Wherever the Lakers travel around the nation (and around the globe), there are always some Lakers fans in the crowd. Even in rivalry cities like Boston. Or Utah.
And those fans are as frustrated with the Lakers 1-4 start as the people in Los Angeles. And some handle their anger just about as well — a Lakers fan in Salt Lake City Wednesday night sprayed a Jazz fan with pepper spray outside the Energy Solutions Arena, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
This pillar of humanity in a Lakers jersey was talking crap about the Jazz and the game inside the arena and even challenged the Jazz fans to a fight. So, they got tossed from the arena. These guys hung around outside the arena so they could continue the fight, the paper reports.
The Lakers’ fans spotted the Jazz fans standing on the corner of 100 South and 400 West and started trash talking again.
At that point, one of the Lakers’ fans pulled out pepper spray fogger and let loose with it, police said.
Idiot. (And while Lakers fans can be annoying, let’s not pretend all Lakers fans are idiots like this guy.)
If you travel to see your team in a hostile arena, you have to expect some people to talk smack. If your team sucks right now and gets is butt kicked, you need to accept it (within reason). Let’s put it this way: If you get kicked out of an arena you’ve got a problem, if you hang around outside the building to keep the fight going so you can pepper spray people who root for another basketball team, you should seek help. No, seriously, seek help. This isn’t normal.
Come on Lakers fans, try to handle a rough patch with a little class. It’s not too much to ask.
While Lakers fans are still trying to talk themselves into Mike Brown being a good fit as the Los Angeles coach, his former players are trying to tell them the franchise is in good hands.
This is what he said to NBA.com.
“If it’s true, when it’s official,” James said, “I think the Lakers got them a great coach.”
“Mike Brown was a great coach,” James said. “He gave us success that we hadn’t had before in that city. And it started with his defensive concepts. He brought in a defensive mind set that we didn’t have.”
“We were competitive year after year because of his coaching. So I respect him and I’m grateful to have had him as a coach throughout the years that I had him. He definitely helped me become who I am today.”
Mo Williams — who was ticked when Mike Brown got fired and tweeted plenty about it — went back to twitter today.
Congrats to mike brown… Lakers won’t be sorry for that hiring
Lakers fans may not be convinced.
But on the bright side, they now have a coach that is not going to sit quietly on the sidelines during games.
We told you that the Lakers are the worst fans in the NBA.
Well, that’s what GQ said, actually. We’re not so sure. We don’t remember the Lakers needing to do a “Fan Up” campaign like in Miami. Or having the general level of disinterest seen in Atlanta. Or… well, you get the idea.
Ron Artest interacts with the fan base more than any other Laker and admitted the L.A. fans may be a little different — and he was classic Artest about it, as quoted by Brian Kamenetzky at the ESPN’s Land O’ Lakers blog.
“Our season ticket holders, they come to the game with Grey Poupon. Slice of bread, and some silverware. It’s good. It’s a different type of thing. They’re eating caviar. They’ve got manicures on the floor. You can get [a] manicure, pedicure. How many arenas can you get a pedicure and watch the game
It’s certainly true Lakers fans, in or out of the arena, are hard to impress.
“They’ve seen winning all the time, so they want to see something more exciting… If I moonwalk after I get a rebound, that’s exciting,” Artest explained. “If [Andrew Bynum] does, like, a cartwheel, take his shirt off, and [puts] electrical shocks on his nipples and starts doing the Electric Slide, that’s exciting.”
Well, there’s an image seared in my brain that’s going to be hard to erase.
Phil Jackson was a little less visual, but and a little more diplomatic, in talking with Kevin Ding at the Orange County Register.
“We do not have vociferous fans.” He cited Utah Jazz fans as particularly loud.
But Jackson said about Lakers fans: “I think they’re knowledgeable.”
In case you missed it while checking out the Armani ads, GQ (via The Basketball Jones) went looking for the worst fans in sports — congratulations Philadelphia! — and wouldn’t you know it only one NBA team was able to make this storied list:
The Los Angeles Lakers.
Congratulations, Angelenos! You are the fairest of America’s fair-weather fans! The Lakers unfaithful abandoned their team en masse when Magic retired in 1991, then reconfirmed their fickleness by sending local TV ratings plummeting 30 percent after Shaq departed in 2004. Meanwhile, in these championship days, the Staples Center is more bar scene than sports complex, where fans can’t be bothered to clap—their hands are too busy texting. “The focus is sometimes not on the court,” coach Phil Jackson has said. “It’s on the people in the crowd.” Which explains why eight box suites were recently combined into an offshoot of an abominable nightclub, the Hyde Lounge. After VIPs pass a clipboard gauntlet—at a sports stadium—they can eat $21 nachos at a crocodile-skin bar while waiting for the space to transform into a postbuzzer dance club. When it’s time to leave, a valet will even bring around their bandwagon.
GQ’s not wrong. They’re not totally right, either. And they took the easy way out with bashing the stars.
J.A. Adande has used this description before and it’s very apt — Los Angeles is like an iceberg. In People Magazine and on TMZ you see the 10 percent of the iceberg above water, the industry people who want to be seen. They’re dancing penguins on top of an iceberg (hey, that’s a great idea for a movie… oh, wait).
But the 90 percent you don’t see is just like every other city with mechanics and insurance salesmen and Thai restaurant cooks making up the majority of people. Well, L.A. has more Thai restaurant cooks than other cities, but you get the idea.
Lakers games are the same way — you see the texting stars courtside and hear about the Hyde lounge. But up above the luxury boxes in the 300 section are the real Lakers fans. People who do stick with the team when Shaq leaves town, where the Thai chefs who save their money to go to a couple games a year sit. There are plenty of real Lakers fans, you just don’t see them.
Now, many of those real Lakers fans have an unreal sense of entitlement and arrogance about their team, but that’s another issue all together.