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NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein explains why he’s always rooted against the Lakers

Sep 2, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

jimmy goldstein getty Getty Images

You’ve likely seen NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein, even if you have no idea who he is.

The short version is that he’s a wealthy man who has a unique taste for fashion, and an equally unique passion for professional basketball which began in his teenage years. His house is probably more famous than he is outside of NBA circles and the fashion community, and it made an appearance as the residence of Jackie Treehorn in the movie “The Big Lebowski.”

Goldstein lives in Los Angeles, and while he travels during the playoffs to attend the most compelling games, he spends the regular season sitting courtside at Staples Center watching the Lakers and Clippers.

But despite the success of the Lakers franchise over the years, Goldstein has never been a fan. He’s consistently rooted against the Lakers, and in a piece he penned over at NBA.com, he explains some of his reasoning why.

As the years went by, my attachment to the Hawks waned, but my anti-Lakers sentiment became more firmly entrenched for a number of reasons. First, I usually pull for the underdog in any sports competition, and the Lakers were getting to The Finals or winning championships far too often for me. I like it when a different team becomes a title contender each year.

Secondly, I didn’t like it that the Lakers were able to attract so many superstars away from other teams. I like level competition, and the Lakers upset league balance with players like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and many others leaving their teams to live in Los Angeles. (Wilt and I became good friends, and he once told me of his displeasure over my pulling for the opposition, but nothing changed.) …

Many fans see me at all the Lakers games and assume I am a huge fan of the Lakers. Almost every day a stranger will approach me and say “Oh, you are the big Lakers fan.” And I respond, “No, I am an anti-Lakers fan.” In amazement they say, “Then why do you go to the games?” They don’t understand that someone can attend because of his love for the game.

These reasons are all completely understandable.

Goldstein goes on to explain that his anti-Lakers stance has affected his relationships with those who work in the game, including Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. But I’ve seen Goldstein at many, many games interacting with players and coaches courtside, and he’s always treated with nothing short of the utmost respect.

  1. broncobeta - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    “This guy and I would get along really well.”

    - Every non Laker fan

  2. Nostrils10 - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Hi Haters!

    GO LAKERS

    • anhdazman - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:45 AM

      DH12 sends his regards, from Houston.

  3. hildezero - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    You know you’re a real NBA fan when you root against the Lakers.

    • ranfan12 - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      Or the heat lol

  4. ProBasketballPundit - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    I love James Goldstein. Can’t believe I didn’t know who he is until this season.

  5. loungefly74 - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    the guy is honest and I like that. I have similar feelings for the Yankees…hate them… but fun to watch.

  6. redbearwoodall - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    I agree with him on every point, and I’d like to add another. I don’t live in California, so it may be different there, but 80% of Lakers fans I’ve met are obnoxious, entitled, loudmouthed bandwagoners, the majority of whom root for the Heat now.

    • wkl21 - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:03 AM

      no Laker fan is rooting for the Heat (unless they’re not from LA).

  7. jhuck92 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Jimmy might as well add the Heat to his list of teams to root against

  8. hildezero - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    @redbearwoodell,

    Yes! Everything you said about Laker fans is true. I live in PHX and I can tell you that all the Lakers fans here are exactly like that but also arrogant.

  9. losanginsight - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Think Big

  10. stlouisbaseball1 - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    This guy is a loser.

  11. 00maltliquor - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED WHO THAT GUY WAS!! Oh well. HATERS GON’ HATE!

  12. yankeepunk3000 - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    I have now lived in LA for 20 years now and laker fans are pretty much what you guys are screaming. Everything that comes out of most laker fans are Kobe this and kobe that. then during games all you here is “pass it to kobe pass it to kobe!”

  13. anhdazman - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    I am not a Laker’s fan. But the NBA is better, when the Lakers are winning and one of the top teams. That goes for Boston, NY and Chicago too. Those great NBA cities needs to be on the map to have those great rivalries.

    This year, maybe my Cinderella GS Warriors can shock the NBA! Go Warriors!

  14. dpeter11 - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    since when is NY a great NBA city? the Knicks are always garbage and haven’t won anything in over forty years!

  15. sportfan2 - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    I like this guy. I have disliked Lakers for years for some of the same reasons.

  16. zelaya322 - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Shouldn’t his stance on the Lakers have changed by now. After Stern vetoed the Chris Paul trade and DH12 walked away from the Lakers, it would seem his thought process behind rooting against them should be aimed directly at the Miami Heat and even the Clippers now. The Lakers are huge underdogs this year so now maybe he can root FOR them.

  17. jerdogthompson - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    @zelaya &@everyotherLakerfan

    Do yourself a favor and do some research on the failed CP3 trade to the Lakers.

    Fact, Jason Smith was part of the original trade. Fact, Jason wanted a multiple year deal from the Lakers. Fact, Lakers refused & offered a one year deal.

    All FACTS!!!! That is the REAL reason the deal died.

    Please, please, please do a little research before espousing nonsense and insulting those of us who do actually know what is going on.

  18. lalifer - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    I always wondered myself, who the guy was. Me also thought he was a huge fan. It means this guy goes home disappointed very often. Lol. Who is the bearded guy who sits most of the time beside Jack?

  19. antistratfordian - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Heh. I always thought this cat was a Lakers fan too. I assumed he hung out with Jack and that dude sitting next to Jack that looks like Donald Sutherland.

  20. hildezero - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    @anhdazman,

    How is New York City an NBA city? Is it because they have the NBA Store? If anything PHX is an NBA city. The Suns have done more in the NBA than the Knicks have. The NBA wouldn’t be like this now if it wasn’t for the Suns. When the Suns were one of the best teams in the NBA in the 2000s and traveled to play away games, arena attendance went up and t.v. ratings went up. Let’s not forget that a lot of media have said the Suns were the most exciting basketball team to watch in that era especially when playing at home.

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      New York is a basketball city that loves its Knicks, especially when the Knicks give them reason to. You can take jabs at NY for a lot of things, but if the Knicks ever got it really going they would be bigger than the Yankees in that city.

  21. hildezero - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    It’s kinda hard for me to believe that, when I hear that Knicks fans are just bandwagon fans.

  22. trollaikman8 - Sep 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    He doesn’t look like a pedo at all.

    -Signed, nobody ever.

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