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.