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I'm Not a Lakers Hater But...
By Jasmyne A. Cannick
Every year without fail that finds the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, Angelinos take a momentary leave of their senses and come down with what I affectionately refer to as "Purple and Gold" fever. I don't expect this year to be any different. In fact, it's already started. Everywhere I look, Blacks, whites, Latinos-are already displaying early signs of the fever-wearing purple and gold clothing, loud talking, drinking large amounts beer, spontaneous yelling fits. Yeah, it's pretty bad out there. The only place it's worse is at city hall where city officials, who look forward to this now yearly epidemic, are making preparations, looking at budgets, moving money around, and putting city departments on notice of a possible citywide outbreak of the fever. Me-I'm completely immune to it. No, I'm not a Lakers hater, I love the Lakers, I just took a double dose of some common sense at the start of the season.
Prior to the start of the NBA season, the city of Los Angeles declared itself to broke. The last time I checked, that was still true with the usual threats of laying off employees actually having a chance to come to fruition unlike in years past.
That said (deep breath), Los Angeles has no business paying for a Lakers parade should the Lakers prevail against the Boston Celtics and bring home the championship.
Now for those of you suffering from the fever, this may be particularly hard for you to swallow, my suggestion, try washing it down with some good old common sense.
With the city laying off and furloughing employees, reducing service at libraries and eliminating most of the child care programs at our parks and recreation centers, paying for a Lakers parade is simply out of the question.
I don't care how much money the Lakers generate in revenue for the city of Los Angeles-it obviously isn't enough mitigate the city's budget woes. Hosting a parade will not only add to that but would bring the city to an all time low in terms of its hypocrisy.
Now I'm not saying don't have a Lakers parade, what I am saying is that the city of Los Angeles can't afford to and should not under any circumstances on pain of death pay for it. If the Lakers and private donors want to take up the cost of the parade, I'll be the first in line waving my Lakers flag cheering them on. I got five...dollars on it.
This is going to be a contentious issue in the following week should the Lakers win. And for those of you already suffering from the fever, I wouldn't waste my time trying to convince you otherwise. You are already a lost cause.
It's going to be left up to the rest of us-and for this fight, yes, I'm willing to partner with Los Angeles' Celtics fans-to keep common sense from flying out of the door here in Los Angeles the moment the buzzer rings on that final game hopefully declaring the Lakers the NBA champions. That's when the you-know-what is going to really hit the fan. And it will be a fight, I assure you.
I, alone, have made a personal vow to not support any elected official who even hints at Los Angeles paying 1 tenth of 1 cent on a Lakers victory parade this year, should we win. And I mean it. Not after having to sit through the many budget crisis press conferences, the rise in local sales taxes, and the recent approval of raising DWP rates. Oh hell to the no.
Call me a Lakers hater. I've been called worse. I just choose to deal in common sense, regardless of what sports season it is and who is in the finals.
And with that said...go Lakers! Really I mean it.
Unexpected and unapologetically Black, at Jasmyne Cannick, 32, is a critic and commentator based in Los Angeles who writes about the worlds of pop culture, race, class, sexuality, and politics as it relates to the African-American community. She can be reached at www.jasmynecannick.com.