Last night I went to my first Lakers game with my family, matter of fact it was my first Lakers game with any family. I’ve been a Lakers supporter since high school; so has my son, Eli. He didn’t go to high school with me, but he inherited my love for the Lakers. So last night, my husband, our daughter and our Eli journeyed to see the Los Angeles Lakers. We were all excited to see THE Kobe Bryant play as he wrapped up his last NBA season before going into retirement or whatever you do after you’ve had the great success Kobe has had as a Laker. We were also excited to see fellow Buckeye baller, D’Angelo Russell. But we found out before the game that Russell was sick and improbable to play. Though we’d heard Kobe’s shoulder had been bothering him, I was hopeful that after missing two previous games, he’d play in this one or at least be on the sidelines. However none of the above happened.
We took the drive from San Diego to Los Angeles. Generally not a bad drive but it was raining and Californians, especially southern Californians, tend to respond differently to water coming from the sky than the rest of us. They were driving like this is the last rainstorm before Noah’s ark pulls up to the curb. But thank God for the car pool lane.
When we got to the Staples Center, it was pretty cool but not gaudy. Watching Lakers games for years, you tend to believe that the entire Staples Center is a Broadway show and as soon as you pull up, a Laker girl greets you with an impromptu dance number. But there was no fanfare, just people going to a basketball game knowing their Lakers had zero chance of beating the unstoppable Steph Curry and Golden Stats Warriors.
Staples Center is a very well oiled machine. They had their system down to a science. There was no parking lot price hike because the Warriors were in town like most teams did when Buckeye football came to their schools. For $30, we parked across the street from the basketball Mecca and walked right over. It was so wonderfully fluid. Even the security lines moved smoothly and the staff didn’t treat you like potential ISIS operative. They were quite friendly and they had beautiful teeth. I know because they smiled.
We were each given a Lakers yellow towel. Those towels never left anyone’s purse or pockets. There was really nothing for Lakers fans to cheer for. We went to our seats. My two children and I sat watching warm ups while my husband got robbed at the concession stand. We would then be robbed of a great game, as Steph Curry, who is sheer magic to watch, lit up the replacements aka the Lakers. Clay Thompson also abused the LA squad.
I didn’t see Jack Nickolas but other celebrities were there including the Jenner/Kardashian girls. Warriors demolished the Kobe-less Lakers and like that, our Lakers experience was over.
After the game, our daughter was excited to see Ayeshia Curry who graciously took pics with fans. We walked out of the Staples Center, home of Kobe Bryant, Magic, Kareem and Worthy. As a fan, I felt robbed. Remember in National Lampoon Vacation when the Griswold drove all the way to Wally World and it was closed? Yeah, that was us.
As disappointed as we were not to see Kobe, we enjoyed the experience and the time together as a family. Hopefully one day, Kobe will make it up to us or at least let us hold couple of dollars.