Every matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers has some extra juice. The Clippers have been punching up at the Lakers for years as they attempt to claim the relevancy that the purple and gold has not only in Los Angeles but across the entire world.
Despite dominating the head-to-head matchup (winning 10 straight) and being a much more successful team in the regular season over the last decade, the Clippers are still the LA team without a championship over the last 10 years. The most successful stretch in franchise history has given them one Conference Finals appearance.
The matchup between the LA teams has even more juice now. After being traded by the Lakers and subsequently bought out by the Utah Jazz, Russell Westbrook is joining the Los Angeles Clippers.
Westbrook was already in a bad standing with Lakers fans after his disastrous tenure in the purple and gold. Now that he is on the other LA team, Westbrook is going to be one of the most despised rivals for the Lake Show.
When do the Lakers play the Clippers next for Russell Westbrook’s return?
The two LA teams have already squared off three times this season, meaning that there is only one more game left to play this season. Fans that are chomping at the bit to boo Westbrook are going to have to wait as the final matchup between the two teams is not until April 5.
In even more bad news, this is going to be a designated home game for the Clippers. While Lakers fans still show up in droves for Clippers “home games”, they will have the benefit of having their own season-ticket holders for this game instead of it being the other way around.
This game is so far in the future that Westbrook may not even have a role with the Clippers by the time it is played. We all know how the Westbrook experience goes and he could be out of the rotation as the Clips prepare for the playoffs.
There are also going to likely be a lot of playoff implications in this game. It is the third-to-last game of the season for both teams and if all goes as planned, both teams should have seeding implications to play for.
It will be a huge game with all of the storylines attached and it is scheduled to be broadcast nationally on ESPN. Circle your calendars now.