COMMENTARY | The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers haven't exactly gotten along over the years. While part of that could be attributed to some jealousy and an inferiority complex, there are more clear-cut reasons why.
Here are five reasons to hate the Lakers:
Reason No. 1: NBA Championships
If you're reading this, that means you're alive. It also means you've never seen the Phoenix Suns win a championship. But since the Suns have been in the NBA, the Lakers have hoisted 11 banners. It's easy to be jealous and enviable of that. The Suns last trip to the Western Conference finals was in 2009-10, where they were eliminated by the Lakers in six games. The Suns did eliminate the Lakers in two consecutive playoffs (2005, 07), but it didn't result in a championship. At some point, the Suns fans have to start getting angry at management, but, for now, we can aim that vitriol at the Lakers.
Reason No. 2: Head-to-Head Dominance
The Suns have all-time winning records against all but five of the current NBA franchises. They've got losing records against the Celtics, Bulls, Knicks, Spurs and, of course, the Lakers. The Suns have played more games (225) against the Lakers than any other franchise and with a record of 93-132 (.413), their record is by far the worst. Whether it was the Showtime era, Shaquille O'Neal's dominance or Kobe Bryant's reign of terror, the Suns just haven't been able to beat the Lakers. The Suns have won 4 of 6 from the Lakers, including four in a row at home, so maybe the tides are turning.
Reason No. 3: Lakers Fans
Some team's fans are just unbearable to be around. I've had my fair share of basketball debates about Kobe Bryant's place in history and while some fans conveniently ignore the fact he has only one NBA MVP Award, they are quick to point out his championships.
I've always been one to support the home team, so I can't blame those who grew up in Los Angeles for being Lakers fans. But what about the band-wagoners from around the country who jumped on because they're winners? Even after a nice opening-night win against the Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers fans came out of the woodwork and flooded Twitter with ridiculous aspirations of winning the championship this year. It's not going to happen, but you can't tell that to the Lakers' faithful.
Reason No. 4: Celebrities at Games
The days of Los Angeles being this glitzy, glamorous city where all the stars want to be is over. It's smoggy, expensive, pretentious and scummy. Have you ever actually walked around Hollywood? Ick. Who really cares if Jack Nicholson is sitting courtside? Just because he's an actor who happens to like basketball doesn't mean anything. If I went and sat in on a surgical procedure, would that be special? Of course not. To be fair, I appreciate Jack's support of the Lakers and admire his fandom. But, really, he's just another guy. Get over it.
Reason No. 5: Staples Cavern
The atmosphere at a Los Angeles Lakers game in Staples Center is akin to a fifth-grade dance recital. People are watching the performance with one eye, watching their phone with their other and cheering gently from time to time. I never got the opportunity to attend a game at the Forum, but I've been to Boston Garden, been to Chesapeake in Oklahoma City and even a full US Airways Center makes the Staples Center sound like a library. The Staples Center is enormous, impersonal and business-like. I guess in retrospect, it fits the Lakers just fine.
Michael Dunlap covers the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is an NBA credentialed writer who is also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of HoopsHabit.com.
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