John Wall Believes Lakers-Clippers Rivalry Has Been One-Sided Recently But Can Become ‘Great Battle’ Again
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The Los Angeles Lakers and the L.A. Clippers were supposed to fight for the highest honors in the so-called “Battle of L.A.” since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joined the latter.

The Clippers dominated the local rivalry with the Lakers for the majority of the last decade. The tides started to turn in 2018 when LeBron James signed for the Purple and Gold but when Anthony Davis was about to join James in L.A. the following year, the Clippers pulled off the Leonard-George double swoop in free agency — seemingly setting up years of fascinating clashes between the two Los Angeles teams.

However, those hopes never materialized as there hasn’t been a single Battle of L.A. in the playoffs — mostly because of injuries plaguing both rosters. However, John Wall has told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk he is ready to help Leonard and George reignite the Lakers-Clippers rivalry:

“Battle? Whatever they call it. I think the Clippers like haven’t lost, what, the last eight times if I’m not mistaken? Yeah. Both haven’t been healthy, both teams haven’t been competing, but you know, we know what they have over there. And we know we have on our side. So, I think it’s gonna be a great battle and I think it’s a great opportunity for me. I think a lot of people will get to see me play on TV. I mean, being with Kawhi and those guys, they have a lot of TV games. I think that’s when people get to see your show.”

The Clippers have beaten the Lakers in nine of the last 11 matchups. However, it’s the Lakers who have recently claimed the Larry O’Brien trophy — winning the 2020 Finals in the Orlando bubble.

In fact, the NBA seemed set for a Battle of L.A.-themed Western Conference Finals during that postseason, but the Clippers lost the conference semifinals against the Denver Nuggets even though they led the series 3-1.

James is ‘100% healthy’ after missing most Lakers games late in 2021-22

As Wall pointed out, the Lakers-Clippers rivalry can become competitive only if the two teams avoid injuries. In a promising update, James recently revealed he feels “100% healthy” and even made the first Drew League appearance in 11 years.

The four-time NBA champion missed 26 games last year, sitting out eight of the Lakers’ last 10 clashes of the season with an ankle issue.

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