Beginning with the Showtime Era at The Great Western Forum, the Los Angeles Lakers boast a rich history and tradition of drawing marquee fans to their games.
With Hollywood serving as a backdrop, the likes of actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Andy Garcia and Denzel Washington, and rappers Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, have been among those to attend their fair share of Lakers games over the decades.
Though not in either of those industries, but just as recognizable, Jimmy Goldstein is seen at every Lakers and L.A. Clippers home game year in and year out. Goldstein also travels to games throughout the playoffs and attends each NBA Finals contest.
And though he’s been a fixture at Lakers games, Goldstein is a noted Clippers fan, because of his disapproval for the glamour franchise’s riches, per Arash Markazi of the L.A. Times:
“I didn’t grow up in Los Angeles so when I came to L.A. I didn’t feel any compulsion to suddenly root for the Lakers when I never had before,” he said. “I also like to root for the underdog and I don’t like to go with the crowd. The Lakers have had it too easy over the years. They’ve had a big advantage over other teams. They’ve always gotten the star players from other teams whether it’s Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and now LeBron James. They’ve had such a huge advantage over small-town teams. It motivated me to root for the other teams. Plus, the Lakers fans are so biased in favor of the Lakers, it makes me root against them.”
And with Goldstein rooting against the Lakers, he naturally is reveling in the team being on the verge of missing the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season:
“I have to chuckle over the Lakers’ problems, missing the playoffs six years in a row and not even finishing close to .500,” Goldstein said. “The Lakers fans deserve it.”
For all their success, the Lakers’ playoff drought is unprecedented territory for the franchise. From 1949 to 2013, they missed the playoffs only five times.
While Goldstein will be in attendance for the Lakers’ remaining seven home games this season, it clearly won’t be a sign of support.