The Lakers don’t care about the Clippers. They don’t make moves in order to upset or outmaneuver them. The Clippers don’t sign player X for the sole purpose of keeping him from signing with the Lakers.
The Clippers care about the Clippers.
The Lakers care about the Lakers.
There really is nothing more to it than that. What connects the two franchises however is obvious. There are four NBA teams in California, two of them are in the same County. In fact, they play for the same city. Furthermore, they call the same arena home.
No, neither team operates with an eye on the other. They are however forever connected.
For years, even decades, that connection was easily defined. The Lakers were the Varsity to the Clippers JV. The Lakers were the big brother to the Clippers younger, annoying sibling. It was no contest, the Lakers ruled Los Angeles.
That is not to say that much has changed. When the Clippers franchise began to make changes that turned them from also-rans and laughing stocks to legitimate contenders and a viable destination for free agents, well, that complicated things a bit. The JV does not beat the Varsity. The younger kid punches aren’t supposed to hurt the older sibling. When the Clippers became good, the balance of all things professional basketball in Los Angeles tilted.
Now it’s not unusual to see Clippers gear around LA. It’s not everywhere, but it’s not rare. Clippers fans are more vocal now than they ever were. Before they turned into contenders Clippers v Lakers games were filled with Lakers fans excited to see their team for less than it cost to watch them at a home game.
Is it OK for me to say that there is now a disturbance in the force? (Please don’t sue me anyone affiliated with Star Wars!!)
While Lakers fans still out-number Clippers fans both should have teams worthy of supporting with playoff aspirations in the 2019-20 season. The problem, as I see it, is that for most in Los Angeles, its either Clippers or Lakers. If you’re a basketball fan you have to pick a side.
LA Peach Basket was created to focus exclusively on professional basketball in Los Angeles. That means we cover the Lakers and the Clippers. When we started we didn’t give much thought to this being a particularly “out there” idea. Both teams were entertaining, both played good basketball so it made sense to us to cover both. Not to necessarily be a fan of both, or either, but to follow both.
As it turns out, that’s an “out there” idea.
I liken it to a website devoted to covering issues that matter to Republicans and Democrats. Or maybe a blog that caters to the beliefs of both the devout and the atheist! You get the idea. For many in Los Angeles if you cover one team, its an affront to the other!
Our hope at LAPB is that fans of both teams come along for the ride. As we grow, we plan on doing more to reach out to fans. We call ourselves the Voice of the Fan because our goal is to not only hear from you, but to give you a platform to share your passion and love for your team. We just hope fans of both teams can do it without bashing the other.
Los Angeles is big enough for both teams. I certainly see where one could argue that while the city is large enough, the Staples Center isn’t! Steve Ballmer knows what has been painfully obvious since the Clippers moved in, Staples belongs to the Lakers. With that in mind, he is planning a move to a new arena. It won’t happen soon, but it will happen.
Maybe when the Clippers have their own space the odd balance will center. We envision a time when both teams are stable, play-off contenders with Championship aspirations year-in and year-out. What is better for a city like Los Angeles than to have not just one Championship team, but two. The 2019-20 season may be one in which both LA teams stack their rosters with players that position them for a deep playoff run.
It doesn’t have to be Clippers v. Lakers. You shouldn’t have to pick one over the other. If you like good basketball and both teams are playing good basketball you should be free to cheer for both. Our commitment is to continue to follow both as long as they stay in Los Angeles.
It’s lunacy, but it’s what we do!
Jose has written for Bleacher Report, Clipperholics, OC Weekly and wrote a series of articles covering the 2010 NBA Finals for the LA Times. He lives in Southern California and is excited to watch thePeachBasket grow!