We all have that one musical artist or group that we could listen to until the day we die. Whether it is the music that you grew up with, or the music you play, or the music that changed your life, there is always one genre or individual that you listen to no matter what you are feeling at the time.
For sports fans, we have our teams that we will support until the day we’re buried in the ground. We have the colors that we would be willing to paint on our face and chest and rock out in 20-degree weather. I know I do. I bleed Laker purple and gold. I will always root for the Los Angeles Lakers no matter where I am. While I am a die-hard Lakers fan, I also consider myself a die-hard music fan.
Like many people who love their music, I don’t listen to the same song or artist over and over again. I don’t watch the same teams play over and over again. Like music lovers who appreciate all types of musical genres and artists, I too have an appreciation for several different NBA franchises and what they have achieved over the course of the history of professional basketball.
By virtue of the freedom I have as a writer, I would like to lay out what my NBA playlist consists of by likening the NBA franchises I enjoy watching to the music that I find myself able to listen to time and time again.
I would be remiss if I did not begin where my heart as a sports fan lies, and that is in Los Angeles at the Staples Center where my Lakers reside. There exist two dominant basketball franchises in the history of the NBA — the Los Angeles Lakers with 16 NBA championships and the Boston Celtics with 17. Let us consider these two teams to be The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The distinction between who is better and who has a greater and longer-lasting impact on basketball or music is very subjective and for each individual to determine based on what their tastes are.
Since I prefer The Beatles, for me, the Lakers are The Beatles in my NBA playlist — coming out of obscurity from a foreign land, in our case the foreign and alien land of Minnesota (no offense to you Golden Gophers out there), and making what I consider the largest impact on what has become the modern NBA and in a larger sense basketball today. And of course, we all have our favorite albums by our favorite artists, the albums we would save in a burning building if we could only take one. In my case, Kobe Bryant, who I would liken to “Abbey Road,” is the one “album” of the Lakers that I would never want to be destroyed or forgotten.
Respect, of course, has to be given to their biggest rival — the Boston Celtics, who I would consider The Rolling Stones. Songs like “Paint it Black” and “Gimme Shelter” are songs that I would never want to lose. The Boston Celtics dominated the NBA in the 1960’s and with the help of players throughout their history — such as Bill Russell and Larry Bird — have made their impact on the NBA today. Although I still consider the impact of the Lakers greater than that of the Celtics, I give respect to The Rolling Stones even though I prefer The Beatles.
Influenced by artists who came before them, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are a genre all to themselves, and no one else has ever done what they have done or sounded like they sound. This is a band that puts on a live show that few can compare to and will blow you away with the diversity of their sounds and influences from all sorts of genres. The Chicago Bulls are a team that has done something that few others have been able to achieve. In the modern NBA, the Bulls dominated during the 1990’s with Michael Jordan at the helm. Jordan is to the Bulls what the albums “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” and “Californication” were to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The Bulls first gained major success in the early 1990s with a three-peat led by MJ, until he decided to leave basketball to pursue a career in baseball. The Red Hot Chili Peppers gained major success with “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” until in the wake of its success guitarist John Frusciante left the band. With Jordan and Frusciante gone, the immediate future of the group they had left seemed unsure. With both men back in the lineup just years later, the Bulls went on to have another three-peat and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ comeback album “Californication” cemented their legacy in history.
Notables who miss my list are Rebecca Black, or the Charlotte Bobcats, and of course Justin Bieber, or the Los Angeles Clippers. I don’t think explanations are necessary for either; if you think they are, well then that’s too bad for you.
What’s at the core of what I’m saying is that like with music, don’t fixate yourself on one genre or artist. Branch out and see what else there is to listen to and I promise you’ll be able to appreciate other music without sacrificing what you hold closest to yourself.
Appreciate other teams for what they have to offer, beyond just the team you love. Trust me, it’ll only serve to enrich your taste in any given sport.