Tonight, the Kings make the long, arduous 6-hour trek from Sacramento to Los Angeles hoping to reignite a rivalry that hasn’t existed in quite some time. Considering the relative merits of both teams — one great, one the Kings — they’ve got a nearly impossible task on their hands. However, at least one King won’t have to worry about rekindling the animosity that made games between the teams in the early 2000′s so much fun.
No, for Pooh Jeter, a Los Angeles native, there’s already enough built-in hostility from just playing for the Kings that he doesn’t even need his team to be good again to get people riled up. To wit, from the Sacramento Bee:
“Everybody’s a Laker fan,” Jeter said. “They say they don’t boo me when we play against them. They say they boo my team because they’re Laker fans.”
That’s right — Pooh Jeter’s entire family is going to be rooting against the team he plays for. Not rooting against Pooh, duh, just his team. As they say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Seems applicable.
This is interesting. I’ve always wondered how fans deal with their kids playing sports. Like, Bill Walton is the biggest Celtics fan of all-time. He won a title with the Celtics and swears by their philosophy, history and general Celticness. There is no bigger Celtics fan, literally, than Bill Walton. But his son plays for the Lakers. He’s won a few titles with the Lakers and it’s the only team that’s ever employed him. How does Bill Walton root for his favorite team’s rival while still rooting for his son? I guess it’s like Jeter’s family is going to do — root against the team, root for the kid. That’s great.
They say blood is thicker than water, which is true on a molecular level. But you never hear about whether or not blood is thicker than fandom, probably because they’re not both liquids.