Love one team, respect all


Anusha Kothari, Editor-in-Chief

I walked into SAP Center, anticipating the sea of blue and gold I had seen the last time I watched a Golden State Warriors game in person. Instead, I saw fans decked in blue, gold, black and purple. Despite being a preseason game, this game was no ordinary one. The strongest team in the league, the Golden State Warriors, was up against the Los Angeles Lakers, who now had arguably the best player in the league, LeBron James. Over the summer, the Lakers signed James to a four-year deal. For many Lakers and Warriors fans, James’ decision to sign with the Lakers strengthened their loyalty to their favorite team. I am a Warriors fan, and as a result, my enthusiasm for the Warriors grew because I was excited to watch the competitive matchup between the Warriors and Lakers. Other fans, however, could not decide which team to support, and instead of respecting both teams, disregarded each team’s skill. Throughout the first few weeks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) season, I heard students calling either the Lakers or the Warriors “trash” and declaring that the other team is better. A few days later, these same students would say the exact opposite. These claims infuriated me because the students were switching between which team they supported and in doing so, they were diminishing both teams’ skill. At the Warriors and Lakers preseason game I attended, a similar situation occurred: spectators bandwagoned onto the winning team.

Halfway through the game, the Warriors were winning by a considerable margin at halftime. As a result, head coach Steve Kerr decided to play less experienced team members on the court, which is typical for preseason games. However, in the third quarter, the Lakers outscored the Warriors by 16 points, taking the lead. Numerous Warriors and Lakers fans left the building, believing they could predict the outcome of the game: the Lakers would win. I understood these fans; they had come to watch an action-packed, entertaining game and were disappointed that their favorite players weren’t playing, but their act of leaving in the middle of the game was rude and disloyal.

My family was in the same situation. Halfway through the fourth quarter, my brother, a diehard Stephen Curry fan, started crying and saying that he wanted to leave. My parents were also getting restless; they could foresee the outcome of the game. Despite my family’s wishes, I was determined to stay until the final buzzer rang because I support the Warriors no matter what, even when they are losing. Although I was disappointed that the players I was looking forward to watching weren’t on the court, I remained to cheer on the younger, less experienced players. In fact, after watching them play at this game, I was excited to see what skills they would bring to the table in the upcoming season.

As expected, the Lakers ultimately won. After the game, I stepped outside the arena and heard some Lakers fans chanting, “Let’s go, Lakers, let’s go!” I didn’t mind this at first, but what started as praise for the Lakers eventually turned into hate toward the Warriors. These fans unfairly diminished the Warriors’ skill by exclaiming that the “Warriors suck.” What surprised me the most was that some Warriors fans joined in as well. Although they didn’t announce their disdain for the Warriors as vehemently as the Lakers’ fans, they still made it apparent by saying that coming to the game was a waste of time. These fans completely neglected the first half of the game, in which the Warriors played significantly better than the Lakers. They were making claims based on who won and who lost.

Ultimately, sports fans should not only demonstrate team loyalty, but also respect both teams. Both teams have driven and talented players that deserve to be respected, so it doesn’t matter which team a fan chooses to cheer for, as long their support does not waver.