I've always (well, since I first saw someone else do it) referred to that team down south as the L*kers (or even They Who Must Not be Named.) . I've even gone so far as to replace both vowels as one might do for profanities : L*k*rs. I thought it was funny (well, still do – considering them profanities or obscenities) but I'm changing my tactics.
I recently decided to re-read the Harry Potter series and at the end of the first book, Harry, although previously calling Voldemort by name, switches to “You-know-who” when talking to Professor Dumbledore. Dumbledore chastises him and says, “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
I know it isn't fear of the team that causes us to not write their name, but I've decided that by changing their name we are giving them importance they do not deserve. The asterisk(s) actually draws attention to the name. I now choose to not give them that added attention. From now on I will refer to them as the lakers ; lower case because they are unworthy of upper case – just a generic team. Many people don't use caps properly so I think this will slip by unnoticed. I did consider writing it in a smaller font, but again, that would more likely to draw attention.
For me the L*k*rs are dead; may the new lakers long be unworthy of attention.