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Musicians + Sports: Linkin Park On The Lakers, Suns And NBA Playoffs

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(Brandon Cox)

(Brandon Cox)

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By Scott T. Sterling

While NBA fans around the world are preparing for this year’s playoffs, which kick off in earnest this weekend, the members of Linkin Park will have to endure two of their favorite teams not making the cut.

The band’s frontman, Chester Bennington, is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, and maintains a fierce allegiance to his hometown NBA team, the Suns. For band leader Mike Shinoda who hails from Agoura Hills, CA, however, it’s all Los Angeles Lakers everything, even as his team just suffered the worst season in franchise history.

“It’s a great moment in a Lakers fans life to be tested and to say my team is losing,” laughed Shinoda during an exclusive interview. “They are playing terribly. We still go to the games, we still cheer the team on. We’ll get ‘em next year.”

“I think that’s the thing the Lakers have going for them – their legacy,” chimed in Bennington, who also admits that over the years he’s developed a fondness for L.A.’s purple and gold team. “Naturally, as an athlete, if I was going to be in the NBA, if I had a choice of where I’d want to go, the Lakers would be on the top of the list. You know that your chances of doing something great there are much higher. And I think that that’s a testament to the Lakers tradition and their team.”

Watch the full interview clip to find out Bennington’s favorite basketball player of all-time, what it’s like when Shinoda takes him to Lakers games, and what they think will happen at this year’s NBA Finals.

Linkin Park’s new album The Hunting Party is out June 17, and the band will embark on a world tour and the end of May. Get all the details at the band’s website.

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