If you can’t beat ’em

Laker-fan-turned-Kings-fan rekindles her hometown love

The only reason I tune in to watch NBA games is to see if any team, with a lot of luck and some talent, can beat the Golden State Warriors. I’ll admit to something most foul. I’m not a Sacramento Kings fan. I’m a King James fan—which means I’ve been all in for the Cavs several years running.

But before I was a Cavs fan, I was a Kings fan. And before that, a Lakers fan. It’s complicated.

I’m an L.A. native who supported the home team until I moved to Sacramento. Obviously, the only ethical thing to do was relinquish my Laker fan rights and swear allegiance to the Kings.

And I did. Until I became a King James fan.

As fate would have it, I’m now proudly reconnected to my Laker roots. Because Lebron.

While the Lakers and Warriors are in the midst of a lopsided arms race, I’ve been doing my part. I created a 2018-19 Lakers conference finals vision board, radiate positive life force juju to the L.A. metropolis, and talk Lakers-talk in hostile public spaces.

Naturally, when I found out an infamous former Kings player now sides with the enemy, it took me to a dark, exasperated place.

Et tu Boogie?

Depending on whose reporting you believe, Demarcus Cousins, a.k.a Boogie, arguably the best center in the game, did or didn’t receive credible free-agent offers. X factors are he’s rehabbing from a potentially career-ending injury—and has a mercurial temperament.

It’s complicated.

So, he was forced to work the phones himself and sell his talents to the Golden State Warriors? Does he secretly want to be Kevin Durant—the king of burner accounts? The guy who signed up to play with the then-73-win Warriors minutes after having been this close to sending them home for the summer.

OK, maybe Boogie isn’t that guy, but he and Durant are both ridiculously talented NBA stars who apparently would rather play for the squad that’s typically up 25 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Are there any elite NBA players left who’d rather beat the Warriors than be a Warrior?

It’s possible that we, the social media-bar-barbershop-cable TV NBA fan base, are to blame. Maybe our warped insistence on championship rings as the single defining confirmation of athletic greatness has short-circuited the innate yen of NBA ballers to play to slay the dragon.

Anyway, I’m still planning to ride or die with Lebron and the Lakers—but I’ve decided to get my deferred gratification ring now.

Me. A middle-aged, 5-foot 4-inch-tall woman who hits the gym a couple-three times a week and intentionally covers 10K steps most days. I have the fitness, fortitude and humility to warm the Warrior’s bench for the 2018-19 season.

I can cheer, high-five and pass water bottles and towels—all while deftly avoiding eye contact with Draymond Green.

Most importantly, I don’t need the ball.

I’ll be the best NBA role player—ever.

Taking my cues from Boogie’s inspiring outcome, there’s no way I’m sitting around at my day job waiting for the Dubs to call me. I’m going to reach out to them—doggedly, until we come to terms.

And I’m available for a lot less than $5.3 mil.

If all goes well, before I can say “What the hell did I do to deserve this?” June will roll around and I, too, will have an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors.