2010 NBA Finals: Dear Diary, I Cheered for the Los Angeles Lakers

Let me admit something to you: I cheered for the Lakers to win the Finals. It started during Game Two of the series when Boston walked into the Staples Center and slapped the home team around. That was the night Ray Allen made eight three-pointers, Rajon Rondo had a triple double, and it became clear to me that hating the Lakers is total garbage.

Maybe I got too close. I’m spending my summer working in Long Beach, a short freeway drive from where the Lakers play. When I got here, I figured that I owed it to my basketball obsession to go see a Finals game live. I may never again live near a team that is in the late stages of a title run. I may never again be blessed with enough disposable income to purchase a ticket.

Plus, it was Boston and LA, by far the most storied rivalry of the league I love so much. This is how one rationalizes spending half a month’s rent for a seat in the nosebleeds.

I planned to attend the game as a detached appreciator of the game and its history. Just a Blazers fan passing through. I arrived early and was struck by the festivities and mood outside of the arena. It was the Finals, so of course there was the cheesy ESPN stuff going on, and of course there was a buzz amongst the fans.

It wasn’t just that. I saw a nice selection of appealing permanent diversions that make the Rose Quarter look, well, lame. My associate and I were enjoying an excellent pregame burger and beer when an elderly couple started up a friendly conversation about the Lakers chances. The woman thought the Celtics would win Game two. Her husband was going with the Lakers, but thought it was going to be a difficult and narrow victory.

These were life-long Lakers fans that had seen their beloved team blow-out the Celtics in Game One. I would have forgiven a little hubris. Instead I got cautious optimism. They went on to share the most nuanced thoughts on Lamar Odom that I’ve ever heard. I had sim...

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