My Clipper Moment

I grew up in LA as a hardcore Laker fan.  I began watching and loving NBA basketball in the late 70s with Gail Goodrich, Lucious Allen, Norm Nixon, et al.  I fell in love with Magic, Kareem, et al in the 80s.  I loved the style of ball, I met some of the Lakers (hanging out at the Forum Club after games, among other places), and with my brothers just enjoying the game.  I was at UCLA at the time.  I have two brothers.  We all enjoyed the Lakers together.  We had no idea at who the Clippers were.  We were rabid Laker fans.  

Why did we love the Lakers?  Because they played the best team basketball anywhere (possible exception - Celtics).  

Flash forward to the 90s.  The Lakers lost the 91 finals to the Bulls.  Magic got sick.  Pat Riley left.  Subsequent coaches (including MDSr) couldn't get it done.  NBA basketball became less interesting in LA.  Then Jerry West made the genius move and traded for Kobe and pulled in Shaq.  The team became exciting again.  Yet somehow it was different.  While Shaq was a physical marvel, and Kobe was tremendous, the style of basketball had become boring to me.  It's not Shaq's fault, but the fact that he was so physically dominating made it less of a challenge.  I became less and less interested in the team as they got better and better.  

I began to search for alternatives.  I had become interested in the Clippers when Larry Brown coached them - he showed what even the Clippers - the Clippers - could do if they could learn to play as a team.  I began watching them more and more during the 90s.  Finally, when Sterling pulled the trigger on the EB trade, I gave tem my heart.  To me, that trade showed that the team management had finally become serious about winning.  I took a chance.  

The "moment" if there was one for me was confronting my brothers.  Again, we grew up together as rabid, loyal Laker fans.  It was incomprehensible to them that I could disassociate myself from the team like I had.  They just stared at me blankly.  To this day, they don't understand.  And to this day, it is not easy to root against the Lakers.  But I do it.  

I'm a Clipper fan.  

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