This is what Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have done to Los Angeles.
L.A. is still a Lakers town — it’s the one generational team in Los Angeles, where your grandfather rooted for them, your dad and you — but the Clippers are changing the conversation among the youngest generations.
Like Lakers coach Mike Brown’s son Elijah, who plays for area hoops powerhouse Mater Dei now. This is what he’s hearing, according to Kevin Ding of the Orange County register.
These days, Elijah has heard most about why the Clippers seem to be rising and the Lakers have not.
“Does your dad still think they can beat the Clippers?” Elijah said he hears often. “Can they still win? They haven’t done anything.”
They haven’t done anything? Um, there were these two titles in the last three years… oh, forget it. Not going to try to explain this “ancient” history to high schoolers.
The point is this — Griffin and CP3 are changing perceptions and allegiances in Los Angeles. The Clippers are young and exciting, they win with dramatic highlights. They are the team with the brighter future (if owner Donald Sterling doesn’t screw it up).
It’s not a sea change — a decade or more of Dodgers-quality ownership — to really screw up the Lakers franchise. But for the near term, there are a lot of Clippers fans in Los Angeles.
When you ask Lakers fans for bold predictions, you get the delusional to come out of the woodwork.
Most Lakers fans I know — remember, I’m a former Laker blogger living in So Cal, even my optometrist wants to talk Lakers during my eye exam — are realistic about where the team is in the rebuild process. Like me, they want to see a healthy season of Kobe Bryant where he can choose whether or not to continue his career on his terms, not Father Time’s.
But Lakers exceptionalism is a thing, and there are Lakers fans living in a fantasy land.
That’s what Jenna Corrado and I get to in the latest PBT Extra: There are Lakers fans that think they are playoff bound. And there are people who expect even more than that from this team this year — like Kobe Bryant to return to MVP form. Those people need to stop taking so much glaucoma medication.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.