Green: I’ll admit it, I’m a Lakers hater
My name is Adam Green and I’m a Lakers hater.
As the Suns prepare to take on the Lakeshow for the third time this season it is hard not to be overwhelmed with frustration, as the Lakers are again a championship contender while the Suns are at best mediocre, but likely just bad.
Mostly my frustration comes from one simple, hard to admit but painfully obvious fact: the Lakers are better than the Suns.
It’s not just this year, though. It’s really been the entire history of the two franchises. Sure, there have been seasons where the Suns won more games or knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs. But, more often than not, the Purple and Orange sits at home watching TV while the Purple and Gold raises another banner.
So yeah, jealousy is a part of my disdain for the Lakeshow. However, a good many of their championships (eight) came before I was born, and another three were won before I was basketball-coherent.
Still, the Lakers have claimed five NBA Championships since 2000 which is, unfortunately, five more than the Suns have in what, 42 years?
The worst part is even when the Suns are at their best it is never quite good enough. Sure, the Suns knocked the Lakers off in 1993, but that team lost in the Finals. Phoenix also rallied past LA in 2006 and dominated them in 2007, but neither playoff run ended with the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Still, during that run I always felt the Suns would win their first title before the Lakers won their next.
And then Pau Gasol was gifted to the Lakers.
For some unknown reason the Grizzlies, looking to dump Gasol’s contract, elected to send the All-Star to the Lakers for what amounted to spare parts. The Lakers went from a decent playoff team to a squad that made three-straight NBA Finals appearances, winning twice. Ugh.
There are times I wonder how the Lakers can always be competing for titles while the Suns, arguably the most successful sports franchise to never win a championship, maintain an empty trophy case. While many will say it comes down to shrewd moves, this Suns fan will roll with luck and shenanigans.
The Gasol move notwithstanding, the Lakers have been gifted far too much talent for no apparent reason. Everyone knows they tampered to lure Shaquille O’Neal to Hollywood, yet nothing came of it. They were able to swing a deal for the rights to Kobe Bryant, who the Charlotte Hornets selected 13th, while giving up just Vlade Divac. By the way, rumor is Jerry Colangelo was a big fan of Bryant’s and the Suns were ready to take the high school phenom just two picks later. The Suns ultimately ended up with some guy named Steve Nash, but that leads to a different, probably more likely reason why the Suns are not and have never been on the same level as the Lakers: a serious lack of “Greatest of All Time” players.
When it comes to a ring of honor the Lakers can trot out names like Mikan, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Baylor, Worthy and Magic, as well as the aforementioned O’Neal and Bryant. The Suns, on the other hand, claim Westphal, Hawkins, Davis, Barkley, Johnson and Nash. While some real good players have played in Phoenix, none have been the type that could carry a franchise to a title.
And, ultimately, that’s what it comes down to. Right or wrong a franchise’s greatness is measured in rings, and the Suns don’t have any. There are plenty of reasons for why that is the case, and unfortunately things are not likely to change anytime soon.
Until the Suns finally surpass the Lakers and win that elusive championship the NBA will unfortunately continue to see evil triumph over good, and I will take every opportunity to find the negative in everything Lakers. That’s just the way it is.
I’m Adam Green and I’m a Lakers hater.
Adam can be reached with your questions and comments by
here, and you can follow him on Twitter @theAdamGreen