For a few weeks, the Lakers have been missing something bigger than any one player, larger than any team cliches like chemistry, familiarity or continuity. They’ve been missing their mojo, and it’s time to acknowledge the real reason why: When Vivian Flores went missing, so did the Lakers’ talent.
In a plot twist that could rival any Space Jam sequel, it turns out that the source of the Lakers’ powers was a catfishing Lakers podcaster we still don’t know the identity of, and that when she “disappeared” before being “found” and then exposed off of the internet a few weeks ago, she took the Lakers’ chances of competing with her.
For those that didn’t keep up with this story in real-time a few weeks ago, let me (briefly) try to explain the truly insane saga of the artist occasionally known as Vivien. Flores was a Lakers podcaster and Twitter personality, someone whose fairly basic tweets saying things like “go Lakers” and “I believe in this team” would sometimes end up in the Twitter trends section because she added purple and gold heart emojis and seemed earnest enough, albeit a little basic. When her co-host posted that she had gone missing, Lakers Twitter banded together to try and find a missing person, with even actual Laker Markieff Morris getting in on helping get the word out.
By the end of the day, Kevin Durant had joined a Twitter spaces conversation that exposed Flores as a catfish — aka a person pretending to be someone else online to fool people — and by the time she posted her “proof” video that she was real the next day with “her” own name misspelled, she deleted her account and has been gone ever since.
April 20, 2021
The Lakers’ lost their first game after Vivian/Vivien’s original disappearance on April 19, and over the stretch since she left the internet after being exposed as a catfish, the team is 1-6, with the ninth-worst offense in the NBA and eighth-worst defense in the league, per NBA.com.
And real Lakers fans are smart enough to figure out what is going on. This isn’t about lineups. This is about a curse, and after their most recent loss to the Raptors, “Vivian” was trending on Twitter with over 11,000 tweets as Lakers fans fully embraced the truth of what has really happened to this team:
Feel like shit. Just want her back. pic.twitter.com/HNOge973G8— Mia Faigen-Agraviador (@MiaAgraviador) May 3, 2021
The Lakers are 1-6 since Vivian went missing.— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 3, 2021
Turns out they went missing too. pic.twitter.com/VGUaPM0HNq
WHERE. IS. VIVIAN? pic.twitter.com/IDRYr5bdAD— Silver Screen and Roll (@LakersSBN) May 3, 2021
Starting to believe the Vivian Curse is real, man.— Colb (@___Colb___) May 3, 2021
feels like the Vivian scandal decimated the Lakers franchise. 6 losses in 7 games— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) May 3, 2021
Somebody from Lakers Twitter really needs to do some CID shit and find Vivien/Vivian cuz ever since that stuff blew up and she disappeared, them Lakers ain’t looking the same— S (@shxbus) May 3, 2021
Even real beat reporters are buying into the theory:
The Vivien Curse might be real https://t.co/u2XEimCaL0— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) May 3, 2021
But is there anything the Lakers can do? The way I see it, the team only has two viable options.
Option 1: Get someone else to pretend to be Vivian and don’t call them on it
This isn’t a sure thing to work, as we don’t fully understand the various mystical factors at play here, but it’s clear that Lakers Twitter (and the Lakers) needs a Vivian to bring balance to the force.
So to all aspiring catfishers: This is your moment. We promise we’ll let you just do your thing and not call you out or expose you. We just need a Vivian. Maybe it doesn’t have to be THE Vivian. Although, obviously the “real” one would be better, which leads us to...
Option 2: Find “Vivian,” get them to reactivate their account, and just let them be
This would be the easiest way to remove the curse, but given that we still have yet to fully identify who the hell was running the account, it feels unlikely. But Vivian, if you’re reading this, we don’t care if you’re not the person in those terrible photoshops. We just need you back, you can keep pretending and we won’t call you on it, we promise.
So Vivian, we’re sorry. The Lakers need you back. Because to paraphrase Jim Gordon at the end of “The Dark Knight,” we apparently need catfisher to take on this fight, because even though they’re not the hero Lakers Twitter deserves, they’re the one it needs right now. So we won’t hunt them. Because they can’t take it. Because they’re our hero, a Twitter guardian, a fake protector. A poorly photoshopped knight.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.