Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

A recent article on Hoops Vibe declares that Lakers fans are afraid of playing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, but when this was made public, Lakers Nation vehemently denied such egregious accusations. However, this does not necessarily mean that Lakers fans as a whole are cowards. In fact, admitting fear and worry when facing a potential match-up is completely normal, and even though none of you may want to admit it, you’re all a little worried about the prospect of losing to LeBron and the Cavs.

While Los Angeles is a city devoted to Kobe Bryant, and until he retires he will be the greatest player in the NBA, no matter what. However, to the rest of the sporting world LeBron James is the King of basketball, no matter his championship count. While his reputation will take a huge hit if he fails to win the title this year, in terms of individual skills James is in a league of his own. If you are a Lakers fan then you understand that ultimately the only thing that is important is the ring. In the immortal words of Agamemnon (portrayed by Brian Cox), “history remembers kings.”

There is nothing that matters more to the Lakers or their fans than championships, so the potential match-up shouldn’t be a concern. The only thing that should be considered is the best possible match-up for the Lakers, meaning whatever will give them the best chances at ultimate victory. When you look back at the Lakers victories in the Finals you rarely remember the opponent unless you put some significant thought into it, and if they do lose the series you never hear an excuse about how the team they played was just too tough. In the end, all that matters is the ring.

Another reason the Lakers would like to avoid Cleveland, and the Orlando Magic for that matter, is the lack of home court advantage in both potential series’. Cleveland and Orlando finished with better records than the Lakers, meaning that Los Angeles would have to start either series on the road. In the past three seasons, including the playoffs thus far in 2010, the Lakers are 8-0 in playoff series that began in the Staples Center, and 0-1 in their only series that didn’t. The reason to avoid Cleveland and LeBron is much more than just fear of the individual talents that James possesses, but because it is not the most favorable series from the Lakers perspective.

There is no question that Lakers Nation is one of the proudest fan bases in the world, and they will never admit to fearing any team. However, with that being said it is important to remember that in the end all that is important is the ring, not the path that leads to the ring. Whether the Lakers play the Cavs, Magic, Celtics, or even Hawks, it is all about winning.
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