The LA Clippers have bought the Forum and will soon have their own stadium. This could help establish a new culture within the team.
The LA Clippers are finally out of their big brother’s shadow. The team announced that they will be buying the Forum in Inglewood. They were under the shadow of a historic franchise and will now finally get to establish their own culture.
The Clippers were like the Los Angeles Dodgers who played on the east coast before playing on the west coast. They were the Buffalo Braves in their early days.
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After a while, they moved to San Diego and changed their name to the Clippers. The name came from the boats that would be seen in the San Diego Bay. When they moved to Los Angeles and became the LA Clippers, they had their own stadium initially.
They played at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena while the Lakers played at the Forum. The Clippers had some years playing at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim before finally moving to the Staples Center to join the Lakers in 1999.
The Clippers were always a dismal team so there was no rivalry between the two teams. The Lakers were always known as the team in LA. They were the team that had the great players like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant. The Clippers were always trying to find some consistency with their players.
The Lakers have the championships. They have the second most championships won in NBA history with 16. The Clippers went years without even making the playoffs.
The Lakers were the team with all the culture until recently the Clippers have revitalized their franchise. After drafting Blake Griffin and trading for Chris Paul they saw consistent playoff success for the first time in decades.
In 2013 the first major sign of the changing of the guard was when head coach Doc Rivers decided to cover up the Lakers championship banners.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Rivers said:
“Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers said. “So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them. But when we play, it’s the Clippers’ arena as far as I know.”
The Clippers started to establish themselves as their own team. Before all the memorable moments in the Staples Center were from the Lakers. They had the big shots from Robert Horry to advance in the playoffs, they had the 81 point game from Kobe Bryant and they had the championships that were won in the stadium.
During the time of the Clippers revival, the Lakers were the team that was in peril and chaos. For a while, it looked like the Clippers were the best team in LA.
People still flocked to Lakers games though as the Lakers still had Kobe Bryant. The culture that was established by the Lakers was still the draw in the City of Angels.
The team that is in place now with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George is the biggest push that the Clippers have made to finally dethrone the Lakers as the team in LA.
This team has a real shot to win the NBA championship if the season gets underway. They have not won any championships in their history which is the main reason for heads not turning the Clippers way.
Now they will move to a new stadium and build their own culture. The players will not be playing under the championship banners that Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Magic, Kareem and Kobe put up.
Also with Leonard and George’s impending free agency coming up a new stadium is just what could swing their decision the Clippers way. The franchise needed a new stadium so they can build their own moments.
Their true fans will have a place to shine now as they can comfortably come to games without the Lakers’ shadow looming over their heads. With a championship-caliber team finally and a chance to establish their own culture, the LA Clippers are now truly their own franchise.