Throughout the 2019-20 season, it appeared as the the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers were on their way to meeting in the Western Conference Finals.
For a moment, it seemed as though that was going to happen as the Lakers won their second-round matchup against the Houston Rockets, while the Clippers were up 3-1 against an up-and-coming Denver Nuggets team.
Denver was coming off another grueling seven-game series against the Utah Jazz but somehow managed to rally against L.A. and force an unprecedented Game 7. So it was a massive shock to the basketball world when the Clippers lost to the Nuggets, depriving fans of a highly-anticipated matchup with the Lakers.
While the Clippers franchise suffered yet another devastating result, opposing fans reveled in their shortcoming and countless jokes were issued at their expense.
In an appearance on the “Bill Simmons Podcast,” Jared Dudley admitted that the Lakers took some delight in the Clippers squandering such a commanding series lead:
“We were laughing. We were laughing in the sense of, ‘I can’t believe that.’ I picked them to win Game 7. There was no way I thought they were going to lose. Our whole mind was, ‘We’ve got to beat the Clippers.’ We want the Clippers, they wanted us. The trash talking that happened, Pat Bev (saying) check ball during the pandemic. Playoff P talking about him and Kawhi are the best. Kawhi with the commercials, the crown. We’re seeing all these billboards. We go to practice every day, there’s a Kawhi billboard. We see this billboard every single day. It’s right there. So now, the world wants it. The world is picking the Clippers.
“The Clippers were happy Avery Bradley didn’t show up to the bubble. … We were looking forward to that matchup. It was just crazy seeing Paul George hit the side of the backboard, Kawhi not having it. Those boys, they didn’t want to be in the bubble. They didn’t want to be there, and I don’t blame them for certain times, but the world needed to see the Clippers and Lakers. It was unfortunate we didn’t get to see that.”
Although Dudley said the team wanted to play the Clippers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis publicly said they did not feel as though they missed out on an opportunity to prove who was the better Los Angeles team.
It would have been an electric series, especially if it partook in Staples Center, but fans will have to wait and see if the matchup comes to fruition whenever next season occurs.
Dudley receives votes for best teammate
Although he did not win the award, Dudley received some votes and finished in ninth place for the eighth annual Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.
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