The Lakers and Clippers have never met in the playoffs, which is the central reason there has never been a real Los Angeles rivalry. Through all the Lakers’ championship years the Clippers were the doormats of the league. In the last handful of years, while the Lob City Clippers became playoff regulars, the Lakers were rebuilding (and using Kobe Bryant to sell tickets through that).
This year was different. LeBron James was back in MVP form, and he and Anthony Davis had the Lakers on top of the West. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George fronted a Clippers roster that seemed the deepest and best balanced in the league. They seemed destined for an epic playoff clash.
Jerry West — Lakers legend and current Clippers consultant — told Ernie Johnson on NBA TV he really wanted to see that matchup, but it will be different now.
“We were ascending OK, and now when are we going to get back? When are we going to get back? No one knows. And the Lakers across town – this would have been an incredible thing for basketball if someway, somehow, these two teams could have played in a Western Conference final…
“I think you would have seen record numbers on TNT,. I think the viewership would have been obviously biased toward the Lakers, which is great, OK. It’s just horrible to sit here and not have something to root for, or me anticipating to see Milwaukee in the East or the other good teams over there.”
We all feel the same way.
Hopefully, we still get to see that Lakers/Clippers matchup, in whatever format the NBA playoffs take (if they happen). While both of those teams will bring their cores back next season, there is no guarantee things will play out the same way. This may be our best chance of seeing this series.
We’re all with the logo on this one, let’s just hope we get to see it.