It’s from GQ, so take it with a grain of salt since this is not a chambray shirt recommendation, but their case is pretty strong. Here’s why the premier men’s style magazine says the Lakers are the worst fans in the NBA and the 15th worst in all of sports.

15. Los Angeles Lakers
Starf—ers

Congratulations, Angelenos! You are the fairest of America’s fair-weather fans! The Lakers unfaithful abandoned their team en masse when Magic retired in 1991, then reconfirmed their fickleness by sending local TV ratings plummeting 30 percent after Shaq departed in 2004. Meanwhile, in these championship days, the Staples Center is more bar scene than sports complex, where fans can’t be bothered to clap—their hands are too busy texting. “The focus is sometimes not on the court,” coach Phil Jackson has said. “It’s on the people in the crowd.” Which explains why eight box suites were recently combined into an offshoot of an abominable nightclub, the Hyde Lounge. After VIPs pass a clipboard gauntlet—at a sports stadium—they can eat $21 nachos at a crocodile-skin bar while waiting for the space to transform into a postbuzzer dance club. When it’s time to leave, a valet will even bring around their bandwagon.

Yep, that’s just about everything that everyone hates about Lakers fans. They don’t really care about the game, it’s more about being seen and they jump on and off the Lakers bandwagon whenever it suits them. Nailed it.

The problem, though, is the other Lakers fans. The ones who love watching great basketball, who stuck with the team during the Cedric Ceballos/Elden Campbell/Nick Van Exel era, who go crazy at Laker games. Those are the real Laker fans, but they can’t afford the kind of seats that get the high-rollers seen. They can’t even afford the cheap seats Andy Garcia sits in. It sucks because those fans get lumped in with the Jessica Albas and Charlize Therons of the world who give Los Angelenos a bad name.

That being said, have you seen the Jessica Albas and Charlize Therons of the world? Kind of makes sense why they’d get front row seats.

Comments (35)

  1. I thought Alba was a Clippers fan?

  2. She is a fan of whichever California team is the big story.

  3. I am one of those fans who can’t afford the cheap seats that Andy Garcia sits in, but I go when I can. Heading out to watch them play the T-Wolves on 3/18–GO LAKERS!!!!

  4. Jessica Alba is a Clipper fan! I would know, because our other “celeb” fans are Billy Crystal, Frankie Muniz, and Clipper Darrell.

  5. That’s not too bad…..we’re stuck with Donnie and Mark Wahlberg and goddamn mclovin.

  6. As a Lakers fan since 1995, I have been to exactly one game in my life, which was the pheonix-lakers conference finals game last year. I wanted to get decent tickets since I knew it would be an amazing experience, and it cost me $1500 (for two). When i was there, the crowd was split into the exact 3 groups that Simmons once described, and the diehards were all in the upper decks. Point is, Lakers fans are a loyal bunch but the ones who are the biggest fans can’t afford the tickets, just like Kerb said.

  7. Meh, its the bad part about being a laker fan. We get represented by the people at the games. Its a curse we have to live with. I have been to ONE laker game in the last 4 years, I paid 300 dollars last year for a game against Memphis. Just needed to see this team once in person to say that I saw Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant live. I have been a Laker fan my whole life, and understand why the Lakers are hated. I am one of those people that watches every laker game, records it and re-watches it. The Laker which made me love the game? Sedalle Threatt. Yes, the thief.

    So no, im not a bandwagon laker fan, my friends and family arent either. We are also not the people at the game.

  8. Sounds like Leaf fans in hockey — the ‘real’ fans are priced out of the lower bowl, if not the entire arena — although the valet service and nightclub part just takes the cake. LA is brutal.

  9. Alba is actually a fan of Baron Davis since they went to school together. For a time she was a Warriors fan while Baron was on the team. So her loyalty goes with Baron as much as Clippers fans would like to think she is an actual Clippers fan.

  10. Let’s say this – if the Lakers and Cavaliers win the same amount of games, the ratings would increase significantly more because LA is in it. Therefore, we have further to fall when we don’t win as compared to a team like the Cavs or any small market team. Everything is relative and GQ is publishing this article just to get some cheap hits because they need Laker Fans to click on their site to meet their page view quotas for the month. :)

  11. Alba’s husband is one of Baron Davis’s best friends, so I think she’s a Cavalier fan now… I’m sorry, I mean I think she’s a baseball fan now.

  12. I am one of those laker fans that can’t afford the tickets but watches every. game at home well trys to cause sometimes I miss games cause of work but thank god for Twitter. And laker nation for keeping me updated through out the game when I can’t watch

  13. ya… but compared the seat pricing with other teams, you wonder why you don’t see fans on the lower seats, and the city we’re in, made impossible if you’re an average blue color worker.

    so screw gq.

