The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers both made a ton of moves this offseason that — in any other season — would put them at the top of the contender list.
However, with the NBA being made up the way it is, both teams will have stiff competition to get that elusive championship and that includes each other.
The Lakers made the blockbuster Anthony Davis trade and then added a ton of great role players to their core of Davis, LeBron James, and Kyle Kuzma. As for the Clippers, they signed Kawhi Leonard and then traded a record-setting haul of draft picks for Paul George. Because of these all or nothing moves, both teams will be extremely fun to watch, especially if and when they meet up in the 2020 NBA playoffs.
Shaquille O’Neal was a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to discuss a host of things but was asked if he picked the Lakers or the Clippers for the upcoming 2019-20 NBA season. O’Neal’s answer is unsurprising as he showed love to his former team that helped him win three championships:
“Listen, I got to go with the Lakers. However, L.A. has always been a very exciting city, but the next year of basketball is going to be very exciting. But I’m Lakers, purple and gold ‘till I die. Even when the Lakers have a bad team like they did last year, I’m still with the Lakers.”
It’s this type of allegiance from former players that have allowed the Lakers to remain one of the league’s glamour franchises despite hitting a team-record six consecutive seasons out of the playoffs. Former greats like O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and many more are openly Lakers for life with many even finding their way back to work for the organization in one way or another.
In terms of next season, there’s no reason the Lakers couldn’t be better than the Clippers. They have the best duo in the league in James and Davis and have arguably the best collection of role players the NBA has to offer. If all goes well, the Lakers could absolutely be the team hoisting up the Larry O’Brien trophy for the 17th time.
Beyond that, it’s good to see that even when the Lakers aren’t at their best, they still have an army of former players giving their unending support — a luxury that not many other franchises have.