The Los Angeles Lakers begin their 60th season in the city when they renew their intra-city rivalry with the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Oct. 22.
Both teams have championship aspirations for the 2019-20 NBA season following an active summer filled with many blockbuster acquisitions.
With the two Los Angeles teams on top of the basketball food chain, it’s the Lakers that continue receiving overwhelming support from the majority of fans in Southern California.
They have won 11 of their 16 NBA championships since relocating in 1960. That kind of success has earned them generations of fans in the city and all over the world.
Ahead of their matchup, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was critical of the Lakers additionally claiming the five NBA championships they won during their Minneapolis days, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
“It is a Lakers town. I’m good with that. I have no issues with that,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told The Undefeated from his Staples Center office recently. “They have how many titles that they’ve won here? You know, they claim them all, but they only won a certain amount here. I will say that. That actually bugs me a little bit. … Having said that, that’s generations of loyalty.
Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 1960, the Lakers called Minneapolis their home for 13 years. They won five of their 16 championships from 1947-60, many of which were led by George Mikan.
While the Clippers have a long way to go toward catching the Lakers in both championships and popularity, Rivers is pleased that his team finally has their own identity:
“I look at us as, we’re creating our own movement. … We’re not trying to take away shine from the other. We’ve got our own thing going. I never thought we could get our own thing going. That was what I was so frustrated with being here. And now we got our own thing going.”
Searching for their first NBA championship in franchise history, the Clippers believe they have the ingredients in place to deliver one this season.
They look to get off to a good start on Opening Night against the Lakers in front of a national audience.