A Letter to you as a Lakers Fan in Denver.
5/18/2009 5:20:00 AM
With the NBA Western Conference Finals between the Nuggets and Lakers upon us, I wanted to make one thing crystal clear:
I am a Los Angeles Lakers fan…Unapologetic…Unwavering…Championship Minded.
So, before you ask, let me answer a few of your questions:
1) How long have you had that problem?
I have been a Lakers fan as long as I can remember. I was born in L.A. proper (At California Hospital…just blocks from where the Lakers currently play). I was raised most of my childhood in Inglewood. My Dad had Lakers season tickets before it was cool. I grew up in the shadow of the Fabulous Forum. I saw regular season, playoffs and even a Finals game there. I have said in the past that the prototype for the NBA logo, Lakers legend #44 Jerry West, cut my umbilical cord.
2) Well, that’s fine Kendall but shouldn’t you be rooting for the team in the city you live in?
No. That’s not to say I don’t respect what the Nuggets have done this season but I’m not going to jump on a team’s bandwagon just because I live a particular city. It is fine if you do that…but my fandom has DEEP ROOTS from my Grandmother, Father, Mother, Step-Mother, Aunts and Uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends and wife. As a matter of fact, my classmates and I couldn’t even pay attention at my high school graduation because the Lakers were in the Finals and people kept trying to find out the score. The first date I had with my wife was courtside at a Lakers-Nuggets game!
Here’s a question: If you are a Broncos fan and have to move to Oakland or San Diego, are you going to all of a sudden start rooting for the Raiders or Chargers? It’s highly unlikely. So for those of you that say, “you’re in Denver now…” I say thanks for the update; I’m still rooting for the Lakers.
3) If you love your team so much, why don’t you make a radio bet on them?
That’s the reason why. I LOVE my Purple and Gold that much and I even hate to see them lose a meaningless preseason game. I’m not putting up cash, pride or even a $2 double cheeseburger as a bet…a team loss hurts me more than most things, whereas a win is an awesome pleasure…or sometimes just a relief so I can sleep at night.
So as the Lakers/Nuggets series goes on, I will promise
you this. I’m not a smack talker and I’m not a hater. I will call this thing as objectively as possible on the radio. I truly think that Chauncey Billups coming back home and putting the Nuggets on his back is one of the best stories in sports in a long time. I think Carmelo Anthony’s growth this season is phenomenal…Gold Medal win and all (Side note, I still have a soft spot for Melo leading my Syracuse Orange to the National Championship in 2003). The Nuggets making it to the NBA finals would be a feel good story for this state…something that hasn’t been possible since the Rockies World Series run a few years back.
HOWEVER, I AM rooting for MY team, THE Los Angeles Lakers. It’s all about rings and I want the 10th one for my squad. This will be emotional for me. Lakers Basketball ranks right behind God, my wife and family, freedom and career as things that bring me joy in life (maybe an IN N OUT Double Double Cheeseburger fits in there somewhere close). Please don’t come at me with any mess. I may not be pleasant on days after the Lakers lose and I may have a twinkle in my eye on the days after they win. Simply said, don’t start none, won’t be none.
By the way, I was there as Nuggets Public Address announcer when the team won less than 20 games in 2002-2003 BC (Before Carmelo). I know many of you weren’t there then…Pepsi Center half full. I’ve been with the Lakers in the non postseason years…few as they may be…as well as the Championship runs. I’ve probably watched or listened to 90% of all Lakers game this season so I’ve been there for the start, the middle and up to now. I’m legit. I’m no fly by night Lakers fan. This goes back to Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Cooper and Rambis for me. Just like I said before, these are DEEP ROOTS.
So, I wish both teams the best. Let’s keep it clean and above board and let’s keep it real. Thanks for listening.