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How to Fake It as a Lakers Fan
In LA, the Lakers come before God, Country, and even gourmet food trucks. For better or worse, this makes it impossible to avoid talking about the purple and gold, no matter your interest in the sport. But perhaps you made a mistake and got too excited by last year’s NBA Finals, or you wore a Lakers t-shirt one too many times to the office and now people assume that you follow basketball religiously. Rather than out yourself as a man who has never heard Roundball Rock, here are five tried and true methods to make it sound like you know your Lakers, while not actually knowing a damn thing about the team.
1. Pick a Favorite Player from the Bench
Everyone loves Kobe because he’s, like, really, really good at basketball; Derek Fisher gets plenty of respect because of his wily, veteran-ness; and Pau Gasol brings in the people that can’t grow beards on their own (he’s basically their patron saint). However, to prove your worth as a fan, you must select a player who not only isn’t one of these three, but one who doesn’t even crack twenty minutes of playing time a night.
Instead, why not become the world’s first Luke Walton fan? Nobody, not even his father, former NBA-er Bill Walton, would call Luke his favorite. To prove it, you’ll need to head over to Wikipedia and brush up on a few facts. That way you can say, “I just love Luke Walton’s Manhattan Beach-based BBQ restaurant,” or “I thought he did an excellent job on The Young and the Restless.” Those looks you now get around the office? Yeah, that’s called respect.
2. Constantly Reference a Useless and Possibly Fictional Statistic
It doesn’t matter what statistic it is as long as you use it frequently and with great volume. It doesn’t even need to be true as long as you sound confident enough in your delivery. When an acquaintance tries to talk to you about last night’s game just say, “It’s obvious why they only shoot 37.2% in the last five minutes of the third quarter.” Does that make any sense? Did it have anything to do with the outcome of last night’s game? Doesn’t matter because that’s something only a true fan would know.
3. Two Words: Consistency. Perimeter.
These are the two most overused words in basketball and what’s great about them is they mean very little. If you watched every basketball game for all eternity, the commentators for every team would say, “the team needs to work on their consistency and perimeter shooting.” It doesn’t matter if the Lakers just blew out their opponent or lost 130-84, no one will challenge you when you say the team needs to be more consistent and perform better from the perimeter.
4. Buy a Kurt Rambis T-Shirt
Nobody questions a Rambis man. Nobody. Here’s a good place to start.
5. Make Fun of the Clippers
If there is one thing people love more than the Lakers, it’s making fun of the Clippers. Anytime you feel like your fandom is about to be called out, just say “Hey, how about those Clippers,” and laugh really hard. This is how most friendships in LA begin (It’s also how Entourage was originally picked up. Look it up). You don’t even need to know a single current Clipper as references to Baron Davis, Elton Brand, and Michael Olowokandi are all guaranteed hits. Just be sure to add, “That Blake Griffin can really dunk, though, can’t he?” before ending the discussion. Because soon the Clippers might be a good team and you’ll want to say you were there way back when.
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About the author
Michael is an LA-based comic and writer who loves beer, burgers, and baseball in equal proportions. His baseball writing can be found at OldTimeFamilyBaseball.com and he still plans on selling his 'The Catcher in the Rye'/'Weekend at Bernie's' mash-up to a major studio sometime this year. Michael can be reached at email@example.com.
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