The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are set to face off Monday night in round two of this year’s battle for L.A. supremacy. Historically, the Lakers have dominated this matchup, but it has been the Clippers who have been the better team for the last five years now.
Because of the past dominance, and lack of postseason success for the Clippers, some don’t even consider this a rivalry, but there is definitely a different buzz in Staples Center when these two teams meet. Wesley Johnson has been on both sides and believes it is a different feeling with the Clippers.
According to Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times, Johnson said he wants the Clippers to send a message with a dominating victory:
“I think this side wants it more, because we want to prove a point,” Johnson said. “And that’s blow them out. We’re playing for something, and they’re not — plain and simple.”
Johnson went on to explain that the city still being a Lakers town motivates the Clippers:
“But over here with the Clippers, it’s like just knowing it’s a Laker town. Everybody, everywhere you go, it’s always Laker fans making noise. Even though we have a huge fan base as well, but it’s still Lakers. So we definitely want to prove a point when we play them.”
There is no doubt that Los Angeles remains a Lakers town despite the recent success of the Clippers. The Lakers are mired in the worst stretch in franchise history, but are still far more popular due to their history and championships.
The Clippers still have yet to reach a Conference Finals and they certainly don’t look to be on that road this season either. This rivalry has heated up for the Clippers in recent years, but with this new group of young Lakers, the intensity could definitely pick up on their end as well.
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