I love the Lakers. I do not love this current Lakers team (I'm not a huge Kobe fan, and I can't stand the way Walton, Odom and Vujacic take most nights off) but I will always be a Lakers fan. I understand if you do not like the Lakers. Just please understand why I do. It could not have been any other way.
I grew up playing and loving basketball. From the nerf hoop on the back porch when I was a kid to my first YMCA team to my first real basketball uniform when I was 11. (It was a junior high team and I was only in sixth grade, the youngest player on the team, so I got last pick of uniforms. I was #3. The only #3 in the NBA I knew of at that time was Dale Ellis, so the Supersonics became my second-favorite team.)
During this time, of course, the Lakers had one of the most amazing teams of all time, in any sport. There was nothing like watching Magic Johnson lead a fast break. (There still isn't.) For my 13th birthday my family sent me to Magic's basketball camp. The day I got to meet him and have my picture taken with him was certainly one of the best of my life. (18 years later I still cherish the picture, even though I'm wearing Air Jordans.) So there was really no way I could have grown up anything but a Lakers fan.
Last week I made pizzas and the Lakers played a great game. So I figured I should do it again to contribute to another Lakers victory. I cooked some beef and pork meatballs in the oven, then added them to a Fresh & Easy pizza dough. When I was at F&E buying the dough, I had smelled a basil plant from an aisle away. It was heavenly - that perfect, peppery, licorice scent that only fresh basil has. And the plant was on sale for $2.99. So I bought it. I took a few leaves, chopped them up, and added them over the meatballs. It was awesome.
Last week, after eating the caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza, Elizabeth suggested it would be good with sausage as well. So, after caramelizing some more onions, I cooked some sweet Italian sausage and some sweet corn. On that pizza I did not add any pizza sauce, I simply rubbed a few drops of my Sicilian chili oil over the crust then dumped the onions, sausage and corn on top with slivered pieces of goat cheese. While it was cooking I asked if Elizabeth and Tracie wanted some basil on the second pizza as well. They said it was up to me, which made it an easy call.
This pizza was amazing. We all loved it. Our friend Murph stopped by to watch the end of the game with us and I gave him a couple slices to take home. Hopefully he will like it as well. The Lakers won the game by 25 points, the most impressive NBA Finals game 1 victory in 17 years. Obviously, this means I have to make pizza for every Lakers game for the rest of the series. Not that that's a bad thing.