Lakers Staying in Haunted Hotel

What the Lakers really need to be scared of is an energized Thunder team at home.

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the game against the Orlando Magic on January 18, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    Back in January, the New York Knicks spent two nights at the Skirvin Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, and then blamed their hotel for a loss to the Thunder.

    Because the hotel is haunted.

    Eddy Curry said he couldn’t sleep. Jared Jeffries said the place freaked him out. Other Knicks complained as well.

    The real reason the Knicks lost to the Thunder is the Knicks were not a good team. At all. The Thunder are, they are very good.

    But that doesn’t mean the hotel isn’t haunted. And The Skirvin is where the Lakers are staying for the next few nights as the team gets ready to take on Oklahoma City in game three of their first round Western Conference playoff series. One the Lakers lead 2-0.

    The legend is classic ghost story.

    The Oklahoma showplace became a popular speak-easy during Prohibition. It was during this time that (hotel owner and builder) W.B. Skirvin was said to have had an affair with one of the hotel maids. According to legend, the maid soon conceived and in order to prevent a scandal, she was locked in a room on the top floor of the hotel. The desolate girl soon grew depressed and even after the birth of her child; she was still not let out of the room. Half out of her mind, she finally grabbed the infant child and threw herself, along with the baby, out of the window.

    The maid’s name remains unknown, but her ghost continues to haunt the Skirvin Hotel and she was nicknamed "Effie” by former employees. Though the old hotel closed in 1988 (it reopened just a couple years ago), guests would often report not being able to obtain a decent nights sleep due to the consistent sounds of a child crying.

    Allegedly men staying in the hotel have heard a women’s voice proposition them or seen an image of a naked woman in their room. Plus there are the “normal” ghostly reports of things being moved and dressers shaking.

    The stories -- and the NBA players that are scared of them -- have become a bit of a legend themselves around the NBA this year. A number of teams have stayed there (it is one of the nicest hotels in the area and is convenient to the arena) and a number of players have not enjoyed their stay.

    Apparently, the Lakers are doing their best Ray Parker Junior "I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts" Immitation. If there is a ghost, Phil Jackson will just play mind games with it, or Kobe will just give it one of his angry stares and that will be that.

    What the Lakers need to be scared of is a young Thunder team that draws energy from being at home and playing in front of a more college-like atmosphere. It’s going to be loud and crazy. The Lakers have two games there and a split is really all they need, although a sweep would give their bodies more time to rest.

    And after staying in a haunted hotel, they may need that rest.

    Kurt Helin lives in Los Angeles and is the Blogger-in-Chief of NBC's NBA blog Pro Basketball Talk (which you can also follow in twitter).