L.A. Lakers fan holds out hope for her team

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Even though the 2017-2018 NBA season is officially behind us, resident Ruth Greife holds out hope for her beloved Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason.  

The rumors are swirling about what deals will be made in the offseason, especially since LeBron James will become a free agent on July 1. Several sports analysts are betting the Lakers will make James an offer—an opportunity that some fans welcome. But for some like Greife, it’s a big “no.”  

“I hope he doesn’t because I think he would disrupt the rebuilding of the team,” says Greife. “For one, I don’t think he would encourage the upcoming team to take a chance; he would try to do it all.”

During last week’s NBA final championship games, she rooted for the Warriors who swept the Cleveland Cavaliers for the title. But surrounded by her gold and purple memorabilia, Greife hasn’t switched her loyalties to another team. She’s still a diehard Lakers fan.

This past season, she watched as many Lakers games as possible on TV. She has a Lakers gnome perched on the fireplace, various bobbleheads, coasters, pens and pencils, a pillow, a basketball and her prized possession – a T-shirt signed by Metta World Peace. Also for her annual Christmas cards, she’s wore her Lakers hat.

Even though they’re in a slump now, she still thanks her niece for introducing her to the Lakers in the 1980s, when Magic Johnson was the star and they were the western conference leading squad—winning five NBA championships. She fondly recalls games at the Forum watching Magic, still her favorite player. Kobe Bryant, whom she’s seen play at the Staples Center, is a close second favorite.

Though the current Lakers roster is young and it’s the fifth consecutive season void of making the playoffs, Greife still sees them returning to those glory days—sans LeBron James. “I’m very positive about my team,” she says. “It will take time but eventually they will come back.”  

Already looking ahead to the 2018-2019 season and what games she might attend, she also has some words of advice for head coach Luke Walton to take into the off-season: “Don’t listen to your dad unless it's basketball.”


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