You’ve likely seen NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein, even if you have no idea who he is.
The short version is that he’s a wealthy man who has a unique taste for fashion, and an equally unique passion for professional basketball which began in his teenage years. His house is probably more famous than he is outside of NBA circles and the fashion community, and it made an appearance as the residence of Jackie Treehorn in the movie “The Big Lebowski.”
Goldstein lives in Los Angeles, and while he travels during the playoffs to attend the most compelling games, he spends the regular season sitting courtside at Staples Center watching the Lakers and Clippers.
But despite the success of the Lakers franchise over the years, Goldstein has never been a fan. He’s consistently rooted against the Lakers, and in a piece he penned over at NBA.com, he explains some of his reasoning why.
As the years went by, my attachment to the Hawks waned, but my anti-Lakers sentiment became more firmly entrenched for a number of reasons. First, I usually pull for the underdog in any sports competition, and the Lakers were getting to The Finals or winning championships far too often for me. I like it when a different team becomes a title contender each year.
Secondly, I didn’t like it that the Lakers were able to attract so many superstars away from other teams. I like level competition, and the Lakers upset league balance with players like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and many others leaving their teams to live in Los Angeles. (Wilt and I became good friends, and he once told me of his displeasure over my pulling for the opposition, but nothing changed.) …
Many fans see me at all the Lakers games and assume I am a huge fan of the Lakers. Almost every day a stranger will approach me and say “Oh, you are the big Lakers fan.” And I respond, “No, I am an anti-Lakers fan.” In amazement they say, “Then why do you go to the games?” They don’t understand that someone can attend because of his love for the game.
These reasons are all completely understandable.
Goldstein goes on to explain that his anti-Lakers stance has affected his relationships with those who work in the game, including Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. But I’ve seen Goldstein at many, many games interacting with players and coaches courtside, and he’s always treated with nothing short of the utmost respect.