I’m curious what my blog people think about Woody’s pretty forceful comments about Hawks fans showing too much love for some visiting teams. If you are reading this then you probably aren’t a casual fan; I doubt any of you are heading to Philips in your Kobe jersey. So since Woody probably isn’t talking about you, can you get on board with his view that Philips needs to be more hostile to visiting stars or do you think he’s off base?
Woody first mentioned the topic a few weeks back because he thought support for visiting teams at Philips had increased even though the Hawks are better. I kept the angle in the back of my mind and planned to address it when a marquee team came to town. Well, the Lakers are here and obviously they fit that description.
There’s just something about the Lakers, and I think it goes beyond winning. I spent a decent amount of time reporting on the Lakers in 2004-05 season because they’d traded Shaq to the Heat the previous summer. That was the year it was basically Kobe surrounded by nondescript guys. The Lakers won 34 games and missed the playoffs. But what struck me after following the team was how they still got so much support even though they were also-rans.
I remember going to a shooataround in Orlando and there was a crush of fans in Lakers jerseys trying to get close to the team. At the arena before the game there was a group of probably 200 fans hanging around the tunnel during warmups hoping to get autographs. When I interviewed fans at the Staples Center, they were all so sure (or smug, depending on your perspective) that the Lakers would be good again soon because, as one guy said, “We’re the Lakers.”
At the time, Lamar Odom said he was at first disappointed to get traded to the Lakers from the Heat but eventually embraced the move because of the increased opportunities for exposure in LA. I silently scoffed at that because, well, he was only Lamar Odom. But now I see him in Taco Bell commercials and hugged up on a hot Kardashian and it turns out dude was right.
And, oh yeah, Odom also got a ring.
– Hoopinion looks at USA Today’s story on Josh Childress’ options this summer. In the blog comments, Brett Lagree opines on whether he thinks Woody and J.J.’s futures are tied together:
“I do think that the playoffs will determine whether or not re-signing one or both would be a positive or negative PR move for the organization. I think the very public show of interest in Ilgauskas from an organization that typically doesn’t announce whether they give restricted free agents qualifying offers shows that they’re fairly concerned about appearing* to compete. Ultimately, the decisions on Johnson and Woodson may not entirely be informed by basketball concerns.”
*I’m skeptical they’re interested in the risk and/or cost of actually competing.