Lakers blog profile: MFont681 constructs a photo illustration of James Worthy
This is the 16th post in a weekly series that helps you get to know members of the L.A. Times Lakers Blog community. Feel free to send submissions to email@example.com.
Screen name: MFont681
Occupation: Freelance Artist and Designer (Mauricefontenot.com)
Hometown: Altadena (Now living in Brooklyn, N.Y.)
How I became a Lakers fan: Growing up in Southern California, pretty much everyone was Lakers fan! But I would say my family and especially my dad. Rooting for the Lakers gave us common ground. I started watching in 1982 and was obsessed by 1984, which didn’t end well with the Celtics beating them in seven.
Favorite Lakers memory of all time: 1985 when the Lakers finally beat the Celtics. Game 6 was on a Sunday morning and I remember being in my robe and sitting on my floor stressed out the whole game and then in pure elation when they won. I was so sick of hearing how the Lakers never beat the Celtics, so it was nice to shut the world up. Beating Portland in 2000 and Sacramento in 2002 stick out as great moments as well.
Most heartbreaking Lakers experience: I was such a crazy Lakers fan that EVERY loss was heartbreaking, but the worst was 1986. When Ralph Sampson hit that shot in Game 5, I just turned off the lights and TV in my bedroom and laid in the dark. To this day, I still can’t believe that team beat them. Off the court, I would say it was the day Magic announced he had HIV. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried my eyes out. I really seemed like a death sentence back then, but now it looks like Magic is healthier than most guys his age!
Favorite Lakers player: James Worthy. He never got the credit for what he brought to the team. Magic and Kareem got most of the praise, and rightly so, but they wouldn’t have won anything without Worthy. I love how he would just go out and do his job without the fanfare and headlines. When you see Worthy highlights they usually show him dunking a pass from Magic, but he had one of the greatest post-up games of all time! He was so fast that he would leave defenders flat-footed as he spun around them.
Greatest all-time Laker: Magic wasn’t my favorite Laker, but in my mind he’s the greatest and most important Laker in history. And a big shout out to Chick Hearn. In the early 80s most of the home games were not televised, so Chick’s words-eye-view brought the games to life on the radio and taught me a lot about the ins and outs of the game. When a game was on CBS, I would turn the sound down and listen to Chick.
Last time you went to a game at Staples Center and at the Forum: Since I live in NY, I don’t get many chances to go to Staples. The last game I saw was eight or nine years ago vs. Toronto, when Vince Carter was still playing for them. I saw a handful of games at the Forum, my most memorable being a Lakers/Bulls preseason game in 1985 when I slipped on the stairs and broke my leg!
Opposing team, player you dislike the most: Pretty much any Celtic ... take your pick.
Interactions with Lakers players: I was in Vegas a few years back and saw Robert Horry. I walked up to him, shook his hand and said, “Thank you.” He knew exactly what I was talking about and so do all Laker fans.
Memorable stories about being a Lakers fan: As I mentioned before, I was an obsessed Lakers fan in my younger days. My life revolved around them: If they won I was happy; if they lost I was miserable. I recall standing in my home during every national anthem for a few weeks because I thought it would bring the Lakers good luck!
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: MFont681 is a freelance artist and designer and recently constructed this photo illustration of former Lakers forward James Worthy. Credit: Courtesy of MFont681.