It’s been fun to dump on the Los Angeles Lakers recently. They limped to the finish line this season, ended LeBron James’ long NBA playoff streak, saw Magic Johnson submit his surprise resignation, and just days ago the team so badly botched contract negotiations with Ty Lue that he took himself out of the running to be the next head coach.
So, business as usual, right?
That’s precisely why fans are upset. The Lakers are a marquee franchise that seems to be run and managed like an unlicensed basement summer camp. One fan on Reddit was so sick and tired of the Lakers constantly tripping over their own feet that he decided to plan a fan protest. On Friday at noon in front of the Staples Center, fans would gather and loudly voice their displeasure. From Reddit:
We will be holding a protest to garner ESPN Media Coverage. Voicing our displeasure of the front office.
Why? Jeannie hates bad PR. She don’t care about us, but cares what the media says. Point is to spin the narrative to the Talking Heads “Is Jeannie the opposite of her Father?” and have them talk.
Leaving aside the fact that the Lakers don’t actually have any team personnel at the Staples Center (which means Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, and the whole Lakers gang won’t hear them yelling), it’s not a bad idea. Generating bad publicity for the team is definitely a way to show the PR-minded owner that things are not well in Lakers land.
So how did things go? Well ... the protest happened. But while the organizer said he expected 60-80 people, it appears that the number was quite a bit lower. And the fans were a tad less enthusiastic than you might expect them to be.
That protest by Lakers fans that’s supposed to take place at noon today? We are at it pic.twitter.com/FIUR4V1XIr— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) May 10, 2019
They did get slightly more amped up, though. Slightly.
Signs at the Lakers fans protests include a crying LeBron James and a mugshot of Jason Kidd pic.twitter.com/fhJcZYI3Kt— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) May 10, 2019
Clipper Darrell stopped by just to thumb his nose at Lakers fans.
Clipper Darrell just showed up to take his victory lap at the Lakers protest. pic.twitter.com/5f8twCOQaE— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 10, 2019
You have to imagine it was hard for Clipper Darrell to resist doing that after seeing how few people were actually gathered.
There might be more cameras there than actual fan protesters.
A protest is a protest no matter how many people show up. The fans who were there got to chant loudly about their unhappiness, people paid attention, and Jeanie Buss likely knows it happened. But considering that maybe 30 people were yelling in front of an empty Staples Center where no Lakers front-office people work, this protest feels like the Lakers of sports protests: big promises, problematic results.
But at least the protest brought joy to this Phoenix Suns fan, gleefully watching the action while casually snacking on a bag of peanuts.
Bask in it, Suns Guy. Soak it in. Right now, your team is not the most embarrassing in the NBA. And for Suns fans, that’s a reason to celebrate.
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