Fan is short for fanatic. It’s just that a fanatic gets fanatical about his or her team when the team is down as well as when it’s winning. And that fanaticism can take on the form of sarcasm, negativity and disgust if losing persists - even if injuries turn a slim chance into a nonexistent one. In the case of the Los Angeles Lakers, their fans should have their “fan licenses” revoked after the way they acted toward their team - or what was left of it - the past few games.
If any Lakers fan is asked to name the greatest player in the NBA, every last one of them will (still) yell, “Kobe!“ So, when your team loses its best player - who happens to be the best player in the NBA (according to you) - wouldn’t you think it would be normal (even for fanatics) - to tone down their expectations? At least a little? One of them was heard (on the air in Fresno) answering that question by exclaiming, “Maybe, but this is the Lakers.“ Meaning what? That there’s a proclamation issued that your team is bequeathed wins?
First of all, before they lost Bryant, the Lakers were a seven seed matched up against the two seed. The two seed that just happened to be the San Antonio Spurs, a team that’s used to post season pressure, having won its share of championships in the past, and a team that has a coach in Gregg Popovich who many think is the best in the business. In addition to having the great Kobe MIA for the remainder of the year, Los Angeles had Steve Nash as its point guard. He would have been the perfect lead guard had he not gotten hurt. Some fans felt that it was a mistake to obtain Nash because it was inevitable he was going to get hurt - with his age and history of injuries. Nevertheless, these fans still expected Nash to lead the team to a World Championship. But, alas, Nash got hurt and wasn’t available last night.
Steve Blake is, ideally, the back up to Nash, so with Nash out, Lakers fans felt he was certainly capable to lead the team. Then, he pulled his hamstring - and now he’s out indefinitely. Jodie Meeks, a nice complementary player was next, but he sprained his ankle and is headed for an MRI. Is there someone out there with a Los Angeles Lakers voodoo doll? I guarantee if there was such a thing, they’d sell out in a hurry.
Still and all, Laker fans went into Game 3 with hope that, maybe the home crowd could pull them through. Of course, if that were to happen, it would have to wait until at least midway through the second quarter because that’s when it’s fashionable to show up in LA. You know, like, with the traffic and all.
When the game began, the Lakers got a few points from their big guys - Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. The fans, which include their announcers, actually thought, even though the game is 48 minutes, that they’d have a shot. “Get it inside!” they yelled, because it is somewhat unrealistic to depend on a second year player and a guy just called up from the D-League to knock down enough shots to win. And, because that’s what Kobe tweeted. As if the Spurs didn’t consider it would be a good idea for the Lakers to try to score that way and had not game planned for it.
That’s when the cynicism begins. All because the fan’s team is losing. And they don’t want to be a loser. A number of them are losers in what they do. The Lakers give them meaning - and they think - respect. Hey, they don’t need any more help being a loser. While fanatic has the word “fan” in it, so does infantile. Winston Churchill said a long time ago:
“A fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”