Yesterday the Los Angeles Clippers won their franchise record 16th straight game. The winning streak within itself is remarkable for a team who 3 years ago could only muster up an embarrassing 19 wins all season. Yesterday’s win came against a Utah Jazz team who at home had only lost 3 games (1 of those coming on December 3 against the Clippers). Unlike their previous 15 games in which the Clips seemingly blew out all of their opponents, the Clippers actually needed to show some fight in this one, coming back to erase a 19 point deficit in the 3rd quarter. So when I opened the LA Times this morning, I was astounded to see something that had completely taken me by surprise.
Now before I go on a rant about why this particular section of the LA Times had bothered me so much, let me describe to those, who haven’t seen today’s sports section, what this part of our beloved Los Angeles newspaper looks like. As I found todays sports section I was stunned to see a huge headline reading, “A Dwight-hot win”, with a picture of Dwight Howard seemingly taking up the majority of the page. At first I was a bit confused because I thought that I was maybe looking at the paper from yesterday or the day before; until my eyes caught a small headline in the corner of the page reading, “Paul Keeps Streak Alive.” There was no picture or anything else, just a small paragraph on the side of the page talking about how Chris Paul and this new look LA Clippers team had just beaten one of the hardest “at home” teams in the NBA to keep an incredible streak alive after being down by as many as 19 points. So I continued to read and ended up on the basketball section of the sports section on page C5. As I flipped through the pages, I finally arrived on the page I was looking for only to see two huge pictures; one of Dwight Howard and one of Pau Gasol. About 75% of the centerfold contained articles that were written about LA’s beloved Lakers. Only about 10% of what was on this page dealt with this incredible Clippers’ win and how they somehow managed to keep this winning streak alive in one of the NBA’s toughest road arenas.
I have tried to put aside my bias of being a Clippers’ fan to write this article, so that I could look at this from a concerned sport’s fans POV. Why is it that the Lakers who have a 15-15 record are grabbing all the headlines? I mean if this win, let alone winning streak isn’t enough to put the Clippers on the front page of the sports section, then what is? I understand that I live in a Lakers obsessed town, but what do the Clippers need to do to gain some recognition in LA? When I check ESPN.com the Clippers have been on the front page ever since their winning streak has surpassed 10. As a fan of sports, records, and history, I would be much more interested to read about how the Clippers, a team who 3 years ago was the laughing stock of the NBA, have managed to keep this streak alive by coming from behind in a game that 3 years ago, no person who had any knowledge of sports, would have given them any chance. I don’t really care to read about Pau Gasol’s tendinitis or how Dwight Howard finally had a game where he has finally lived up to his potential. Don’t you think that the Clippers’ who are making franchise history should be dominating the headlines and that the current state of Steve Blake’s abdomen should be pushed off to the side?
Like I had stated before, I understand that we live in a Laker obsessed town, and that is totally fine and I have been dealing with that for as long as I can remember. But don’t you think the Clippers deserve a chance? Once again, what do they possibly need to do? I was upset and almost hurt by the fact that such an amazing show of heart and determination was pushed off to the side so that everyone can read about how the Lakers beat a team who are just as MEDIOCRE as they are (yes Laker fans, I said it, YOUR TEAM IS ONLY MEDIOCRE). I think it is time for people in LA to realize that there is a new team in town, a team that is exciting to watch, a team that finally deserves some credibility. I was truly upset at today’s edition of the sports section and am actually contemplating on whether or not I want to write the editor of the sports section Mike James. I really hope that people in LA can open their eyes and realize what is going on in their town; the rest of the country obviously has. The Clippers are for real and what they are doing is almost imaginable; I for one hope that things do change in LA LA Land. Who would have ever thought that at the beginning of this year, the Clippers at this point in time, would be in front of the Lakers by an incredible 9 games? As a Clipper fan, I sure didn’t and I can proudly admit that, now I only hope that Laker fans can finally admit that they are not the best and most exciting team in LA anymore.