Returning home for the summer after my freshman year at college means many things.
I've gotten a chance to see my parents, little brother and friends, and made numerous trips to the beach which is about a 10 minute walk from my house. It's been just a week, but so much fun. My transition from student to summer civilian has gone rather smoothly.
Except for one point.
Being from Southern California, my father and brother are big fans of a team I shudder to mention on the Blazers websites. Yes, they are Lakers fans.
All I've heard from them when it comes to the sports front is how the Lakers were robbed in the playoffs, how they're going to win next year, and how it's an automatic certainty that Dwight Howard is either going to be traded to them or he will definitely sign with them as a free agent at the end of the 2011-12 season.
To be honest. the Laker love is more than a little sickening.
Despite the fact Dallas, the eventual champions, swept the Lakers in the second round, they were robbed. How does a team get "robbed" in a sweep? I'm not a basketball aficionado, but even I know that's a sad attempt at an explanation.
With a new coach, new game plan and some distrust among some of the players, there's no way the Lakers will make it to the finals, let alone win the championship. Add to that the added competition of the Blazers, Thunder, and Mavericks in their own competition, I doubt the Lakers get out of the second round (I'm guessing a first round elimination in 2012).
From what I understand, Howard wants to stay with the Magic, and that the Lakers recently fell to the bottom of his teams to be traded to list. While the story of the future has yet to be told, and as it stands, I don't see Howard becoming a Laker any time soon.
As I told my father and brother these things, they tried to interrupt, but to no avail. It was then time to drop the bombshell:
The Blazers will be Western Conference champions in 2012. They'll get a reprieve from the injuries which have hampered the team the past two seasons, Greg Oden will return and lead the team, they will play better together from having a training camp together, LaMarcus JulAldridge will play like an all-star (again) and Gerald Wallace will be on the all-star team as well. The Blazers will have depth and be revitalized.
My father nodded and said we'd wait and see. My brother (long ago nicknamed "Brat") tried to counteract his older sister, but he was warned about his low success rate when it comes to that.
Being a Blazer fan in Laker land may not turn out to be all that easy, but I have no problem sticking up for my team, even from behind enemy lines.