The Los Angeles Lakers just sent out a tweet of their team breaking from the huddle after cheering "1, 2, 3 championship!" Laker fans are retweeting the hell out of it. Avid and casual basketball fans alike should be heartened by this intrepid display in spite of long odds, and also sad. Unlike years past, the Lakers wanting to win the NBA championship this year does not mean the Lakers will win the NBA championship.
It's that time of the year. The Lakers are above .500, 32-31, for the first time in over three months. They're a half-game out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and three out of the sixth. Sometimes-sober Mamba has averaged 36 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists over the last two weeks, and has recorded at least 41 points and 12 assists in back-to-back games. He's cursing in every interview. He's doing that thing with his jaw. ESPN is writing aspirational pro-Laker headlines. Sad Dwight Howard is playing like happy Dwight Howard. It is likely that none of these facts matter.