Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and the Lakers
Doors open 90 minutes before tipoff for Thunder games inside the Ford Center. Two-thirds of Tuesday’s early arrivals made their way to the tunnel from which the Los Angeles Lakers emerged.
For roughly 45 minutes, fans of the road team outnumbered fans of the home team.
The Lakers are one of those sports franchises that have no boundaries. Their fans are everywhere, much like the Yankees, Steelers, Cowboys, Packers, Cubs, Dodgers, Celtics and Braves. The Lakers and Yankees probably top the list.
The reigning NBA champs also draw a media crowd. Writers were bumping elbows along the sideline and baseline inside the Ford Center. Also on hand were NBA-TV and NBA.com. Several reporters normally found courtside were shipped upstairs to the hockey press box in (C)Loud City.
Newspaper writers who make road trips with their NBA teams are about to be put on the endangered species list, yet there were five LA-area beat writers on hand Tuesday. Many NBA franchises struggle to have one beat writer on the road.
During Tuesday’s game, the sellout crowd in the Ford Center easily drowned out the Lakers supporters, but the “oohs” and “ahhs” that accompany the Lakers are definitely more contagious than with other franchises.
Playing the Lakers is more than a game, it’s an event. The Lakers return to the Ford Center on March 26.
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