  14. Count me as one of those fans that can’t afford tickets to watch the Lakers play . I kinda wish they would turn the lights back on, I really think it it makes a difference just watch the playoff series in early 2000′s when the lights were on and compare it to now.

  15. compare games with the clippers, their seat pricing is not at all expensive and it’s the same arena

  16. If you are one of these guys that cannot go to the game then you have had to listen to Mark Jackson call a lakers game. This is not fair…who wants to listen to the tag, “momma there goes that man!!!!!” five to ten times in a game.

    I think that all stadiums should give their fans entering the game a basic basketball iq quizz. If said fan passes than the ticket is 15 percent cheaper or if they are wearing a home jersey they also get this exception.

    I also think people should pay a phone tax…if you plan on using a BBM SMS machine during the game play you get assessed a fan violation and must pay a fee.

    While I think about it, anyone who wears sunglasses to the game without a medical letter should also have to pay some tax. Even if your name is Jack.

    Check out Jackson and Van Gundy and many other broadcasters and pundits bathroom rituals here http://tinyurl.com/4bm7r5x

  17. I’m in that boat too. I watch every Laker game on tv, but can’t afford to go to any games in person. The only NBA game I’ve seen at Staples was a Clippers game.

  18. He summed that shit up pretty well.. I can’t even afford the crappy seats..

  19. I think Miami Heat fans are giving them a run for their money…

  20. I’m a Laker’s fan since ’84 and I’ve never been to a game. I live in a state with no pro teams, so I only catch the games on tv.

  21. This is so fucking stupid. The people the article is talking about account for less than 1% of Lakers fans (%.001 percent celebrities and 0.999% starfuckers.) The remaining 99%, as Trey points out, are among the most passionate and dedicated in the league.

    Which leads to the obvious question: If Trey knows this to be the case, as he clearly does, why post this nonsense? It’s not from an NBA tastemaker (GQ? C’mon) and certainly doesn’t come at a time of year where we’re hurting for valid NBA news.

    The reason for league and nation-wide antipathy toward Laker fans is twofold- firstly, you always resent the fanbase of a dominant franchise. It’s natural. Secondly, fans in dreary, boring, stagnant markets cope with their awful teams and wretched lives by imagining that fans in sunny, paradisiacal Los Angeles simply MUST be shallow and frivolous. To admit that you can live in LA, root for the Lakers and ALSO be a genuine and dedicated fan would be tantamount to suicide for those poor slobs.

    So in summation, yes, the lower bowl seats at Staples will always be packed with people more interested in being seen than the game itself, but go a few rows up, or, better yet, to any bar in the Southern California, and you’ll find passion and dedication to rival any sad little steel town in the midwest.

  22. Sorry, couldn’t hear you over the MVP chants for Kobe in BOSTON during their 22 year title drought.

  23. Agreed. I mean, do you guys really need to post ‘LAKERS 97-PEAT!’ or ‘LAKERS CHAMPS’ comments on every game recap articles?

  24. Heat fans are easily the worst fans in the league.

  25. I agree with this statement. You know you’re being poorly represented when you are asked, “You’re a Laker fan? As of last year, right?”

    Seriously, guys like that ruin it for all of us. I am almost ashamed to say I’m a Laker fan because the guy who knows only one Laker — Kobe — is also a Laker fan.

    I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. (RELAX! My dad was born and raised in East L.A. and I’m hoping to attend UCLA for my junior year.) And I’ve seen the Staples Center, and have been there — one row behind courtside! — and have noticed that the fans suck. It’s stupid.

    I applaud fans like those in Oklahoma City — not anywhere else, because they would have to be Sonics fans. But Laker fans, Knick fans and Bulls fans are all crazy bandwagoners. (Although, the only Bulls fans I’ve ever heard of were born in the 80s. What a coincidence.)

  26. Great comments, everyone. Representing the BEST team in the league. This article is crap, everyone knows we have good fans, and they simply can’t afford the tickets. Watch our riots after we win the title again!!

  27. Lakers have loads of fans. And they show up in the other arenas when the Lakers pay a visit ;-)

  28. RE: People defending the Laker fanbase.

    The article addressed people who can’t afford tickets. The stats on TV viewership show that even those “everyman” fans who can’t afford tickets stop watching the Lakers when they’re losing. Those fans disappear. Sure, LA is huge and their influence goes much further than just the United States. They have a huge fanbase, but the numbers show that a significant portion of fans are more present when the team is winning.

