Bar Owners, Managers, Bartenders and Waitresses Are Cheering The Lakers Advancing in NBA Playoffs As Much as Fans
That cheer – and sigh of relief – you heard from the LA Lakers finally beating Denver in Game 7 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs was not from Laker fans.
It was from owners, managers, bartenders and waitresses of Los Angeles’ sports bars.
Had the Lakers gone down in the first round, the bar staff would have been looking at a lot of lost revenue. The Lakers have been so good lately (and traditionally), that it’s almost a given that there will be a big boost in business into June (the NBA Finals start June 10 or 12). And while expectations are down this year, there is still an expectation in the city about getting out of the first round.
Without the Lakers,there’s little to bring out people to watch in LA’s sports bars. Yes, the Kings are surprising the NHL world, but they will only capture the mass hysteria of fans if they make the Stanley Cup Finals. And get Wayne Gretzky back in uniform.
The Clippers? Only if there’s no Lakers around, and then only perhaps a third of Laker fans would watch more than casually.
There are the Dodgers and Angels, but people don’t ask each other “where you going to watch the game” when there are 162 regular-season baseball contests.
Los Angeles is a Lakers town. The city follows success the way it does celebrities. And the team that has given Los Angeles the most sports success lately has been the Lakers. That success also means cheers in the city’s bars, and not just from fans.