BY RONAN KHALSA
The Clippers have been gaining traction in Los Angeles since its move to the city in 1984, slowly but surely. This year, they are a championship contender and the tides will turn.
When the Clippers finally rose to relevancy in 2011-12 season, the Lakers were falling deep into the league’s basement and continued to do so until acquiring LeBron James. He took his talents out to the West Coast instead of South Beach.
The Clippers have always been big with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Elton Brand and Dominique Wilkins running rim to rim. The dunks are thunderous and the roar keeps growing at home games.
With Donald Sterling out the door and Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer now the controlling owner, the Clippers are set for a long and prosperous future in LA.
After Lob City ended in 2017, a rebuild began. New team president Lawrence Frank and general manager Michael Winger both set their focus on the free agent of the summer of 2019. It featured an unprecedented number of superstars hitting the open market. They focused on rebuilding the franchise’s image to make it an attractive destination for superstar players.
NBA champion Kawhi Leonard and superstar Paul George are teamed together. Those two will continue to build the Clippers fanbase. Both are respectable figures in the NBA and the world. Then there are the young players with potential like Landry Shamet and scrappy players like Patrick Beverly who will appeal to the basketball junkies.
With head coach Doc Rivers still leading the on-court play, the Clippers will begin to attract the many fair-weather fans in the city once the winning starts beginning. Rivers brought a title to Boston, which will bring in the Celtics crowd to root against their rival Lakers and for the Clippers.
The team is great this season and primed for success. In the coming years, the Clippers will take over LA and be the household name.
BY ALLAN KABESE
The Lakers are far and away Los Angeles’ NBA team, and that will remain the case even if the Clippers win a championship this year.
The argument comes to an end after mentioning that the Lakers have 16 NBA championships and the Clippers have zero. The Lakers have retired 11 jerseys and the Clippers have not retired a single one.
The Clippers have failed to make it to a conference final and only boast two division titles in their entire history.
When facing each other in the Staples Center, the crowd will always be composed of mostly Lakers fans.
The Lakers are arguably the most storied franchise in the history of NBA and maybe even the history of American team sports. Not only do they have 16 championships, but 10 of those came after the ABA-NBA merger. This ranks far beyond the Chicago Bulls (6) and the Boston Celtics (5).
Some of the greatest players of all-time have worn the purple and gold jersey. Players like Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, just to name a few. These players have won a combined 22 championships, 15 NBA MVPs and 12 Finals MVPs for the Lakers, and all are basketball Hall of Famers.
Last year’s acquirement of this generation’s greatest player, LeBron James, continued the trend of generational players playing for the Lakers. In addition to that, with the acquisition of Anthony Davis, they have a top five player who has been stellar in the postseason with the Pelicans.
The Lakers have a much improved team this season with addition of veteran players such as Danny Green, Avery Bradley and 3-time DPOY, Dwight Howard.
LeBron has shown the ability to turn up and carry teams to the Finals come postseason time. Until he proves he can’t do it on that stage anymore, I would not bet against him.
It will take the Clippers much more than acquiring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to dethrone the Lakers as LA’s team.