Tonight the Utah Jazz (12-9) hope to overcome injuries, YET AGAIN, against the Los Angeles Lakers (10-12). For the first time in years the Jazz are jockeying for playoff position with the Lakers, and I’ll be honest, it’s hard to for me to find a hatred for the Lakers anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I loooove seeing the Jazz beat the Lakers, especially when it’s in our beautiful blue jerseys, on their home court, handing them the L. I would love it even more if we brought back our purples to show who has the best purple jersey, but that’s another story for another day...
But why is that? Is it because Kobe Bryant retired? Have we lost the villain we need to hate? I mean he was kind of the Joker to our Batman. Maybe.
Is it that we’ve spent so long either tanking or being bad at the same time? For years, both franchises have competed for the lottery instead of the playoffs. Maybe that’s it? Even when Kobe Bryant was on the court he was a shell of himself. It didn’t feel like real Jazz/Lakers. Most interesting of all, there almost seemed to be a camaraderie that grew between Kobe and Utah. Because we were both bad, we both reminisced about better days with better battles.
We even said goodbye to Kobe with a really well done tribute.
I really enjoyed all of this and it was because, to me, there wasn’t much bad blood anymore. The reason, I think, is that we’re just plain better than the Lakers.
Yes, Kobe Bryant dropped 60 on us in his final game. But it was against a lot of our backups because we found out 30 minutes before the game we had no chance. It also took him 42 minutes and 50 shots.
The truth is, the Lakers were a bottom dweller team and the Jazz were looking at the playoffs and found themselves just outside of it. Had the Jazz cared, it would have been a different game.
And look at this year, even with all of our injuries, we’re still much better than the Lakers as a team. Our records are much closer than they should be.
It’s hard for me to hate a team that the Jazz dominate. Is there any way the Lakers are better than us? Go player by player and we have the upperhand. Our GM has put us in such a good position with solid depth that we can be very competitive even with multiple starters missing. Our ownership has run a disciplined, engaged organization that continually makes smart decisions with its hires and long term health and growth as an organization. LA is wondering if one if one of their owners will quit if they don’t make the playoffs because of some widely known ultimatum. That’s a really strange thing to have hanging over a team, guys.
I mean, the Lakers don’t even have a mascot to make fun of.
I guess that’s my conclusion. We’re just better than the Lakers, in every way. We’re used to being the underdog, the one national TV doesn’t pic. It’s what gives us our fire as fans. For me, it’s not as fun to hate a team you will have no trouble with for years to come.