It’s been a season from the twilight zone. The Los Angeles Clippers have fourteen more wins than the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers are in the playoffs and the Lakers aren’t. Chris Paul just won the most valuable player award at Sunday’s all-star game and Kobe Bryant was actually playing defense. This world has gone topsy turvy.
The Lakers were supposed to be the team to beat this year adding perennial all-star Dwight Howard and two-time MVP Steve Nash to an already all-star laden squad of Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. The team was built to challenge the Oklahoma City Thunder in the west but that hasn’t happened. Now they are struggling just to make the playoffs and are looking to add even more pieces.
On the other side of the Staples Center, the Clippers are having their best season ever. All-stars Paul and Blake Griffin anchor a team full of young high flyers and veteran players looking for their last shot at a title. Paul is regarded as a sure fire MVP candidate while Griffin and not Bryant is on every highlight reel. The Clippers are on the tip of every basketball pundits’ tongue for all the right reasons. The Lakers are for all the wrong ones.
The NBA loves the idea of having two star attractions in Los Angeles. So much so, that commissioner David Stern vetoed a trade that would’ve sent Paul to the Lakers in favor of a trade to the Clippers. So much so, that he scheduled the last game before the all-star break to be a tilt between the two teams. Last Thursday’s game saw the Clippers destroy the Lakers with ease and has led many people to believe that they are taking over as Los Angeles’ team.
Los Angeles will always be a Lakers city. No matter what the Clippers accomplish during the rest of their existence, the city will always bleed basketball purple and gold. The Lakers have sixteen championships. They have Kareem Abdul Jabber, Wilt Chamberlain, Earvin Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Shaquille O’Neal and Bryant. The Clippers have Danny Manning, Stanley Roberts, Michael Olawakandi and Eric Piatkowski. Paul is a dirty player while Bryant is the black mamba. The Lakers have the celebrity endorsement. They are the it team in the NBA. The Lakers are Showtime.
The Clippers will never take over that mantle. Everything about the Clippers speaks of losers from their awful uniforms to their owner Donald Sterling. If the Lakers are class the Clippers are classless. The Lakers will right their ship soon if not by Thursday’s trade deadline. The Clippers can’t do anything to take the mantle of Los Angeles’ team. The Clippers are basketball version of the Los Angeles Rams while the Lakers are the Los Angeles Raiders.
All the talk can end. The Los Angeles will always be a Lakers city and the Clippers will always have to play second fiddle
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