I am a Lakers fan. I’ve been since the third grade and I’ll continue to be for the years to come. Granted, I can hardly be considered a “good” fan – I don’t watch any games, I don’t follow any trades, and I hardly know what’s going on with the team anymore.

But what is a fan? It’s a person who sticks with his or her team, through the good times and the bad. I was guilty of not upholding this principle eight years ago, and I didn’t want to do it again. Tonight, for the first time in a year, I tuned in to cheer on my Lakers as they worked to fight their way out of an early exit.

Did they deliver? No. Are they going to win the series? Most likely not. Did they play with heart? I think so. And the fact that Kobe continued to involve his teammates, to try to make them better, was the biggest difference from their implosion in 2003 and 2004. And that’s something that I can support.

There’s a lot of hating on Lakers fans that’s been going around. But tonight, of all nights, I can proudly say that I am a Lakers fan, that I will stand by them through the good times and the bad. You can hate on me all you want and you can gloat (and I deserve it more than the others because I’ve been a pretty bad fan). But at the end of the day, I am a Lakers fan, and I’m proud of the purple and gold.

Please direct all haterade to

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