At the end of his media time this evening, following plenty of questions about the CP3 deal, CBA negotiations, and more, Derek Fisher said the following when asked what he'd say to Lakers fans following the lockout, and if he had any concerns fans wouldn't return:
"For me as a player, in terms of our fans, I don't worry about our fans. Our fans are consistent, and have been the best in the world for a very long time. Obviously the success that we've had on the court for so many years probably will make it easier for us to recover and regain a lot of our fans, in the way they love our team. The Lakers are in the D.N.A of this city and this community, so I don't really worry about our fans being mad at us. When you put on a Laker uniform, everything is all good. I expect Staples Center to be pretty excited on Christmas Day."
He's right, I believe. First, the Lakers really are part of this city's identity on the sort of elemental level Fisher references. Second, they ought to be a highly competitive team, whether there are more blockbuster deals or not. Winners breed interest. Third, anyone paying attention certainly knew the Lakers weren't among the franchises gumming up the works. They wanted to play.
So yeah, I think Lakers fans will be forgiving once the season rolls around.
On the other hand, based on the number of angry emails and Tweets we received during the lockout, including plenty in which the author said he was done with league and the team, it's worth asking:
Assuming you left, are you coming back?