On Thursday, February 23rd, NBA fans around the league were on the edge of their seats.
And so was I.
Last Thursday was the NBA trade deadline… ahh gotcha.
This isn’t another trade deadline piece. Guys who are way more plugged into front offices around the league than I am have written articles about the moves that went down last week.
I’m going to write about a topic that has affected my life.
Something that is real to me.
My girlfriend, a woman who I love, is not a Lakers fan. Alright, I probably should say “was not” now, but I’ll get to that.
In the early days of our relationship, after going on two dinner and drinks dates, I invited her to a Lakers game. It was a pre-season game against the Portland Trailblazers.
We took pictures with all of the Lakers statues in front of Staples Center and got a quick bite to eat at the StubHub Bar. I talked her ears off about the past, present, and future of the Lakers franchise over sliders and beer.
Throughout the game, I screamed chants and let her know which players on the court were my favorites. Some beer may have been spilled during an impassioned speech about how Jordan Clarkson was the most underrated player on the team.
To be honest, it is a miracle she didn’t break things off after that game.
Since then, not only did she stay with me, but my girlfriend has edited every basketball piece I’ve written in the last five months — including this one — and through osmosis, knows a good amount about the NBA now.
And by “good” amount, I mean she knows who John Henson is. Not many NBA fans could say that.
She also has chosen the Lakers to be her favorite NBA team. It’s probably because she doesn’t really care and would like to make me happy, but I like to believe it’s because she felt the electricity in that Lakers/Trailblazers game that filled her heart with Laker love.
But she went above and beyond the call of duty to learn more about something her significant other loves.
For me and people like me who get by expending the least amount of energy necessary in day to day life, “above and beyond” is not our cup of tea.
So I thought I’d make a list of tips for people who are dating a Lakers fan, accept that it is a huge part of their life and care enough about them to want to be a part of their fandom.
A sort of Lakers basics SparkNotes.
1) Never wear anything with a Boston Celtics logo on it. EVER.
Please, if you only follow one rule on this list, let this be the one.
2) Don’t talk shit on Kobe.
He was the leader of the franchise for almost two decades. There are many reasons to not like Kobe, but you’ll only hurt your S.O. by saying you don’t like him.
3) Talk shit on Jim Buss.
Jim Buss was a horrible President of Basketball Operations and set the Lakers rebuild back a few seasons. You don’t really have to know why Lakers fans dislike him, but if you say something like, “ugh, he sucks,” when you hear someone say his name, your S.O. will be very proud.
His sister Jeanie is really cool though, as are the rest of the Buss family members.
4) If you really want to gain some cool points, propose a Wingstop during a Lakers game date.
It is not fiscally responsible to go to a nice restaurant for every date. But it’s always nice to go out to a Wingstop during a Lakers game. It’s cheap(ish) and really fun. Wingstop also advertises with the Lakers in Southern California, so there is Laker decor everywhere.
Wings, beer, and Lakers. Your S.O. will be very happy.
5) Be prepared to hear people speak ill of Lakers fans.
The Lakers have arguably the most hated fan base in the NBA. Be prepared to hear that your S.O. is a bandwagoner even though the Lakers are currently the third worst team in the NBA.
6) Learn the name of one young prospect on the Lakers.
D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Ivicia Zubac, and Larry Nance Jr.
Pick your favorite name from this group and memorize it. If you bring them up in any NBA conversation — even if it’s something small like, “I think Jordan Clarkson has a lot of potential.” — your S.O. will be very pleasantly surprised.
* Extra credit if you use Ivica Zubac and pronounce his name correctly.
Of course, if you are dating a Lakers fan, you are not obliged to follow these tips. But they are pretty easy guidelines to follow and it will make the person you are dating happy.
Good luck out there, I’m rooting for you.