Friday, June 18, 2010

Why I hate the Lakers. And the Red Wings, the Yankees, the Habs, the Raiders....

I was totally going to write a post about my ardent and undying love of Xena - yes, the Warrior Princess. And I still will, because I have an ardent, undying love for her. And I'm 11 episodes into the second season, on my way through to all 6. Oh, it's on like Donkey Kong, my peeps!

But the reason why I'm not writing about this now, is that the ever-lovin' Lakers had to go and win the NBA Finals. 

Let me clarify one thing for you right now - I am NO Laker fan. I am a native of Southern California, I grew loving the Angels, the Dodgers, and in the days of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, AC Green, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, and James Worthy. You want the best basketball team of all time? Look at the Lakers of '87. Now there was a TEAM. Basketball was better then - fundamentals, passing, three-point shots, POST MOVES. Do you remember them? Man ... back in the day, a young girl about 8 years old could watch players like Kareem, Hakeem Olajuwon, and the "Mail Man" - Karl Malone - and LEARN from them. Sky hooks, drop steps, reverse fake bankshots - it was the golden age of basketball. 

And learn from them, I did. Hakeem Olajuwon was my personal favorite. I would watch him all the time, and by the time I was a freshman in high school, I had created my own move called "The Bradac Bounce" that was somewhat akin to his mid-key drop hook. Mine wasn't a full hook shot, but for girls basketball, it wasn't bad. 

The other player I watched with shock and awe and delight - Larry Bird. Larry Bird will *always* be one of my sports heroes. His quiet, yet pronounced intensity, his shot, his hustle - THAT, my friends, is a basketball player. But the best thing about the players back then, was that (for the most part) they respected each other. The Laker/Celtic rivalry was *awesome* because while it was two epic dynasties battling it out for guts and glory, they were battling with the utmost respect for each other. And the respect carried on to the fans. And you know who set that respect on their shoulders and carried it through? Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. 

Cut to now. Kobe Bryant is the star of the Laker's Show, with underrated help from Derek Fisher. The other Lakers - Gosol, Odom, Bynum, Artest - serve as sometime heroes, though are more often than not - comic relief. The Celtics of today are a little better - they, at least have a solid team, with a lot of heart from the likes of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce - and some awesome efforts from unsung heroes Glen "Big Baby" Davisand Nate Robinson are the "Shrek and Donkey" of basketball (that was the best metaphor/analogy ever!). However, the Celtics are not without their faults - and that was evident in the last two games of the series. But you know what? At least the Celtics won and lost as a team. The Lakers rode on Kobe's coattails all the way to the riots of celebration last night. 

Oh yes - I said the riots of celebration. For those of you on the other coast or even in different countries, I'm not sure what you're seeing in regard to the "celebration" in Los Angeles. Really, you shouldn't be seeing anything at all - it shouldn't be news worthy. But if I know our news system at all, and I think I do, you've probably heard some talk of some rowdiness, maybe some fires, almost certainly of policeman being injured by hooligan fans who were burning taco trucks downtown, and getting into fist-fights with each other. And yes - it's all true. 

The sad fact, is that had the Celtics won? There would have been rioting in Boston too. Don't believe me? Go google the last few championship events that ANY Boston team has won - including the BoSox, the Patriots, and yes, the Celtics of 2008. When I lived in Massachusetts in 2004, the patriots and the BoSox both won championships that year. There were riots during both events. I distinctly remember a news story of a girl who attended BU getting trampled by wild and crazed fans. 

So my question for both teams, cities, and fans is WHY? Why is this necessary? While I'm asking, I should include Montreal, New York, and Detroit in this quandary. WHY must you loot, riot, and set things on fire when your team wins?? What is celebratory about destroying your city, while trying to declare to the world that it's the best at the same time?? It makes you look like a city of assholes, thugs, and vandals. And what tourist in their right mind wants to go to a city like that? What person in their right mind wants to LIVE in a city like that? 

And the worst part. The WORST PART is that no one on any of these teams ever speaks out against it. No "star" player ever says, "Hey guys. Let's celebrate in a non-violent way! Let's NOT destroy the city we've fought for to win this major sporting event. Let's celebrate with some class and common sense, rather than bumbling, drunken criminals." 

So. very. lame.