Any Given Thursday

by Rich Shen and Austin Lim | 2/26/15 6:01pm

For much of their respective histories, it’s been pretty fun rooting for the Los Angeles Lakers or for the Boston Celtics. The two most decorated franchises in NBA history, these two teams have combined to win almost half of all NBA championships.

The Celtics last hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2008, and the Lakers won it all in both 2009 and 2010. With all-time greats like Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson between them, it’s been historically pretty easy to cheer for these two franchises.

The past few years, however, have been a different story. With the superstars from each team’s last championship run now either injured or no longer playing for the team, watching a Lakers or Celtics game has become a lot more painful and a lot less fun, which got us thinking, “Wow, this must be what it’s like to root for any of the other 28 NBA franchises.”

So, with that in mind, Rich and I started wondering: “What’s it like right now being a fan of each of the different NBA teams?” Here’s our assessment of all the Western Conference teams.

Golden State Warriors: With the Splash Brothers leading the way, Golden State fans finally have something to cheer about besides the perfect weather in California (I swear I’m not bitter).

Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies have finally broken into the elite echelon of teams and are a true title contender this season. Too bad they’re still one of the slowest paced and most boring to watch teams in the NBA.

Houston Rockets: James Harden puts the team on his back every night. The Rockets have emerged as a championship quality team, and fans in Houston have a reason to celebrate. Hopefully they’ll also be able to watch some basketball between each one of Harden’s free throws.

Dallas Mavericks: With one of the most effective offenses in the league, the Mavericks are a few lucky breaks from making it to the conference finals.

If the basketball weren’t enough of a reason to be a Dallas fan, they also have arguably the most handsome man in basketball, Chandler Parsons, as their shooting forward. (MAN CRUSH ALERT!)

Portland Trail Blazers: An underrated team with two veritable superstars, the one Portland fan can look forward to several more years of success.

Los Angeles Clippers: Everyone hates the Clippers. (There might be a slim chance that I’m still bitter about the nixed “Chris Paul to the Lakers” trade where David Stern BLATANTLY CHEATED.)

San Antonio Spurs: Ol’ faithful. The Spurs have one of the most loyal fanbases in the NBA due to their history of success.

The team hasn’t been playing as well as usual this season, but you can never count out Pop and Timmy as threats to win it all.

Oklahoma City Thunder: With two of the most entertaining players in the league, here’s an important philosophical question for Thunder fans: Do you like your superstars enough to ignore how poorly your coach is using them?

New Orleans Pelicans: Pelicans fans are lucky enough to enjoy one of the most exciting young players of this generation. At just 21 years old, superstar Anthony Davis has one of the brightest futures of any player in the NBA. It’ll be fun to see if AD can single-handedly make the unibrow cool in New Orleans.

Phoenix Suns: This Suns team probably would have been a fourth or fifth seed in the Eastern Conference this year. Instead, it’s looking like the sub-.500 Brooklyn Nets will be in the playoffs and the Suns won’t. Someone make sure to keep the Suns fans away from the Brooklyn fans.

Utah Jazz: Although it’s been hard to watch the Utah Jazz over the past few years, Jazz fans should be excited about all the talented young players currently on the roster. This team will probably be making some beautiful music together sooner rather than later.

Denver Nuggets: When your team’s head coach is buying and reading books about how to connect with young people, you know that your team is just a complete dumpster fire.

Sacramento Kings: Kings fans would like to collectively write a letter to owner Vivek Ranadive to stop recommending that the team play 4-on-5 basketball because it worked for his daughter’s recreational basketball team.

Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers fans may not be the biggest fans of this current Lakers team, but no one hates this roster more than the Black Mamba himself. (See: Recent Jimmy Kimmel.)

Minnesota Timberwolves: With Ricky Rubio’s creative passing and the Bounce Brothers’ ability to sky above the rim, the Timberwolves are about to become one of the most fun young teams in the league. Timberwolves fans should also be very excited about the player that Andrew Wiggins might become in the near future.

Overall the fans in the West should be relatively happy. The conference is loaded with talent, and the games are — for the most part — entertaining.

The same cannot be said for the East, where two teams under .500 are projected to make the playoffs. Next week we will go through the mindset of the fans in the East, so make sure to tune back in!