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Psst… I’ve Got a Secret…

06/17/2010

Ron Artest, a have-not, now has a World Championship... Lakers don't win tonight without him.

It’s no secret that Staples Center is in the hood.  You can add LA Live, Nokia Center and every faniciful affectation you want, but it does not change the fact that Staples Center is a paradigmn of the haves and have-nots.   Just yards from where Bentleys and Benz’s park, there’s a neighborhood that “has not.”

You can deploy 5 times the forces you did the year before, but it does not mitigate the fact that there are disparities that we could never understand.  I’m not mad or embarrassed that cars get flipped, and taxi-cabs get burned.  In fact, I think it is the most poetic protest that we see.  In the moment of a city’s ‘greatest accomplishment,’ the disparities are brought full front.

I was in Houston visiting my parents in whatever year it was when the Lakers decimated the Indiana Pacers.  Laker Fans burned stuff, and I was somewhat embarrassed to live within 30 miles of the destruction, even if I was 2300 miles away.  I don’t know if it’s this terrible economy, or if I have just evolved in my empathy for a people forgotten, but I am no longer an apologist for Los Angeles’s fools.

I don’t celebrate the destruction of a city, but I understand it.  In the backdrop of a Staples Center, it’s the only “forum” that some have.  So burn shit, turn cars over, and do what you have to do.  I will do my best not to judge you.  The rest of the world, however… they’re not going to be so empathetic.

I am proud to be a Laker fan, over-turned cars or not.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/18/2010 11:26 am

    You are amazing. I don’t know you, but you have my respect. Thank you for your forthright honesty and opinion.

    Just me,
    Jeanette

    • 06/18/2010 11:34 am

      You are too sweet! It’s comments like yours that help make this thing worth while! Thank you.

  2. 06/19/2010 10:47 am

    It’s very poetic in a Hunter S. Thompson sort of way – the juxtaposition of Hollywood have’s and the City of Angels have nots is uniquely LA – love this post and your angle on sports!

  3. 06/23/2010 11:35 pm

    I too am a Laker fan and have been since I knew what basketball was as a kid. I mean, geez, how can one NOT have been a fan after growing up in So Cal with the Lakers of the 80’s?

    I don’t exactly agree with you on the craziness that happens after a championship win. Actually, I mostly disagree. I’m okay with judging lawless behavior. But man, I can’t tell you how awesome it was to watch them beat the Celtics. One thing I do know? There are thousands upon thousands of loyal fans, like me, who could never afford to attend a Laker game who deserve to be there on nights like that. And who deserve to line the streets of downtown for the parades. And for those folks, I hope they won’t ever crack down too much. It’s those folks — and those in the “ghetto” who don’t break the law, that deserve those nights and the parades.

    • 06/23/2010 11:42 pm

      I had a conversation with someone last night regarding this. What it basically comes down to is that I refuse to be embarrassed for a sect of fans behavior because they root for the same team as I do. If they want to tear it up, fine, but I will not let it hamper my enjoyment/elation of the events. I moved to So. Cal in 1980, the year of Magic and Fernando. It’s hard not to to be a Los Angeles homer.

      • 06/24/2010 2:06 pm

        Totally get what your saying! I agree with that.

      • 06/24/2010 8:48 pm

        And as Vic “the Brick” Jacobs would say, “I’m feelin’ you!”

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