The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers were two of the biggest winners during the 2019 NBA offseason.
The Lakers made a blockbuster deal to pair Anthony Davis and LeBron James with a host of good role players while the Clippers traded nearly a decade’s worth of draft picks to nab Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. This means for the first time in league history, both the Lakers and the Clippers will be championship contenders.
Before the 2019-20 NBA season has even begun, fans and media alike have created a ton of hype and storylines surrounding the hallway rivalry between the two teams. It’s likely because of this that the Lakers and Clippers will not only meet on Opening Night, but also on Christmas Day — both marquee dates for regular season basketball.
While everyone around the two teams have made a huge deal about the rivalry, most of the players involved in it seemed to be focused on their own thing. Davis is one of those players as his only goal for Year 1 is to win a championship — regardless of what the Clippers are doing, according to Peter Flax of The Red Bulletin:
“I’m not sure what the Clippers are thinking,” he says. “But I know what the Lakers are thinking — and that’s to play basketball. Obviously, they have a great team, but we know that for us it’s going to be bigger than a rivalry. You know, winning a rivalry game doesn’t win the championship. So for us the goal is to win a championship this year.”
And while the Lakers haven’t openly said they plan on winning a championship this season, Davis known that’s what’s on everyone’s minds. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a point to playing:
“We haven’t talked about it yet, but I don’t think it needs to be said,” he says. “I think that any time that you’re on, your goal is always to win a championship. If it’s not, I don’t understand why you’re playing.”
For Davis and the Lakers, it’s good to know the rivalry with the Clippers isn’t on their mind. For them, that should just be a normal game on the path to winning it all in the 2020 NBA Finals.
However, maybe as the season gets closer, there will start to be more excitement from the players as they get ready for the biggest season for many of their careers.