know it

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The debate will live on forever, but Lakers fans know who the greatest of all time is. Bryant, with his clutch shots, outstanding ability to create shots, phenomenal defense and knack for creating sparks, has solidified himself as a contender alongside Michael Jordan for the title as the NBA’s GOAT. A true Lakers fan, though, will never shy away from telling you that Bryant has the edge over MJ.

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1. Remembering Chick Hearn brings tears to your eyes

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Chick was the voice of the Lakers. When you heard his voice, you knew it was time for Lakers basketball. Sadly, his legendary life came to an end in 2002 and shook the lives of fans all over Southern California. Still, his “chickisms” live on. So the next time you hear a broadcaster reference a “slam dunk” or an “air ball,” remember how important Chick was to making basketball what it is today.