The Basketball Battle of Los Angeles
It has almost been a year since the infamous vetoed trade that impacted four franchises took place. At first there was an agreed upon deal involving the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and the Houston Rockets that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lamar Odom to the Hornets. During this whole ordeal the Hornets franchise was up for sale as well.
Once the initial trade didn’t go through the Hornets had to seek other deals and that’s where the Los Angeles Clippers come into the picture. The Clippers had the young assets plus draft picks that the Hornets were looking for and next thing you know the Clippers land Paul, who is arguably the best player they’ve ever had.
Last season the Clippers had their most successful season and a big part of that was behind the play of Paul. For the first time in franchise history the Clippers were on a similar path as the Lakers. The Lakers finished one game ahead of the Clippers in the standings and became a serious threat to the Lakers in the first time in the history of both teams sharing the city of Los Angeles.
For the first time ever the Clippers entered this season with legit championship aspirations, something that the Lakers go through every year. Even with the Lakers additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, the Clippers and their fans have been thinking championship or bust.
The “Battle of LA” or the “Hallway Series” as the media always calls it has been a one-sided one for years. The Lakers own Los Angles and that’s something that will never change. The championships that have been won and the iconic players that have played for the purple and gold make it hard for the Clippers to even share the same city.
This season, the Clippers got off to a very hot start (8-2) and had the expectations spread like wild fire, while the Lakers started off 1-4 and fired a coach during the same time period. The Clippers and their fans are starting to sense some change, and also began to feel that the Lakers were vulnerable at this time. But in typical Clipper fashion they went 1-4 in their last games.
While the Lakers are still getting acclimated to a new system, players and coach, there is expected to be a rough start but they know that the season is a marathon not a sprint. For any contending team in the, it is ideal to be playing your best basketball and hitting your stride in March, April and May instead of starting off the season hot and fizzling down the stretch. Unfortunately Clipper fans aren’t really used to a title run so their emotions are raging after every win and also after every Lakers loss.
At the end of the day, Los Angeles will always belong to the Lakers. Even if the Clippers win a championship someday, the city will always have more Laker fans than Clipper fans. Even as the Clippers have improved, their tickets can still be found on discount sites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com for games against inferior opponents. That is something you will never see for a Lakers game.
All of us just want to see a playoff series between the two teams for the first time in history, to see who the best team in the city is when it counts.
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