Lakers, Now More Than Ever, Need Their Fans’ Enthusiasm
Well, simply put, the Los Angeles Lakers can’t seem to get anything right, right now. They’re a miserable 9-14, and have looked disoriented, uninspired, and disconnected to many of us.
As fans, we have the right to be angry. I recently went to a Sunday evening Lakers game (against the Orlando Magic) and was irate after they blew a fourth quarter lead and lost the game. I went as far as publicly saying the Lakers stink (well, I used a couple other words) and called them the “worst team in the league.”
I was simply venting, but after I came to my senses, somehow found my optimism. It’s very hard as a fan to be optimistic right now with all the uncertainties currently surrounding the Lakers; not knowing when Steve Nash or Pau Gasol will return, not knowing if Mike D’Antoni will eventually be the right fit for this team, or not knowing whether Dwight Howard will remain a Laker past this season to name a few.
In either event, I think it’s time for Lakers Nation to pick up the spirits of their team.
For too long in Los Angeles, the fanbase has always been a “What can my team do for me?” mentality rather than a “What can I do to help my team?” one.
Through these harsh times we’ve blamed the players, coaches, and management, so how about we start blaming ourselves? It’s worth a shot, and I think we’re a legitimate contributor to the Lakers problems with all the negativity in the air.
So, what can we, as fans, do to help?
Tweet happy thoughts
Well, many of us are on Twitter, and I’m sure plenty of players get extremely disrespectful and even threatening Tweets from so-called fans. Some have sent death threats in the past to the likes of Steve Blake and Pau Gasol. Obviously, those individuals are simply not real fans.
However, what we can do is try to keep the morale up on Twitter. We can convey our disappointment, but keep the positivity. The players really do pay attention to social media, and will be more inclined to play inspired on the floor when they know their fanbase is behind them, and not dissing them.
What else can improve? The Staples Center crowd.
Currently, the Lakers are 7-6 at home (.538). Last season–one filled with uncertainty, a new coach, and no training camp–the Lakers ended the season 23-10 at home (.697), but weren’t as solid on the road (15-18, .455).
There is no question that sports teams feed off of the energy of their fans. Teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz famously have a very distinct home court advantage due to their loud and energetic fans.
The Thunder are 12-2 (.857) at home, and 6-2 (.750) on the road. The Thunder are an elite team however, so the Jazz are a better example of this; with a 9-1 (.900) record at home and 4-9 (.307) record on the road.
The Lakers have been exceptional at home in recent seasons. Most of it hasn’t been due to the overwhelming energy of the home crowd specifically, but the team played well and in return received plenty of praise and adulation from the audience.
It appears that for this season–at least for jump-starters–that particular arrangement will have to change. The Lakers have given us so much over the years, and it’s time for us to give them something back in the form of our vocal support.
Next Page: The Staples Center Experience
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