Burns: Beat LA
I hate the LA Lakers. Why hide from it?
I was raised to hate the Cowboys (Dad is a Redskins fan). I learned to hate Notre Dame football. But I swear I came out of the womb hating the Lakers. My first words were "Beat LA".
I'm in a very small boat on this one; a guy in his late 30's who is a native of Arizona. When I grew up it was ASU football and Suns basketball and that's it. In that universe it is understood early on that you must hate the Lakers. Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Kobe, Shaq, Riley and Phil…..hated ‘em all. Couldn't even bring myself to laugh at Abdul-Jabbar in "Airplane".
I hate them the way, I can only imagine, a Boston fan hates the Yankees. Certainly the way a Boston fan hated the Yankees before the Red Sox won two World Series championships. Many times I've thought that the Suns are the Boston Red Sox of the NBA (hardly an original thought on my part). The franchise has had great teams, some truly great players, a Hall of Fame owner in Jerry Colangelo and a capable replacement in Robert Sarver. At times it has felt like the team is cursed; coin flips, bad injuries, character issues and untimely suspensions. And at times it has felt like the Suns made their own bad luck (Luc Longley and draft picks being sold in the dollar bin are the first two that popped into the noggin).
The Suns have one of the best winning percentages all-time in the history of the NBA…..with no titles to show for it. They are the Boston Red Sox of the NBA.
If you believe that, then the Lakers are the Suns' Yankees. (Just on a side note here, go easy on the snide comments and emails - I'm not saying Lakers/Suns is as big as Yankees/Red Sox, just that the emotion is the same)
The Lakers are the big shots. They have the rings, the fame, the glory. Suns fans have always looked at the LA Lakers with a weird combination of disgust and envy. I hate them, but I want to be them. I want what they've got. Inferiority complex? Maybe. Probably. But why deny it?
Oh sure, the Suns have had their moments. In 1990 an LA Times writer said the Suns would fold like a tortilla - Suns win in 5, the Westphal guarantee in '93, Mike D'Antoni's domination over a weak Laker team a few years ago. But consider this; when the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees in the '04 ALCS it was a tremendous accomplishment that would have been rendered almost completely useless had they not won the World Series. That's where the Suns stand with the Lakers. Nice moments, no rings.
I hate them the way a little brother hates his big brother. The older child has the cool job, the big house, the hot wife and the perfect kids. He always got great grades and was the captain of the football team. The little brother is just smart enough to know he shouldn't compare himself to his big brother but he does it anyway.
So please, Beat LA.