With the Lakers in a complete state of disarray for a third straight season, and with no end to the downward slide anywhere in sight, there’s been talk that Los Angeles may be abandoning one storied tradition to jump on the bandwagon of an exciting up-and-comer.
Plenty has been written about whether or not L.A. was becoming (or has become) a Clippers town now, considering the current level of disparity between the two teams.
But it isn’t close to being the case.
The latest bit of evidence came during the Clippers’ embarrassing 105-89 home loss to the Bulls on Monday, when Chicago was playing without Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol, and L.A. held a first half lead of as many as 14 points.
The Bulls, playing without perhaps their two best offensive players in Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol, carved up the Clippers defense as frustration washed over the faces of the home team.
The Chicago-heavy crowd chanted “Let’s go Bulls” as the Clippers found themselves on the wrong end of a 31-14 third quarter.
The fact that the visiting team’s fans can be heard so prominently in the Clippers’ home arena is getting old with the team’s star players.
Chris Paul: “Tonight somewhat felt like a road game. It ain’t no secret. It’s not the first time.”
Those involved personally in the L.A. basketball scene know that it would take both a decade of down years from the Lakers and multiple championships from the Clippers for things to truly shift in any meaningful direction. Blake Griffin and Byron Scott have both said as much this season, and Pau Gasol became the latest to speak the truth on the subject when he spoke to reporters at Monday’s shootaround (via Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times).
“I think Los Angeles is always going to be a Lakers city,” Gasol said. “Sixteen banners are 16 banners.”
And simply covering them up isn’t going to change that.