The Magic have plenty of reasons to hate the Lakers. Last night their broadcast team took that frustration out on some bandwagon fans in the stands.
The emotional links between the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers are deep.
Orlando’s last trip to the NBA Finals, in 2009, ended with a loss to the Lakers. The Lakers, currently tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the best record in the NBA at 22-3, are coached by Frank Vogel. His previous head-coaching stop was in Orlando where he spent two seasons failing to lift a promising young team over the 30-win mark. The Lakers are currently led by LeBron James, whose years-long stranglehold on the Eastern Conference has helped him build a 37-19 career regular-season record against Orlando. Coming off the bench for the Lakers is Dwight Howard, one of the greatest players in the history of the Magic franchise before forcing a trade to the Lakers. That moved followed in the footsteps of Shaquille O’Neal, another franchise-altering star for Orlando who left for the bright lights of L.A.
Suffice it to say that although this doesn’t really qualify as a rivalry, there is plenty here for Orlando fans to feel salty about. During Wednesday night’s home game against L.A., the broadcast team let some of that salt spill into a mid-game segment.
That’s two minutes worth of passive-aggressive shots of fans in the stands rocking Lakers’ gear. The production team happily added a chyron for each with some added burns like, “will be here on Friday in a Rockets jersey,” and, “also a Yankees and Patriots fan.” It’s clear that this video segment is also being shown in the arena on the jumbotron, although most of the fans are too busy on their phones to notice.
It’s a fantastically creative gag but unfortunately the bandwagon got the last laugh — a nine-point win for the Lakers and a 25-point triple-double for LeBron James. Hopefully, it was a cathartic night for everyone involved.