The Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers were seemingly inching closer to their long presumed matchup in the Western Conference Finals when the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While the league continues to work out the logistics of potentially crowning a champion, there is plenty of speculation regarding their plans for the remaining handful of games and how the postseason will play out.
Among the notable solutions that have made their rounds is doing away with the traditional playoff format by seeding all teams Nos. 1 through 16, regardless of conference. Of course, this would result in the possibility of the Lakers and Clippers meeting up in the NBA Finals as opposed to the WCF.
It seems even Jerry West cannot help but be intrigued by the prospect of this matchup. West said during an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” that a showdown between the two teams in the Finals would certainly cause quite a stir:
“For me, that would be the ultimate competition. I think in Los Angeles, they have so many Laker fans. My goodness. The enormous success the Lakers have had over the years, they are a really good team now, two of the best players we’ve seen in a long time on one team. I think it would be incredible for the people in the west. I’m not sure how that would go over for the fans back east who want to see their respective teams get an opportunity to play.
West added that while it would make for a compelling end to an unprecedented season, he feels that the NBA will ultimately do what they can to maintain a sense of normalcy with the playoffs:
“But that would be a situation where I think it would be unbelievably competitive, it would be compelling. I don’t know how many teams in the same city have competed for a championship in any sport, much less the NBA. It would make a compelling story, but in all likelihood I think you’re going to see things that will be a little bit more normal.”
It is safe to say that there is a good portion of fans that would agree with West’s assessment regarding an NBA Finals matchup between the Lakers and Clippers. After all, they both have dominated the headlines by following up on the excitement they generated in the offseason as the top two teams in the Western Conference thanks to their influx of star power.
Although the possibility of this year’s championship being played exclusively by Los Angeles may seem farfetched at this point, it is safe to assume that their eventual meeting will still carry some rather high stakes.