Jimmy Goldstein moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and began to attend all the Los Angeles Lakers games. For nearly five decades, he has become one of the most recognizable figures in the NBA and can be found sitting courtside watching the Lakers at Staples Center.
Many naturally assume that Goldstein is a Lakers fan, but unfortunately, the always fashionable basketball fanatic is not. In a column for NBA.com, Goldstein explains why he roots against the Lakers.
According to Goldstein, he cheers for underdogs, and the Lakers simply win too much:
“I usually pull for the underdog in any sports competition, and the Lakers were getting to The Finals or wining championships far too often for me. I like it when a different team becomes a title contender each year.”
Another reason why Goldstein doesn’t cheer for the Lakers is because the franchise has always been able to attract so many superstars:
“I didn’t like it that the Lakers were able to attract so many superstars away from other teams. I like level competition, and the Lakers upset league balance with players like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and many others leaving their teams to live in Los Angeles.”
Most will wonder why Goldstein attends Lakers game if he’s rooting against them, but it’s simply for the love of the game. However, the Lakers players and coaches have responded differently to Goldstein. Most remain friendly with him, but Kobe Bryant has even instructed one of his teammates not to speak to him. It’s not surprising coming from Bryant, but it’s all in good fun.
Goldstein’s reasons behind rooting against the Lakers also serve as compliments. The Lakers are undeniably the greatest franchise in the NBA and have continually shown through the decades their willingness to win championships. When one team always finds a way to win by any means necessary, it creates animosity among fans. It also doesn’t hurt that they play in Los Angeles.
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