Local sports fans root for LA Lakers

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AFTER four months of hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Basketball Association is finally returning to action. 

There are 22 teams competing, but only one of them will win the championship. For most of the local sports fans interviewed by this reporter, the Los Angeles Lakers powered by LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the team to beat.

James Rabauliman, owner of Hybrid Shop and an NBA fan, believes that the Lakers winning the title would also honor the memory of the late great Kobe Bryant who passed away on Jan. 26, 2020.


In this Dec. 8, 2019 photo, Los Angeles Lakers' Alex Caruso (4) goes to basket under pressure from Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. Caruso was averaging 5.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 17.8 minutes when the hiatus began. With Avery Bradley opting out of the restart and Rajon Rondo breaking his thumb in practice this month, the 6-foot-5 Caruso should have a greater role in the Lakers’ bench during the restart. AP


 James Rabauliman poses with a jersey he made in tribute to the late Lakers great, Kobe Bryant. 

“The Lakers have to get it,” Rabauliman said. “The Lakers need to get it. It's time for LeBron James to give back to his really close friend, Kobe. So I believe the Lakers have the means to get it all. For Kobe. And I think it's good that they are bringing back sports. We finally have some entertainment going on.”

Variety also asked other local sports fans about their thoughts regarding the NBA and which team is likely to take the title:


Alex Lauron

“It’s awesome to finally have a basketball game to watch. We have to give the players and the organizations a lot of credit for making it happen. Lakers will definitely win the title! Lebron and AD will make the difference.”

Lance Lerio
“I am definitely excited that the NBA is returning and I honestly think the LA Clippers are going to win the title.”


Irish Pagarao
“In my opinion, the NBA is doing something great. I think more people will be occupied while in quarantine. The games are being broadcast and could help people feel like life is starting to become normal again. Slowly but surely. And I’m always a fan of the Lakers.” 

James Lee

 "It's an awesome feeling to have sports back and more so for NBA since basketball is my first love. Wish there were fans and all during the games, but it's still as exciting to watch regardless. The Lakers have been my favorite team as long as I can remember so it should be obvious as to who I think will take the championship title. But even if you are not a Lakers fan, you'll be crazy to bet against them given the overall talents from starters to bench players in their roster this year.” 

Eugene Manglona

“Been waiting for the season to return. I think the Lakers are going to take it.”


Reymark Castro
“As a fan of the sport, it's great to see the NBA stars playing once again. It is what people need. The entertainment! Finally, they're back. But knowing that the sport requires players to have physical contact all the time, it worries a lot of players and because I’m a fan,  I personally worry for my favorite players, too. Right now, the worst-case scenario is the death of players due to this pandemic. If such an unfortunate event happens, there’s a big possibility that we will never see the NBA again. As for the title, of course I'm rooting for my team, the Lakers, and for my MVP candidate LeBron James. Recently we had a peek of court setup on the scrimmages in Orlando. The courts don’t have benches and stat staffers are on Plexiglas. It looks like a big hockey arena in there. The biggest factor is that there is no crowd. No home-court feel. Without the crowd and without that pressure, it will be a whole new game.”

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