Don’t believe the hype. Los Angeles will never be a Clippers town. Next time that thought even enters your head do yourself a favor and go to Staples Center then simply look at what hangs on the walls. You’ll notice there are no banners, retired jerseys or even any suggestion that the Clippers have ever played there beyond the logo on the court when it’s their “home” game.
Some franchises transcend the flavor-of-the-month nature of the modern ADD sports fan. The Lakers are one of those few franchises.
Now I’m not so delusional as to claim the Clippers are incapable of making inroads in the L.A. market. Certainly this season has proven that given the right set of circumstances (Chris Paul being handpicked by the NBA to become a Clipper, Mike D’Antoni becoming the head coach of the Lakers) that the other team in Los Angeles is capable of stealing the spotlight if even for just one season.
Should the Lakers lose today in the final installment of this year’s Battle of Los Angeles then it will be a clean sweep for the Clippers. That’s unheard of almost unthinkable given the many years of Clipper misery.
Of course for the Lake Show there is much more at stake than pride. The playoffs have begun for Coach D’Antoni. His team has nothing but must-wins remaining on the schedule. With the Utah Jazz nipping at the heels of the purple and gold every game offers the potential for either delight or disaster.
Losing all four to the rival Clippers won’t spell doom for the Lakers but it will be a sure sign that the city rivalry was anything but for the 2012-13 campaign. Of course not making the playoffs with a star studded roster might prove the bigger embarrassment than being swept by the former doormat of L.A. hoops.