Monday, June 21, 2010

Sorry, I Love the Lakers

My father worked long, long hours. He was well into a day of work when I woke up for school and was not home when my head hit the pillow. His absence was nothing more than an affect of his commitment to give us a good life. The Caveat: His weekends were often used up entertaining a variety of sporting events...and he always took me along.

In 1984, When my father's hard work was recognized and he was promoted again...we moved to sunny Southern California...sun tanned girls, movie stars, The Olympics and....The Lakers! This took client entertainment and my dad's place on my hero list into a whole new universe. At this time, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, James Worthy, Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambus, Byron Scott and a few others were my heroes. My dad would talk business over a few beers and hand shakes. I would eat popcorn, would cheer in glory and would cry in defeat. These guys were the super heroes in the comic book that was my life. I was fiercely competitive, totally attached to The Lakers and willing to fight for my team.

These silly traits of a child who put figures on a court way up on a pedestal still exist today. I am 37 years old and when the Lakers play I shout at the TV, I ignore my children's request for more popcorn, I lean into shots (thinking I can influence their trajectory) and I tell my wife I will do anything she asks without really hearing the request. When the Lakers lose, I feel cheated...when they win, I feel validated. I wish I was more mature.

So last Thursday, as the Lakers shot 26% in the first half and looked totally disjointed, Courtney Cox and I grimaced. Alas, the outstanding play of an unlikely hero, Ron Artest, was the difference in another Championship. Getting past the dreaded Celtics...another Back to Back t-shirt printed.

As a Laker fan, I never cared about the Hollywood aspect of the fan base. I didn't get hung up on hating the Celtics either. I liked watching my team win and I hated seeing them lose. But really, I just enjoyed spending time with my Dad.

Some shots fall and others brick, fans misrepresent your team, fans of opposing teams talk too much and players leave town to play for their sworn enemies. As a child I got way to worked up over this 'game' and as a man I still do. What I can say, however, is that the Lakers are always on the court at their scheduled time. They dazzle with dribble, jump into celebrities laps, cheat on their wives and get jailed for using drugs. These are not the men raising my son, and it will be a long time before he understands the extended personalities of these 'basketball machines'. Now and until then, we'll watch our team lose and win and I will try (as my Dad did) to connect a lesson to each game.

I am sorry if the fans in Boston are heart broken and I wouldn't know Kate Hudson if she passed me on the street. But, that Back to Back shirt is going to go well with my son's Kobe model Nikes!

Don't Forget to Remember!


No comments:

Post a Comment