Living in Los Angeles, basketball has always been more than just a game in a city that thrives in the limelight of glitz and glamour. Basketball is a culture where native Angelenos have become accustomed to attending Lakers’ games in style to rub shoulders with the Jack Nicholson’s of Hollywood and complaining about three-year championship “droughts.” It has become spoiled by witnessing the legacy of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 16 championships, and even UCLA’s 11 championships, being brought to a city that expects nothing less than greatness.
The Los Angeles Clippers have always been viewed as the second act in town due to the one stat line of never delivering a NBA title to the city. Even while crushing the Lakers by 48 points last night, it feels like the majority of Los Angeles still isn’t ready to take ownership of the Clippers as their team that can usher in championships to the city of angels.
The local and national news headlines will all echo headlines of how bad the Lakers were in the game and who’s the next rumored big name to arrive and save the organization. My Twitter feed even currently mirrors these headlines with many exclaiming how could this happen to the Lakers? This certainly can’t be the Lakers!
The real tragedy will be the few mentions of how the Clippers played well tonight as a team, Blake Griffin‘s evolution as an elite passer or even all five starters scoring in double digits.
Time is more dire than ever for the Clippers to continue their ascension from the shadows of the other act in town and finally deliver a championship.
Since Chris Paul’s arrival, the Clippers have taken steps with each season to set everything in place to win a championship, and maybe even more importantly, the support of a city that never really believed in them. With the Lakers being down for who knows how long, the clock is ticking for the Clippers to capitalize on their success in order to receive respect in this town. They will never even enter the discussion of being treated as equals until they win a championship. All the pieces are in place to step from the shadows of stage left and take the center stage nod by bringing a championship to Los Angeles.