The 2019-20 NBA season was an exciting time for Los Angeles basketball fans as both the Lakers and Clippers were among the favorites to win the the 2020 NBA championship.
The expectations stemmed from quite the offseason in Southern California, during which the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis, and the Clippers were able to add both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
It did not take long for the “Battle for Los Angeles” talks to start as fans of both franchises felt their respective team was the best one in town. Although the Clippers currently lead the regular season series 2-1, the Lakers won their last match up and settled any doubts as to whether or not they could hang with their Staples Center co-tenants.
While the media and fans like to paint the games as a rivalry, players like Alex Caruso have seen no need to stoke more flames. During an appearance on “The Lowe Post,” Caruso said he personally does not put too much stock into playing the Clippers:
“I can’t speak for the rest of my team. We haven’t talked about it like that, and I don’t want to discredit how good the Clippers are, but it doesn’t really hold any extra weight for me. I think it’s more of a city thing, I think it’s more of a fan thing. And that’s not to diminish how big of a rivalry the battle for L.A. is, just in a sense of history and how long it’s been a Clippers vs. Lakers thing.
“But them being as good as they are this year doesn’t add any more, I don’t know. I feel bad saying it because it’s obviously one of the biggest matchups and biggest names in the game that we have playing against each other. But I’m sort of robotic in the sense of, ‘Man, this is another game.’ I know what they’re gonna bring, and we gotta know what we’re gonna bring to be prepared for it.”
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss recently shared a similar sentiment, going so far as to say the Lakers and Clippers do not share a rivalry because of the lack of playoff history against one another.
All season long, the Lakers have been even-keeled when asked about the Clippers, constantly reiterating that they treat every game the same. However, it is impossible to truly feel that way given their proximity and the fact that they will likely be a road block en route to a title.
With the Lakers and Clippers undeniably amongst the top teams in the NBA, the league is looking to capitalize on that excitement as they will play one another on the first night of the season restart.
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