Whether or not you’re a sports fan, if you live in LA, you’ve probably heard the buzz surrounding this year’s Lakers team. And now that the regular season is here, the hype is only going to increase. But if you’re not up to date on current events, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve put together this guide to make it sound like you actually know what you’re talking about when it comes to the Lakers. So next time your hanging out with a bunch of basketball junkies, you just might be able to hold your own. Until you yell “touchdown” that is.
Start with: “Yeah man, I think this team can win the championship!”
Follow up with: “But it just depends on whether they can gel quickly enough, and if everyone stays healthy.”
Why you’re saying it: LA has four, count them, four sure fire hall-of-fame players on their roster in Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol. Their fifth guy, Metta World Peace, until he came to LA, was the go to guy on every team he was on. Together, LA has arguably the best starting five in the league.
But this team was just cooked together in the off season, so chemistry might be a problem. Also, both Kobe and Nash are in the twilight of their careers, while Howard is coming off back surgery.
Start with: “I know the Lakers now have Kobe, Dwight, Nash, and Pau, but man the Clippers look good this year too.”
Follow with: “I wonder who’ll win the hallway series.”
Why you’re saying it: For most of their history together in LA, the Lakers have simply dominated the Clippers in every measurable way. But now that the Clippers have superstars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, things have changed in “Lob City.” Fans should expect a heated series between the two teams.
Start with: “Shaq is stupid for making all those Dwight Howard comments. Just let it go!”
Follow with: “But maybe Dwight should change his name from “Superman” to ‘Iron Man.’
Why you’re saying it: Shaq’s and Dwight’s careers have been eerily similar. Both are the dominant centers. Both started their pro careers in Orlando. Both were traded to the Lakers in lopsided trades. Both are kind of goofy. Both have the nickname “Superman.”
Shaq has accomplished a tremendous amount during his career and shouldn’t tarnish his image by trashing Howard. It couldn’t hurt, however, if Dwight did indeed change his nickname to “Iron Man,” as he hinted he would, if only to get Shaq off his back and to help start his own legacy in LA.
Start with: “I wish Lakers games were more affordable.”
Follow with: a loud sigh.
Why you’re saying it: Because Lakers games are expensive! Including parking, food, and drinks, be prepared to spend at least $150 – $200 per person for a somewhat decent seat. Expect to pay a lot more for premium lower bowl tickets.
Start with: “I wish Time Warner would hurry up and work out a deal.”
Follow with: “I have (insert your non-Time Warner cable provider) at home.”
Why you’re saying it: For the next twenty years starting this this season, except for nationally televised games, all Lakers games will be aired on TWC’s SportsNet channel. As of right now, no deals have been worked out with other cable carriers. So if you don’t have Time Warner Cable, you’re not going to be able to watch most Lakers games at home. This is, understandably, a sore point with many fans.
Start with: “I don’t know who’s a tougher match up for the Lakers, the Thunder or the Heat.”
Follow with: “Either way, it’s a long road to a championship.”
Why you’re saying it: The OKC Thunder and the Miami Heat are last’s year’s conference champs, with the Heat winning it all. The Thunder have three time scoring champ Kevin Durant and his super sidekick Russell Westbrook, while the Heat have their big three of league MVP LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Durant and James are the future of the league, but these are all names you should know.
Start with: “You know, if Kobe wins another championship, he’ll have one more ring than Magic and be tied with Jordan.”
Follow with: “Does that make Kobe the greatest player of all time? Does that even make him the greatest Laker?”
Why you’re saying it: In the world of sports, nothing sparks a debate faster than by asking who was the greatest. Jordan is widely regarded as the best to ever play, while Magic Johnson is often seen as the greatest Laker. Spit out this little gem, then sit back and watch the fireworks.
Start with: “I think the Lakers are by far the greatest franchise in NBA history.”
Follow with: “And with Kobe, Nash, Dwight, and Pau, the debate will finally be over.”
Why you’re saying it: The Boston Celtics have won seventeen championships. Should the Lakers win another title (a very real possibility with this lineup), they too will have seventeen. To put that in perspective, #3 on the list, the Chicago Bulls, have only six.
Again, “greatest ever” debate about the greatest basketball rivalry ever, it’s all fuel to the fire. Except of course, as Los Angelinos, we all know the answer to this one.
– Carlos Delgado / KROQ-FM, Los Angeles