Lakers blog profile: Living with a Celtics fans exposed Jefe101 to the Lakers
This is the 24th post in a series that helps you get to know members of the L.A. Times Lakers Blog community. Feel free to send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Screen name: Jefe101
Real name: Greg Choa
Occupation: Television Producer
Hometown: West L.A.
Story behind your screen name: My very first fantasy basketball team name was “The Jefes” (circa ’93) and it just stuck as my alter-ego cyber handle ever since.
How I became a Lakers fan: Born and raised in NYC, didn’t really start watching much basketball until I found myself living in Cambridge, MA coming out of college and rooming and living with a crazy Celtics fan during the ’85-’86 season – I got one look at Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers and I was instantly hooked. I eventually found myself living and working in L.A. early in my film/TV career in ’87, ’88 and some of ’89 where my love for the Lakers was truly forged – have been following the team religiously ever since. I eventually moved to L.A., with family in tow, for good in 2005. It should be further noted that listening the Chick Hearn do the Lakers broadcasts when I was living here in the late 80s went a LONG ways towards cementing my Lakers fandom.
Favorite Lakers memory of all time and of the 2009-2010 season: All-Time: Two-way tie between 1) Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals when the Lakers beat the Pistons for their first B2B championship at the old Forum in Inglewood – maybe the best, most competitive finals series I had ever seen...God, I loved that team and that era...and 2) Fish’s Game 4 3pt heroics in Orlando in the 2010 Finals to decidedly turn the tide of that series in favor of the Lakers...that little smile on his face after he hit the one in OT with 30 seconds left with the game tied to put the Lakers up by three...priceless!
’09-’10: Three-way tie between 1) Gasol’s put-back game winner to knock out the Thunder in Game 6 of the first round series in Oklahoma City, 2) Kobe’s 4th quarter daggers to knock out the Suns in Game 6 of the WCF in Phoenix, and 3) Fisher’s game-tying 3 pointer at the 6:14 mark of the 4th quarter of Game 7 of the Finals against the Celtics – the shot that propelled the Lakers to their comeback win for Championship #16. When Fish made that shot, I just knew there was no way the Lakers were going to lose that game.
Most heartbreaking Lakers experience: Like many, the Game 6 destruction in Boston at the hands of Paul Pierce and the Celtics in the 2008 Finals was the most heartbreaking game-related experience – I was in the “badlands” for about a full eight weeks after that. I really thought that Lakers team, with Pau now in the mix, was destined to win it all that season. I know now that that painful loss went a long way towards making the Lakers the team they are today. Chick Hearn’s passing in 2002 was the most heartbreaking non-game related blow – Chick, in many respects, came to be the heart and soul of this team and franchise for me insofar as my cerebral understanding of the Laker experience was concerned. When he died, I truly felt that a piece of me died with him.
Favorite Lakers player: Magic Johnson got me hooked, and Kobe Bryant sustained me. Kobe and Pau are currently my favorite Laker players.
Greatest all-time Laker: Magic then, Kobe now.
Opposing team, player you dislike the most: The Celtics and all things green. Paul Pierce and the “wheelchair” incident will always cause me to gag. More recently, however, Lebron and his now infamous “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach...” episode have trumped the hatred I have for the Celtics. I’ve never disliked a team more than I do this Heat team at the moment – I hate the Celtics, but I loathe the Heat.
Most cherished piece of Lakers memorabilia I have: Not much for memorabilia as a whole, but I do love my “locker room” Championship T-Shirts from 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, and counting...
Memorable stories about being a Lakers fan: Crossing paths with Flea (for the first time) on a layover in some airport somewhere in the U.S. a couple of years ago and bonding over our mutual love of the Lakers – nothing like a common love to bring disparate people together!
You know you’re a Lakers homer when...: Much to your wife’s dismay, you keep track of family milestones and generally mark time as a function of when they occurred within the context of the Lakers’ timeline.
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