The World Series was entertaining Tuesday night, October baseball always satisfying.
So why was it that angst and stress entered the evening unexpectedly?
Because amid the Juan Soto breakout and the Gerrit Cole stumble, amid the poetry of the Fall Classic . . . the Los Angeles Lakers began trending on social media feeds.
And suddenly, reverie of the timeless game of baseball turned to acid reflux-inducing thoughts of the return of the Lakers as a relevant beast in the NBA.
What a revolting development.
For four decades since the Warriors’ 1975 NBA title, Warriors fans had to live in a purple-and-gold nightmare. If it wasn’t Magic dominating the West and rendering the Warriors totally irrelevant, it was Kobe doing the same years later. If it wasn’t Kareem sky-hooking the Lakers to more titles, it was Shaq dunking ferociously and doing the same.
The Warriors countered with the brief flicker of Run TMC, and a one-year burst of ‘We Believe.’ Other than that, it was one long CoreyMaggette-RonyTuriaf-MikeDunleavy-TroyMurphy-JoeSmith-LatrellSprewell-PJCarlesimo nightmare.
Finally, 2015 provided glorious respite.
While the post-Kobe Lakers sank to an unprecedented playoff drought from 2013 through 2019, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green bonded under a banner of joyous championship basketball. The Bay rejoiced. Parades flowed through Oakland.
The king was dead.
Long live the king!
2015’s title turned into 73 wins turned into Kevin Durant turned into two more titles. The Lakers were racking up Cohan Era win totals down south, while the Warriors turned into an international brand who inspired so much envy, they might as well have been the hardwood New York Yankees.
It was glorious.
And now . . . . it appears to be over.
The Lakers, despite losing to Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers on Opening Night at Staples Center, returned to the limelight last night. There was LeBron. There was Anthony Davis. There were Laker fans, showering the Clippers with boos at a “home” game for the Clips.
And you can already feel it at Chase Center. Here come the Laker fans, back to the Bay.
The Lakers are cool again.
The Warriors, despite still suiting up Steph and Draymond, are not. There are not many options to enjoy this era, my friends. We may have to wear it.
We can try to fortify ourselves in our bunkers the following ways:
— The Clippers may very well be the better team, and may deny the Lakers a Western Conference title. So might the Nuggets. Or the Rockets.
— Joe Lacob is the 21st century Eddie DeBartolo, and will not settle for any prolonged downturn in Warrior fortune. You can bet he’s already DM’ing Giannis Antentokoumnpo. Heck, he may already have a line in to Bronny Jr down at his SoCal high school.
— Klay Thompson is still a Warrior. That alone is balm.
But until the fates deny the Lakers another championship, we have to live in a basketball world where the Lake Show is back in our face. The five year run of glory, the half-decade of toppling the tyrant, is over already.
It went way too fast.