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Some Advice For Visiting Fans of Other Teams

Since the Lakers are generally one of the higher-profile teams in the league, and because LA is one of the favorites to compete for the title this year, I wanted to give fans of rival teams a view of things from a Laker fan’s perspective.

1. You know how you hate the Lakers more than any other team, to the point where you almost want them to lose more than you want your own team to win?  Where if someone asked you who your two favorite teams are you'd say "Team X and whoever is playing the Lakers."?  You have to realize that Laker fans don’t feel the same way about your team. I mean, if the Lakers are playing against your team or if your team represents some threat in terms of playoff seeding or something, then we hope they lose; but honestly otherwise we don’t really think about them too much.  In the last couple years some "old rivals" like the Celtics and Blazers have risen back to prominence and have been excited to renew their rivalry with the Lakers, but from my perspective as a Laker fan I honestly didn't spare many thoughts about those teams when they were down, and really for the most part just kinda forgot they were there except on days when they were playing the Lakers.  In the same way that other more recent rivals like the Suns and Kings have fallen off in terms of being good teams, I generally don't even think about them, let alone spend time high fiving other Laker fans that those teams aren't good right now.

2. It’s not arrogance or some sort of cockiness that makes me say this, or that makes Laker fans have this kind of attitude, it just wouldn’t make sense for Laker fans to fixate on any one team year after year in this way. The Lakers have had long-running and intense rivalries with a whole number of teams over the years, especially in the Western Conference.  Sometimes the Lakers have lost, but more times than not they've won (they wouldn't have been in The Finals 29 times otherwise).  So you might come here thinking you're a fan of the team that is the Lakers' biggest rival, but the truth is the Lakers' don't really have one biggest rival.  Some might say the biggest rival is the Celtics, but that's really just because the teams have always met in The Finals, something the Lakers can't do with all the other teams from the West.  To wit, has the Laker rivalry been bigger with Boston in this decade simply because the two teams played for the championship this year, or was the rivalry bigger with Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, or even Phoenix or Utah?  Who can say?  All I know is that as a Laker fan you really can't afford to just fixate on one team out there year after year, because the Lakers' biggest rival every year is whoever represents the biggest threat to LA winning another championship.  You could argue right now that that team is the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Orlando Magic, so why would any Laker fan get overly caught up in worrying about what teams like San Antonio or Portland (or even more to the point, Phoenix or Sacramento) are up to?  The Lakers might not even play any of those teams this year, so there's no reason to worry about them right now.  If the Lakers meet them in the playoffs, then we'll care about them, but for the immediate future the Lakers' biggest rival is Utah.

3. Your unflinching dislike for the Lakers is not unique. Maybe you fans of rival teams don't think about the Lakers when your own teams aren’t that good, or maybe you guys all tune in to vociferously root against LA even when your team isn't even in the playoffs, I don’t know. I do know that the attitude you have towards the Lakers is something that any Laker fan gets from fans of just about every other team. And I mean, the exact same attitude, right down to the comments about how awful California is, or what a fake city LA is, or how Kobe is so selfish, or how Laker fans are so smug, how you can’t stand all the celebrities at the games, and how the crowds at Staples center arrive late, etc. We even get that same stuff from Clipper fans, who maybe hate the Lakers more than fans of any other team.  Remember: they chant "Beat LA" in every arena, not just in the one your team plays in.

4. In short: we don’t hate you as much as you hate us. We may get annoyed if you come here and make a stink and talk a bunch of trash or try to start a flame war, but otherwise we're probably not even thinking about you or your team unless the Lakers are playing them.  It's obvious from the way many fans of rival teams act when they go to Laker websites like this one that they expect to encounter a bunch of Laker fans who dislike their team as much as they hate the Lakers; but honestly when I see that I'm just surprised that it's assumed the intense feelings of rivalry go in both directions like that.  Generally I just chuckle and say to myself "oh look, another person who hates the Lakers.  How novel."

So in summation, you just need to realize that Laker fans look at fans of other teams in a very different way than how you view us.  If you root for a team that the Lakers might play in this year's playoffs, then we simply see your team as an obstacle to overcome on the way to what will hopefully be another championship. So when you come here all worked up and expecting a battle cause you're in "enemy territory" or something, try to take a second to look at things from our perspective, and remember that the Lakers face a big "rival" in every round of the playoffs each year.  It just isn't realistic to expect Laker fans to feel as strongly about your team as you do about ours.

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