I had my childhood in Utah, then my family and myself moved to Southern California back in 2000 when I was still a kid. I experienced the strangest thing at this point of my life and realized that the majority of people in the world were not Jazz fans. In fact, the majority of the residents in this strange place willingly wore clothes that appeared to be doused in piss, with a nonsensical label of a verbal form of a body of water that was in all likelihood never seen in person by any of these residents who donned these mysterious "Lakers" garments.
These severely misguided Lakaphiliacs appeared to be severely suffering from some sort of....well, I suppose I would say rabid symptoms whenever they saw me wearing my glorious "Utah Jazz" master-race gear. Not unlike the way that vampires react to sunlight in the movies. I felt very disturbed for my fellow humans who fell victim to this Lakeritis in this new and strange land.
Much later on, I discovered that there was another breed in this Southern California, much less common than his Lakaphiliac counterpart, and much more friendly and intelligent. It took me much research to discover what the scientific community referred to this breed as, upon discovery I learned that these rare depressed specimens were referred to as Nonconformitis Clipperia.
Jazz fans and Clippers fans of the Southern California region lived in harmony for the better part of human history. In fact, I started going to every Jazz at Clippers game that I could because it was a much less hostile environment than being trapped in a sea of yellow gangbangers who seemed to aimlessly destroy everything in their path regardless of whether their team was victorious or defeated. Article of How Lakers fans Celebrate
Also, Clippers game were and still are much cheaper than Lakers games, which is a sham these last couple seasons due to how piss poor the Lakers are these days.
Another reason that I shamelessly admit going to Clippers games more often than Lakers games is this: I expected the Jazz to have a better chance of winning against the Clippers than the Lakers. For some reason, I naively accepted this as being true for eternity, as I'm sure many NBA fans would have assumed up until 2012 or so.
However, yesterday I realized something... it's been over 4 years since the Jazz have won at the Clippers!!!!! They have not won once since Derrick Favors has been on this team, not once!
The first couple times, I didn't even realize that the Jazz lost against the Clippers because the arenas were so empty and I would still see a few confused Jazz fans accept my fist bumps after a loss while we would be surrounded by a scarce fanbase of Clipper fans who still look ashamed to be a fan of the "other team" in L.A.
I mean how damning of a fate is that? Not even being the best basketball team who calls your arena home....suffering Junior Varsity syndrome for your entire franchise's existence....not even being a top 3 basketball team in your state. They were basically the counterparts of our Utah Flash but clamoring for a legitimate fanbase. I felt empathy for them and respected anybody who went to the game in Clippers colors due to the enormous chip this entire fanbase's shoulder had.
But that empathy has started to erode, but not towards those original diehard fans. No, but because there are new droves of "brand-new" #swag #yolo formerly Laker fans at these games now. Before last night, I never remember seeing a Jazz @ Clippers game selling out, but boy was it packed last night. And the sad thing was, I literally still saw plenty of Laker yellow in the crowd. That's right, these bandwagoners have no shame to even bother to buy Clippers gear. It's almost like these L.A. fans are rubbing it in, like they're proudly saying that they've got 2 teams and that they have no problem simply cheering the better of the two. It's really not all that different from all the people who are fans of both of the teams who are in the finals every year because they just love winners and could care less if they were called bandwagoners. It's simply rooting for Goliath.
Apologies for this long tangent with probably no moral, but that's been my experience here in Southern California bearing witness to the environment slowly changing towards supporting the Clippers (in Lakers' clothing).
Personally, I have no problem with the Clippers team and arena atmosphere as I appreciate that they still have cheaper tickets than the Lakers to help spare me from that annoying crowd. But, that nasty unmistakeable smell of Lakaphiliacs has creeped into that fanbase, and you can be as sure as the sunrise that the instant that this Clippers team falls back into obscurity that they will crawl right back into their comfort zone worshiping their piss yellow team with all of their ringzzzzz and bought glory.
Okay, now to actually talk about the game last night. I was actually very pleased with how the Jazz stayed in it for the entire game. Last time, the Jazz seemed to have a fetish for playing down by 6 points the entire game. This time, you could tell that they wanted to win, as they should. And I'm guessing that whoever else watched the game could easily sum up what lost the game for us. Perhaps two things, but the big number 1 for me was: FREE THROWS. Derrick Favors!!!!! You channeled the wrong part of Karl Malone tonight and just absolutely crushed my spirits last night going 3 for 9 from the free throw line. You make all of those, or even just 7 of those and we could have won that game. The agony!
But anyways, I can only hate on Favors so much because he just embodies this new Jazz team so well. Things that I liked last night included Rudy Gobert continuing his dominance against these fake tough guys in Jordan and Griffin, showing up with a respectable 11 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes. In fact, the refs had to call him on rebounding related fouls in back-to-back possessions to allow for their precious Clippers to hang on to this game by forcing Quin's hand to sit him due to this short stretch of referee-induced ineffectiveness. Kanter and Favors combined for 14 rebounds in 63 minutes. I praise the heavens for Gobert's efforts.
Also a big thank you to Gordon Hayward for keeping the defenses honest at guarding the 3 point line as he went 4 for 7 from outside as the rest of the team went 4 for 12
(INGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP SHOOTING!!!)
I love the fight our team had all game in keeping these so-called-contenders at bay. Gobert, I love you man. Good things also happen when our teenage mutant ninja Exum is aaggressive
Now, for some honest but succinct criticism of the Jazz last night. Favors, make your **** free throws. Quin, tell your team to have more fluid movement on the offensive end, we were very stagnant many times last night. Hayward, don't be afraid to pass it to an open teammate towards the end of a quarter. Booker and Ingles, no taking shots that are not dunks.
Lastly, to the Jazz, remember your fanbase is crazy and passionate sometimes, but we are always here to support you! Have a great rest of 2014 everyone!