I have been salivating since Friday. That is when the Lakers eliminated the Denver Nuggets to advance to the NBA Finals for the second year in a row. I am a proud Laker fan at that fact alone, but as you know the Lakers simply made it last year and lost to the Hated Celtics. Disappointing would be an understatement for me. The fact that it was the Celtics... has driven me crazy for a full year! So here the Lakers are, one year later BACK in the Finals against the Orlando Magic. While Full redemption would be to take the championship back from Boston, winning it this year would help us Lakers fans move on... a bit. :)
Understand I LOVE the Lakers! I mean, I am totally emotionally invested in this team. You can ask Denise how involved I get into the games. When they win I am on top of the world. When they lose (especially in the playoffs), I get depressed... for at least a couple hours.
Only a couple hours? That doesn't sound like a real fan to you?
I should clarify that I am PHYSICALLY depressed for at least a couple hours, but the underlying competative fire is never put out until they win again.
I admit, I am not the kind of fan that tailgates, spend all my money on game tickets, and decorates my entire house in Purple and Gold (well, I don't do this since I started living with Denise:). Sure I have both Home and Away Lakers Jerseys with "Martinez" across the back. Sure I have a huge Lakers logo for my desktop wallpaper. Sure I drink almost exclusively out of my Lakers cup. Of course I have a Magic Johnson Action Figure...BUt who doesn't:) There are all kinds of ways to express ones fandom, mine is just a little more subtle in between games.
But make no mistake I am a Faithful Lakers fan, with my second favorite team being Anyone who plays the Celtics.
So where does this Lakers fanaticism come from? Why so Crazy about the Lakes!
I grew up in a very sports involved family. There was not a season that went by with out my siblings and I playing Baseball, basketball, vollyball, or football. We didn't just participate, we all excelled and if we were not the star players, we were KEY to the teams success. My family drank up the glory of victory and tears of defeat. Because of that, I was born into being a fan of all the local the Dodgers, Angels, Rams, Raiders, and of course the Lakers. But being born into a Lakers family is not really the reason I'm such a big Lakers fan.
Over time some of those other teams have dropped off of my radar for one reason or another.
The Rams dropped off because they moved to St. Louis. The Raiders dropped off because they moved back to Oakland. But more than that, over time I just really came to caring about Football at all. I just lost interest in it. Following suite I lost a lot of interest in baseball. The Angeles are okay, I don;t dislike them, but I can take them or leave them. I would say I am still a Dodgers fan, even though I don't follow baseball that close. I like the Dodgers because I like going to the ball games, that is fun, and I have a lot of great memories from my childhood at Dodger Stadium. So why have a stayed a big time Lakers fan? I would say that a big reason is I just LOVE basketball. In my life basketball has been one of the five things that bring me absolute happiness(Basketball,Art, Music, Star Wars, and Sex... c'mon if Sex doesn't bring you bliss, you may be doing it wrong:).
The other reason I 'm such a huge Lakers fan is one person... Magic Johnson. Magic is my all time favorite basketball player, and was my idol while I was growing up.
Watching Magic play was just awesome. You never knew what he was gonna do next, and it seemed like the each move he did was more incredible than the last. The feeling I remember most while watching Magic and the Lakers as kid was exhilarating. Some much so that it was one of the fist times I felt "I want to do that". So I guess you could say that I love basketball because Magic Johnson sparked a passion for the game in me. I would watch my lakers videos over and study the moves of my heroes Magic, James Worthy, Kareem Abdule Jabbar, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, AC Green, and all of the supporting cast that played with them through the years. During the 80's the Lakers won the World Championship 5 times, including Back to Back titles in 1987 and 1988. This was a lot of exciting basketball through out my childhood and I loved every minute.
But it wasn't just because of the winning and the excitement. The Lakers had a much more personal meaning to me while I was growing up. Much like Star Wars was for the Lakers represented something positive during a time in my life when there wasn't much to be happy about. I had a rough time with my parents getting divorced, and continuing to fight through out my whole life. Different circumstances made me a very insecure little kid, and I was pretty depressed most of the time.
My saving grace was my star Wars movies, and of course the Lakers. There was nothing I looked forward to more than Laker games. Every once in a while i was lucky enough to go to a live game at the Forum with my brother. Those were extra special times.
During a time in my life when I was really sad, Magic and the Lakers gave me excitement and hope. They made me believe that if you worked really hard you could accomplish your goals, or come really close to it.
So the Lakers became like family to me, and I shared all of their emotional ups and downs....and that tradition continues today.
I love the Lakers, and I will be glued to each and every game of this series.
Go Lakers! Make us all proud!!!!