    Any Laker I fan I talk to who is an actual student of the game acknowledges this. They hate the fair-weather base too, as they want to talk basketball and all the people around them want to do is talk about “the Black Mamba” as if some marketing campaign label is a real name. These are the morons who want some high-usage volume shooter in Melo over Andrew Bynum. BASKETBALL IS STILL PLAYED WITH ONLY ONE BALL, RIGHT? These are the fans who can’t admit that Pau is probably more valuable than Kobe because they read on ESPN that Pau is “soft.”

    The Lakers have a ton of fans and a good portion of them are shitheads. Deal with it. /smug

  29. @Jules: Actually, everyone knows the exact opposite. If you’d actually talk to basketball fans from time to time, you’d know that you have one of the least respected fanbases in the NBA. The Heat are bad, but they don’t pretend to be good. Lakersfans do, despite being bad.

  30. I love that the shibboleth for the ‘advanced-metrics” crowd (disproportionately comprised of laker-haters, likely because their mothers didn’t like them very much) to differentiate the “good laker fans” from the ‘bad laker fans” is the degree to which the laker fan in question dislikes Kobe Bryant.

    You can use statistics to prove literally anything. I’m not saying advanced metrics don’t have a place in basketball, but the overzealous stat-converts rely WAY too heavily on them, which you can see when their formulas contradict things we can see with our own eyes.

    to smug @william, what on earth are you being so smug about? Not sure what team YOU root for, but last I checked, the Lakers were the two time defending champions, with Kobe a two time consecutive finals MVP. If the point you were making is that, since the Lakers have many, many times as many fans as other teams, there are bound to be some losers, bandwagoners and “shitheads” aboard, then I agree. If you’re saying that a larger percentage of Laker fans on the whole are shitheads, then I pity the small, delusional and hateful little world you inhabit and wish you all the best.

  31. @Martin

    I only hate the Lakers fans in that they’re so awful that they made me cheer for Boston in a finals series. That’s simply not forgivable. And to be critical of Kobe’s performance in that game 7 in the Los Angeles area? Heresy!

    Anyway, as the article pointed out, TV viewership dropped by 30% when Shaq left. For most people, saying they’re a Laker fan is like saying they’re a Christian when they haven’t practiced in 20 years. “Yes, I cheer for the team that is winning. A byproduct of that is that now I am a winner as well.”

  32. Lakers fans are by far the worst. Whenever you try and talk basketball with them, all they ever do is talk about how they’re the CHAMPS and Kobe is the greatest player ever. I can’t wait to watch them all fall off the bandwagon when he retires.

  33. This comments page has to go to the TBJ Hall of Fame. It included words like shibboleth, summation and tastemaker. Not to mention a mention of Sedalle Threatt.

    You don’t get that kind of quality at Yahoo!

  34. @Vesper, since the three words you use as examples were mine, I appreciate the praise. I unfortunately can’t take credit for the Sedale mention though, which was pretty money.

    @William- Surely, as a seemingly intelligent person, you realize that you’re relying on a pretty weak line of argument there with the TV ratings “evidence”. Classic “after it, therefore because of it” fallacy. You confuse corrolation with causality- you don’t know WHY that 30% changed the channel. Moreover, you also have no proof that the 30% in question are Laker fans, necessarily. Also, you’re not taking into account that even with the 30% taking flight, you’ve still got more people watching nationally televised Laker games than games featuring nearly any other franchise.

    Any successful franchise is going to have bandwagoners- it’s the price of sustained greatness. But to conflate those people with the thousands of dedicated fans, who vastly outnumber the bandwagoners, is slanderous and false. Furthermore, if you think Kobe Bryant somehow escaped criticism for his game 7 performance (in which he still managed to contribute 15 rebounds during a nightmare shooting night) you’re crazy. He himself was charactaristically disgusted with his performance, as has been well documented. Just because you encounter the occasional zealot who’d defend Kobe for murdering their parents in front of them doesn’t mean that the entire fan base or the sports media at large somehow gave the guy a pass. You, and everyone else who clings to his field goal numbers in that game seven win (they won) also fails to acknowledge that the Lakers would never have been in the position to play a game seven without Kobe’s spectacular postseason play up to that point.

    Your analogy of Laker fans to non-practicing Christians is particularly moronic. Were you seeing how many fallacious and incoherent arguments you could fit into one post?

  35. [...] face and your bangles. Mr. Cool Bangles.Sorry, Laker fans, this is why people think you have the worst fans in the NBA. Very sorry about that. No Comments Previous post The Fantasy Jump Off: Week 22 (3/21-3/27) [...]

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