A new coach, an upgraded roster and an All-Star point guard committed for another half decade made the Clippers the hype of Hollywood. Yet, since the expectations expanded beyond being competitive and into a finals appearance, Tuesday marked the beginning of a long season.
Fans of the red and blue wouldn’t have to wait long to determine which Los Angeles NBA fan base would get bragging rights first. The Clippers opened their 2013-14 season against the Los Angeles Lakers, the bully that’s been taking their milk money for the greater part of three decades. They did so in the house that Magic Johnson financed and Shaquille O’Neal built.
This Lakers team is a shell of its championship self. Their roster is bandaged together by journeymen, aging veterans and the face of their franchise attempting to go the distance with Father Time from the bench and on one Achilles. The Lakers barely got into last season’s playoffs, only to get swept in the first round. They are older and less talented this year; the perfect opportunity for an improved, deeper and younger Clipper team to take the reins in Los Angeles.
It’s important that the Clippers not to use their rivalry with the Lakers to measure their success. Yes, they’ve spent the duration of their franchise in championship contention, but the rest of the league is standing in line to kick the Lakers while they’re down and anyone standing in their way. Beating the Lakers might get the Clippers a better table at Spago, but dominating the league would earn them a trip to the finals.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like Him on Facebook at Christoper-Rant Sports.