Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Do The Clippers Run LA?

Jan 1, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) and Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) in the second half of the game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Staples Center. Clippers won 112-85. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 1, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) and Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) in the second half of the game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Staples Center. Clippers won 112-85. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

 

Since 1984, the Clippers and Lakers have shared the City of Los Angeles, but they have never truly  shared the city up until the last three years. It’s pretty simple, the Clippers have been good, and the Lakers have been mediocre, and really bad..For some odd reason, the Clippers have taken the Lakers spot in the standings, highlights, and popularity as of late. With the Clippers coming off a dramatic series clinching victory over the Golden State Warriors and dealing with a racist owner, who put the team’s morale and purpose in jeopardy, they managed to come out on top, and displayed a lot of heart in the process. They still have a way to go in a deep and tough Western Conference still, but the Clippers now look to be running the sports scene in Los Angeles. Los Angeles will always be a Lakers town, but the Clippers have truly shaken off their history of losing, and are one step closer to bridging the gap between their neighbors down the hall, even if it is just one championship.

The Clippers have been overshadowed by the Lakers for years, but they have a different way of doing things at Clipper headquarters now. They like winning, and competing for championships. It’s almost like the Clippers used the Lakers as a case study for years, and finally decided to try out some of the maneuvers that the Lakers have always been known for.

The Clippers have built a young, strong, and athletic team in a span of three years. They didn’t overspend on aging big name players. Instead, the drafted wisely, by selecting Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and sealed the deal with trading for Chris Paul. The Clippers lacked leadership, but brought it in with Chris Paul and Doc Rivers. They drafted a core and built it up from there.

The Lakers on the other hand have switched sides, and are now facing a rebuild to go along with a new coach for the third time in three years.

The Lakers have always been the face of LA, and never sized a moment to make headlines. The problem with the Lakers now is they can’t let go of the past. They keep trying to appease their aging star Kobe Bryant , who was injured this past season, but seems to keep making headlines about how he wants to win now.

But Kobe’s problem this year was that he never displayed any kind of leadership.The team that the Lakers put together was not talented enough, but Kobe was a no-show at every game. His voice could have mattered, but at a certain point of the year, it really didn’t. He lacked the discipline that he preaches, and left his team hanging when they needed him the most.

The Lakers will be back no doubt about it, but they clearly are not the toast of the town now. The Clippers are clearly running things, and taking full advantage of their opportunity.

They have been patient and quiet about building a strong team that was capable of competing for a title. At this point, it’s worked out pretty well for them. They brought in all the right kind of leadership and that has helped them as an organization get rid of their toxic past. At the moment, the Clippers do run LA! There’s no doubt about it because they are in the playoffs, and the Lakers are not. Plain and simple.

The Clippers had their best season this year as a franchise and finished with the number 3 seed in the western conference. They have a coach who has nothing but championship aspirations, and a talented team who can compete against the top dogs in the NBA. In fact, the Clippers are probably in that class of elite teams at the moment.

Just last weekend, a recording of Clippers owner Donald Sterling was released and it showed that he should have lived back in the 1950’s and 1960’s when racism was accepted in certain parts of the country.

The Clippers players of course were not happy and even considered boycotting the rest of their season if the NBA didn’t act on Donald Sterling’s comments. NBA commissioner Adam Silver not only dropped a bomb, but it was a nuclear one, in the eyes of Donald Sterling. Sterling was banned for life from the NBA altogether. The story was on every news channel, and was the top story on every sports website. This gave the Clippers as a team, the spotlight, but it was one with a sour taste.

The Clippers for the first time in their existence became America’s team. They didn’t earn it off of their play or off popularity, they got the spotlight because the subject of racism was involved with their team. And in any sport or league in 2014, that is unacceptable. The Clippers just happened to have that guy at the top, but that guy will no longer exist among the Clippers or the NBA again.

It took the Clippers a long time to figure out their own puzzle. They suffered through years of losing and never seemed to make the right decisions. Those days are long gone, the Clippers may not be on the losing end for years to come, and basketball fans in Los Angeles have to realize that. The Clippers are now a legit franchise in the NBA and in Los Angeles. The Lakers will be back and will always own LA but the Clippers are steering the ship for every basketball fan in LA, and America right now.

 

 

 

Tags: Blake Griffin Chris Paul Doc Rivers Kobe Bryant LA Leadership Los Angeles Los Angeles Lakers NBA

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