Are The Lakers Likeable? (NBA Finals)
Are the Lakers too aloof to be loved as champions or did Kobe’s surly attitude before last night’s series-clinching win turn folks off? Now that Kobe’s in smile mode, will he be remembered for his looks of relief and joy or more for the jaw-jutting gritty face/perpetual scowl he was wearing before the Finals ended? While the focal point of this post so far has been Bryant, reading T.J Simers’ column, the attitudes that stop him from loving the Lakers aren’t restricted to just newly-minted Finals MVP.
But winning it all makes them no more appealing, Kobe still over the top absurd in his mood swings, Pau still carrying on like someone swiped his rattle, Phil so above it all it’s surprising he doesn’t demand to be carried off the court like Cleopatra.
The Lakers are champions, but they did little to cozy up to the folks of L.A. beyond being good — Kobe and Phil, the two leaders of this outfit, just as removed as always.
There’s certainly no Magic in these Lakers, and I’m not talking in any way about Orlando.
Is this a valid point? Do the Lakers inspire hatred, even from their fans? Perhaps, but that didn’t stop Lakers fans from trying to tear the city down while they were celebrating number 15.
Further, do you think Kobe (or Phil) really cares if you like him?
I don’t remember seeing Detroit’s Bad Boy teams asking for the public to love them. They just went out and won by whatever means necessary. If you liked them great, if not, that was great too. The Pistons didn’t care about your love. They just wanted rings. Granted, their home city loved them, and that was enough. As for the Lakers, while I see Simers’ point about this team being, well, arrogant, but I don’t think the fans care as much as he does.
Perhaps this was supposed to be a cathartic redemption for Kobe; doing away with some ill will that’s been built up since the Colorado incident. Whatever the case, it’s obvious Kobe’s letting his smile do his talking — as well as those new trophies of his. He and the rest of the Lakers are and should be happy. They’ll let the rest of us figure out whether they are a lovable team or not.