Today around SB Nation we're taking a look at rivals. So I'm here today to talk to you about the Charlotte Bobcats. We've shared a collective hatred of them ever since they took Gerald Wallace in the expansion draft. This rivalry has existed since the Bobcats entered the league.
Wait, no, my mistake. It's the Lakers. It's definitely the Lakers.
The Kings rivalry with the Lakers is far from simple. Sure, we could chalk it up to the 2002 Western Conference Finals. The ref screw-job in Game 6. The heartbreaking Game 7. In fact, that's probably what most Lakers fans would attribute it to. We're just a bunch of sore losers still whining about a game that happened over a decade ago.
But our hatred of the Lakers goes so much deeper than that.
I hate the Lakers. I really do. And I love it. I love to hate them. I take pleasure in watching the Lakers struggle. I know I'm not alone. It's part of being a Kings fan. It's our birthright to detest Kobe Bryant and all that he stands for.
Sure, some of the rivalry is because of resentment. We hate that they won in 2002, snatching away our shot at a championship. We hate the bandwagon fans that infiltrate Arco in Kobe jerseys. But the rivalry between the teams has always stayed strong, at least from Sacramento's side, even as Sacramento has struggled as a franchise.
The Kings always get up for Lakers game. Even the lowliest of Kings teams shows up and plays the Lakers tough. When it seemed we might be witnessing the final Kings game in Sacramento, it was only fitting that it was against the Lakers. And it was also somehow fitting that the team played its ass off, and came up just short against the juggernaut from the south.
We always play tough, we win some, we lose some, but the Lakers have generally maintained the upper hand in this rivalry. The rich get richer while the Kings get Maloofed. The Kings add Aaron Brooks and Thomas Robinson, the Lakers add Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. But we all know that the Kings are going to give the Lakers hell on the court, no matter how uneven the matchup looks on paper.
Plenty of Kings fans would gladly suffer through another 17-win season as long as we swept the season series against the Lakers. Beating the Lakers is always more fun. Losing to the Lakers always stings more than the other losses. That's why they're our rivals.
Now I want to open it up to you. Let's have some fun with this thread. There are already a couple of gifs I know we can count on seeing. Share you favorite moments against the Lakers in the comments below.