COMMENTARY | Los Angeles Lakers fans are easy for the rest of the country to hate.
It's not their fault -- they are blessed with many enviable circumstances such as living great weather, rooting for a legendary team, watching superstars come and go every year and all of the ancillary things that come with living in the shadow of Hollywood.
But in addition to their team consistently competing for titles, they are known for being notoriously late for games, lacking knowledge of the game's nuances, sitting courtside at games expressionless for the sole purpose of being seen and chanting for two-dollar tacos during close, meaningful games.
Why do some behave this way? It's a question that deserves further exploration, and one prominent TV personality did just that for us all.
Jimmy Kimmel put together this outstanding segment that highlights the audacity of people to call themselves sports fans , let alone Lakers fans. Anyone who even moderately follows the NBA would cringe at some of the answers these people gave who claimed to be fans of the Purple-and-Gold.
The segment is called Lie Witness News, so the entire premise is that these people are lying.
All of these things are possible according to these pour souls on the streets of Hollywood.
"Saturday Night Live" has a horrendous recurring sketch called "The Californians" that gives those of us who call the Golden State home a frightening look into the perception of Los Angelinos. To spare you the agony if you haven't seen it, here's what you can expect to see by watching: A corny and obvious over-the-top face-palm-inducing sketch that plays on the most obvious stereotypes of people who live in suburban Southern California.
It would be unfair to blindly call the writers of the sketch so unintelligent that they didn't realize how wrong they were in their portrayal. But even as they satirize the perception itself, it still shows that there is some element of reality to people being absent-minded out west.
The same held true on Kimmel's show. The people on the street were a small sample size of non-sports fans who didn't want to be embarrassed by admitting they knew nothing about sports.
And that's OK.
People in New York, Boston, Cleveland or Chicago would do the same thing in a street poll that had the convenience of editing and most likely had a sample size that included actual fans who really did know that the Lakers play in the NBA.
Point being, of course there would be dumb answers if they surveyed enough people. Maybe it was easier to find ridiculous answers quicker in Los Angeles, but we'll never know for sure.
As far as L.A. fans go, they do leave a lot to be desired at times, but there are many types of fans, and not all are created equal. Some are casual fans that bring out the Lakers flags when the team is barrelling through the playoffs. Others like to wear the purple and gold gear, and finally there's a significant segment that really knows what's going on.
The poor folks in the Kimmel segment were none of the above. They weren't even sports fans.
So while Lakers fans may deserve some of the grief they on occasion, they don't deserve to be punished and lumped into ridiculous company based on the actions of a few clueless people on the street.
For more on the Lakers and the NBA , catch up with this author on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets
Michael C. Jones covers the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA as a Southern California-based sports journalist and editor. He contributes to SB Nation in addition to Yahoo! Sports and is the Managing Editor and Founder of Sports Out West.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Jimmy Kimmel