Shhhhhhhh. Hear that noise?
Shhhhhhhh. There it was again!
What IS that?
Oh wait, I know what it is! It’s the sound of Utah Jazz fans laughing at their No. 1 rival, the Los Angles Lakers.
You know, the sauntering, swaggering Lakers. The guys who, at times over the past few years, have rudely punked the Jazz, both in L.A. and at EnergySolutions Arena.
Yep, those Lakers.
The same Lakers, who can’t seem to get out of their own way lately. The same Lakers who, going into tonight’s game in Philadelphia, are 10-14 and stumbling around the Western Conference standings like a guy who had a tad too much eggnog at the annual Christmas party.
The same Lakers who picked up All-Stars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard over the summer, believing those additions would vault them into the Western Conference finals.
The same Lakers led by future Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant, who said following Thursday’s 116-107 loss to the New York Knicks, “At this point, I wish we had the Washington Generals on our schedule.”
Something tells me after all those beatings at the hands of the Harlem Globetrotters, the Generals probably wouldn’t mind a shot at the Lakers.
Shhhhhhhh. There it is again.
Man, those Jazz fans must be having a grand old time. Sounds like they’re having a party, like any minute now they’re going to start caroling out in the snow.
Frankly, it’s hard to blame them. The Lakers and their fans haven’t been very kind to the Jazz.
Dating back to 2008, they’ve taken Utah out of the playoffs three of the past four seasons. Before last season’s four-game sweep by the equally-detestable San Antonio Spurs, the Jazz had lost 12 of 14 playoff games to the Lakers.
The Jazz beat the Lakers twice during the 2011-12 regular season and have already won twice this season, once in Salt Lake City and again in L.A. That’s four in a row, which isn’t too shabby. However, it must be maddening for Jazz fans to watch — and hear — L.A. fans invade EnergySolutions Arena, treating the place like it’s a home away from home.
If you’ve ever been to a Jazz-Lakers game at the ESA, you know what I mean. The place is crawling with those gold Laker jerseys and t-shirts, and whenever a Laker scores — particularly Bryant — the place erupts with cheers.
Having covered my share of those games, I’ve noticed the looks of frustration on the part the Jazz and their fans, unable to fathom how so many L.A. fans get tickets.
Shhhhhhhh. I’m pretty sure I just heard someone yell “Huzzah!”
Honestly, I’m happy for you, Jazz fans. I feel silly congratulating you on the struggles of an opposing team, but what the heck? Congratulations on the Lakers’ recent failures. You must be so proud.
Look, I don’t mean to open the door and let all the cold air in. I’m not trying to be a Scrooge or anything, I’m just going to throw out this one tiny caveat: We’re barely a quarter of the way through the season … and the Lakers are pretty beat up right now … there’s still plenty of time to right that gold-and-purple ship.
Now, don’t throw snowballs at the messenger, OK? I get paid regardless of whether the Jazz — or the Lakers — win or lose. I don’t have a rooting interest and, believe me, even if I did it wouldn’t be for the Lakers. I’m just offering a word of caution.
I watched ESPN after L.A.’s loss to the Knicks and couldn’t help but notice apocalyptic outcry from the talking heads. Last time I heard a drum beat that loud and steady, I was stopped at a red light across from an Occupy Wall Street rally.
I figure if the folks on the national sports scene are this nutty over the struggling Lakers, Jazz fans here in Utah must be going bonkers. Naturally, I’m wary of such unabashed giddiness, if only because it all seems so premature.
Shhhhhhhh. Hear that?
It’s the voice of reason.