The Kings and Lakers might as well be night and day at this point. The rivalry that almost was, perhaps never will be. It seems inevitable that the Kings will move from their home in Sacramento to Anaheim, but the proximity in geographic area will do little to ignite any old rivalries. It may just end up burying it once and for all.
The great rivalries are born in the playoffs. They’re then cultivated over the years by the successful efforts of general managers and owners who care enough about the team and their fans to sign great players and surround them with talent. They’re legitimized when each team has drawn their fair share of blood—meaning they’ve beat each other at least once, 4-out-of-7 times in a series.
Regular season wins are nice, but everyone knows the real battles happen in the playoffs. Win a series and you’re a proven winner. Continuously lose year after year and how many games you’ve won in the regular season hardly matters. In that regard, perhaps the Lakers/Kings rivalry in the early 2000’s was never fully realized. It may not be considered a legitimate rivalry, but if you lived through it or even remember it in the slightest, you know it sure felt like one.
I’m not one to take trips down memory lane, but considering how favorable the outcome was for the Lakers, it wouldn’t hurt to conjure up some nostalgia.
Note: This might be the time to skip a few paragraphs if you’re a Kings fan.
Next: The Lakers/Kings rivalry in a nutshell
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