Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jersey Burning & Fans

I will never ever be ashamed to say that I love the Los Angeles Lakers.

I've proclaimed my love through the championships, the trades, the coaching malfunctions, and the superstar experiments, and I've celebrated the ups and downs alongside the rest of Lakersnation with pride.

I showed Laker pride despite that fact that my fellow Laker brethren shamefully rioted and destroyed the city I love following the crowning of dynasties and the numerous trophy ceremonies.

I've been critical of every player from Elden Campbell to Kobe Bryant, but if you wore that purple and gold I supported you and your game.

Sure, I might've sounded off a fair number of criticisms over Pau Gasol over the years and yes, I was perplexed at Howard's overall season last year, but at the end of the day I am what I am: a Lakers lover.

I bled purple and gold when the ownership chose Kobe over Shaq, I even supported the Lakers a few years ago when they traded away my favorite Laker at the time (Lamar Odom), and now I stand wholeheartedly behind the Lakeshow after losing Dwight and settling for Chris Kaman.

However, I was ashamed to watch a clip of a so-called "Lakers fan" burning a Dwight Howard Lakers' jersey over the weekend.

How dare someone call themselves a Lakers fan whilst performing such an utterly embarrassing act?!  

How dare any "Lakers fan" burn anything purple and gold?! 

Not only do acts like these make the individuals themselves look stupid, it makes NBA basketball fans as a whole look barbaric and ignorant.

Barbaric fans stab players and decapitate referees (check it out here:  Ignorant fans leave during the fourth quarter of championship games and send hate tweets to athletes.  Is this really what we are doomed for?  Are chivalry and class forgotten and dead amongst NBA fans?

I cringe.

Realistically the NBA is a ways away from European and South American futbol leagues as far as fan-player-official violence, but senseless jersey burning is arguably a step in that sad direction.  

As indecisive as Dwight's been, do you really think he made a FIRM decision to ruin your weekend "Lakers fan?"

First of all, I'm sure Dwight Howard made his decision to leave LA for his own PERSONAL reasons.  He doesn't care whether you like him or your mom thinks he's a team player.  If that was the case, he would have stayed in Orlando without all of this drama.  In all honesty, he's just a young guy that's looking to do what's best for him and right now, Dwight believes that heading to Houston to play under Kevin Mchale is the best move for his career.

I don't even blame him (minus the 30 million extra bucks) from a basketball stand point.  Mchale is a hall of fame ex-Center with several rings that's sure to help develop Dwight's game and allow him to thrive as a big man, whereas the Lakers seemed too stubborn to adjust their offense to suit Howard's strengths.  They ran too many isolation post plays where Dwight was forced to shoot over double teams or shoot freethrows.  Neither option was a good look for him and the Lakers failed to help him out on offense period.  They couldn't shoot, they couldn't pass, and 60% of the time there was no offensive fluidity.

Unfortunately, this upcoming season wasn't looking any better.

So if we all knew it was a mess last season in Lakerland and things were up in the air this summer, why are we so surprised?  Why are we burning his jersey? Are some of us really that naive?  Do we really hate him for making a relatively smart career move?

Lets not desecrate a guy that didn't want to play for us, lets respectfully move on and support the athletes that want to be Lakers.  Personally, I would've been more annoyed had Dwight signed in Tinseltown after making it clear that he wasn't really happy here to begin with.  We don't want to invest franchise dollars in a guy that's just here for the money, we want franchise dollars going to the guy that loves our city and loves our team; someone that appreciates the Laker folklore and legends, and understands what a privilege it is to suit up in the Staples Center.

Nonetheless, the NBA is first and foremost a business.  

Never forget that.  

And if you have a Dwight Howard Lakers' jersey don't be an idiot and burn it, save it, because if nothing else it'll be worth some money some day.

Thanks for stopping by,


Anonymous said...

Nice post! I, too bleed purple & gold. Luckily I never owned a DH jersey but I would never burn anyones jersey. Let's move on, look towards a brighter future and enjoy the ride along the way.

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