Hating on this year's Lakers
I'm not really a hater. In fact most of the time I pull for ppl who are hated on. I've almost always supported Lebron (I turned on him originally when he signed with the Heat before turning on the haters after the 2011 Finals). I do think being a hater is ok tho, as long as your hate is logical or funny. As much as I love the Lakers and pulled for them over the years, I have hated on a number of their players. To be clear none of the hate was real and I did always want said players to succeed. But I hated on them nonetheless. They either played the game in a way I didn't agree with, had a personality that grated on me, or just plain weren't good.
In recent years Metta World peace was my primary target. While he was still good defensively he was also overrated. Offensively as a Laker he has always been a disaster and I hate his name. I hated Ron Artest during much of his first Laker season, which ended in a Laker championship and with Ron contributing big in key moments. This only made me hate him (actually, I did like him for a few months after the 2010 title) more as many Laker fans thought he was the Lakers best player in game 7 of the 2010 finals (it was Pau Gasol!). Once you win a title with a team you become immune to criticism to an extent (unless you're Pau Gasol) and Metta coasted off that goodwill the past few years. That said I was sad to see him go not because I missed or valued him much over the years but because he is still a semi valuable basketball player. Another favorite target of mine is one of the most beloved Lakers ever, Derek Fisher. As much as I liked fisher from 1999-2004 and loved him from 2008-10 I despised him more in 2011 and 2012. He wasn't good enough to be in the league. He seriously was the league's worst starting point guard. But he was oblivious to the fact that it wasn't 2003 or 2008 anymore, and most the fans were just as clueless. Late stage Fisher is the worst combination for me, a player who ppl think is good who actually sucks or hurts the team.
This upcoming Lakers team has a number of players I can potentially hate. And hating can make difficult season easier to stomach. Let's run through the easiest Lakers to hate:
Nick young: fuck Nick Young. Seriously, he hasn't played a single game for the Lakers and I already hate him. How is that possible? Well first of all his nickname is Swaggy P. How the fuck is that his nickname? His game is nothing but step back jumpers and threes at the worst possible time. As some one who plays pick up from time to time I respect those skills at a basic basketball level. But in the NBA unless you're on Kobe or Dirk's level as a midrange shooter it's the worst shot in the league. And it's all he takes. Over and over again even when he's guarded closely. Dude doesn't play any defense or look to pass. He doesn't rebound either. All he does is shoot and he's not even that good at it.
Mike D'Antoni: He won't be fun to hate and it's almost besides the point. I don't like him and I never will, but the Lakers are stuck with him. This season(and last season) aren't his fault and it looks like he's really going to try hard this year. He made up with Pau and is saying all the right things. He has a stupid mustache.
Steve Blake: I can't stand Steve Blake and I'm tired of ppl acting like he's any good. Steve should be the Lakers 3rd point guard behind Nash and Farmar and should see little to no playing time this season. Since becoming a Laker in 2010 Steve has been among the worst point guards in the league but was out sucked by Derek Fisher the first few years and went under the radar last season because EVERYTHING else went horribly wrong. He had a few nice moments last season but last season was a nightmare that I want to erase from my memory.
Chris Kaman: I actually think there's a chance I like Kaman. He has put up solid numbers at times and as long as he doesn't see a lot of playing time I don't see myself despising him too much.
Jordan Farmar: he's on the list because I used to hate him. To be fair I used to like him also. He was drafted by the Lakers initially and played well during his first fee seasons. Most Laker fans were excited about Jordan and thought he'd be their starting point guard eventually. It never happened. Jordan's play in 2009 and 2010 fell off from 2008 and he sat behind the veteran Fisher who Phil Jackson preferred. He didn't take it well and pouted and made poor decisions at times. The Lakers traded him in 2011 and there were rumors that they didn't like his attitude. But he played very well as a Net and if he can play to that level this year, he's a good pick up. I'm actually excited that Jordan Farmar is with the Lakers again. And that's all you need to know about how good the 2013-14 Lakers will be.
The other guys: I seriously have no clue who some of the new guys on the team are. I also have little interest in finding out. I'm sure I won't like several of them. I hope to god they are better than Devin Ebanks, Daruis Morris, Troy Murphy, Amdrew Goudelock, and Jason Kapano. How could they be worse?
Bill McDonald/Time Warner Cable: can we go back to k cal and fox sports west and bring back Joel Myers? Bill McDonald seems like a nice man and he is more energetic than Joel, but man he does overdue the enthusiasm. Last year was the most disappointing Laker season in forever but Bill tried to make it seem like it was fun, exciting and dramatic at all times. When the team sucks and is underperforming I don't want to hear enthusiasm. Actually tell me what is happening. Just listen to Stu. For the love of Christ, stop calling Nick Young "Swaggy P". A 24/7 Laker channel would run out of material even in years the Lakers were good let alone this season. Also Kobe is a human not a Jesus figure that is going to absolve all of our sins.
Lakers I won't hate:
Kobe-stans: normally I can't stand these ppl. They go out of their way to give Kobe all the credit for everything. They truly believe Shaq was Kobe's sidekick and not the other way around. And they kill any other Laker not named Kobe and blame them for losses. Kobe gets all of the credit and none of the blame with these ppl. This still think Kobe is the best player in the game. This year tho, Kobe is coming off an Achilles tear so these stans are either in for a rude awakening or they will be right for caping up for Kobe.
Kobe: this is easy. Obliviously I love Kobe but I usually criticize him more than most Laker fans. He takes stupid shots and doesn't play defense anymore. But he's coming off one of the most serious basketball injuries there is. I have nothing but love for him, and if he isn't good this year I'll just be sad. Steve Nash: another easy one. I hated Nash from 2005-7 or so but he's just too much of a nice guy to dislike. Even if he's not better than last year he'll still be pretty good.
Jordan hill: I like him.
Pau Gasol: Pau's one of my favorite players ever and he's been shitted on the last 2 years. He had surgery on his knees and says he's in the best shape he's been in years. I want Pau to have an all star year and I'm actually confident about it. I don't even care if he's stays with the Lakers long term. I don't want the guy to be benched or blamed for every playoff loss like he has been recently. I want Pau to remind every one that he's still one of the best big men in the league.
I really want the Lakers to be healthy, I want Kobe to play like he did the past few years, I want Pau to make the all star team, I want all the pieces to fit and for the Lakers to make the playoffs. It probably won't happen and even if it does this team won't come close to seriously contending for a title.