Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen hosted their sixth annual Kershaw’s Challenge Ping Pong 4 Purpose at Dodger Stadium this week, with the event drawing several celebrities and professional athletes.
Among those on hand was former NFL player Marcellus Wiley, who has taken a strong liking to the Clippers. Wiley regularly engages in plenty of banter with Lakers fans on social media, often mocking them for their use and mention of the franchise’s history and past success.
As the Lakers went through a rebuild and down times, the Clippers failed to capitalize on their window of opportunity. Playoff berths ultimately came up short, and the City of Los Angeles remains heavily titled in the Lakers’ favor.
And any headway the Clippers could have possibly made has likely passed now that LeBron James signed with the Lakers. Even for a passionate supporter like Wiley. “I think the Lakers have a better record, so let’s say 50-55 wins,” he told LakersNation/DodgerBlue on the blue carpet.
“They’re going to go further in the playoffs, but I don’t think they’re going to win the series against the Clippers. We don’t play that. We’ve won 21 of the last 24 games against the Lakers. But LeBron is in town now.”
Wiley also expressed his surprise that some were shocked to see James sign with the Lakers. “LeBron is smart. Everyone was overthinking this,” Wiley said. “You give me youngsters and you give me a few sprinkled in veterans who want to play basketball, you and The King to it, it’s magically delicious.”
And though he enjoys poking fun at the Lakers and their fanbase, it’s all good natured. “I don’t hate on the Lakers. I just love the Clippers. You guys are going to be better this year, I’ll give you that,” Wiley said.
“Magic is my man, and Jeanie, I love you guys. You guys have a tremendous team. Hi, LeBron. Thanks for the shoes; can’t buy my love. Clip City, Chip City.”
While he was happy to discuss the Lakers-Clippers dynamic, the reason for Wiley’s appearance on the blue carpet was to support Kershaw’s Challenge and their initiatives to provide for those in need.
Wiley doesn’t consider himself a strong ping pong player, but that was irrelevant. “Not only the face of the franchise but huge member in our community,” he said of Kershaw.
“He does that not only locally but internationally with his work with children in Africa and everywhere. Just an amazing guy. I see him in the neighborhood as a normal guy. He’s just a great, normal due who can strike you out anytime he wants to. Respect to him and what he does.”