When he’s not recording albums in the studio, Rapper Game has become a fixture at the Drew League, the Los Angeles-based pro-am league that features players from the NBA, college basketball, D-League, overseas as well as celebrities such as himself.
Jayceon Taylor, who grew up in Compton, seems to embody everything regarding Los Angeles, ranging from sporting an L.A. star tattoo on his face, routinely sporting a Dodgers cap and appearing courtside at Lakers games. He also personifies most Lakers fans on a myriad of issues.
He suggested good riddance to Dwight Howard leaving for the Houston Rockets.
“I didn’t really care. Once you’re not a Laker any more, we’re like [expletive] you,” said Game this week at the NBA2K14 launch party at Greystone Manor in West Hollywood. “That’s really how we feel. Los Angeles fans are like that.”
Game exuded optimism on when Kobe Bryant will return on the court after rehabbing his left Achilles tendon for the past five months.
“Knowing Kobe,” Game said, “he’ll be back for the first game.”
Game showed giddiness that Nick Young, a Drew League fixture and L.A. native, joined his favorite team.
“I just love Los Angeles kids that play for the whole team,” Game said. “I’m happy that Nick is playing for Los Angeles for a team he grew up watching.”
Even with the Lakers a season removed from a first-round exit to the San Antonio Spurs, Game hardly agrees with ESPN ranking the Lakers 12th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference.
“We’re the the best team in the NBA. It’s been that way since the NBA was started,” said Game, referring to the Lakers’ 16 NBA championships. “We have a lot of banners and a lot of good players have been through Los Angeles.”
And though an improved Western Conference and health concerns might prove otherwise, Game has a specific reason why he’s viewing things through purple and gold colored glasses.
“I just got faith in my team,” Game said. “It’s just how it goes. It’s like those guys who are fans of teams that never win. They never stop and they’re there at every game. It’s Los Angeles. If I don’t put on for my city, who will?”
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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org