The Los Angeles Lakers have a rich history steeped in championship
trophies earned on the backs of some of the greatest basketball players
in NBA. The move from a small market like Minneapolis to Los Angeles in
1960 was a move for the ages. Almost immediately, Hollywood and the
fans of L.A. fully embraced what certainly has become one of the most
storied franchises in sports history.
Not to be outdone, consultant Jerry West (former Lakers great) and
Coach Rivers made their move for the Clippers. Out of free agency, they
were able to sign two of the team’s own superstars in Paul George and
2018-19 NBA Championship MVP Kawhi Leonard. The NBA is still
reverberating from the shock of this twin signing. The result, the
Clippers are now favoured in the future book at around 4-1. In the
coming weeks, gamblers should be on the lookout for Elite 8 betting tips on the NBA future book.
For several decades, “Laker Magic” and “Showtime” ruled the basketball
world. In the stands were Hollywood elites like Jack Nicholson, Dyan
Cannon, Rihanna, Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton. On the court were
basketball elites like Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor,
Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille ONeal, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and
the most recent addition to the Lakers’ walk-of-fame Lebron James.
Unfortunately, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” or the
Staples Center. It’s now been six years since the Lakers recorded a
winning record. That’s the longest season losing streak in team
history. Last season, the Lakers loyal (hanging on by a thread) thought
NBA great Lebron James was the answer to their prayers. The basketball
Gods had different ideas as the Lakers again lost more than 41 games
and again failed to make the playoffs. In mid-season, L.A.’s favorite
son Magic Johnson came under fire for the way he was running the team
as president of basketball operations. To outsiders, it seems
blasphemous that anyone would turn on the man with the golden smile,
but the city did, forcing him to resign.
While the Lakers have been falling from grace, the L.A. Clippers have
had a quite different experience during the same six year stretch under
Head Coach Doc Rivers. During
that time, the Clippers made the playoffs all six years, threatening to
win NBA titles and losing in the Conference-Semifinals in 2013-14 and
2014-15. To add injury to insult, the Clippers play their home games in
the very same Staples Center.
For decades, outsider basketball fans have always claimed that Lakers
supporters were “fair weather” fans. Whether it’s true or not has
always been up for debate. However, there has been a noticeable change
in demeanor among basketball fans in L.A. In recent seasons, Clippers
games have been selling out while there’s been an occasional empty seat
for Lakers games. Controversy has been and is all over the Lakers
organization while the Clippers have been moving quietly along.
Then came the shots heard round the basketball world. Just this past
offseason, the Lakers were finally able to land the services of
superstar center Anthony Davis. His pairing with an aging Lebron James
immediately boosted the Lakers towards the top of the future book odds
for the NBA Championship at around 5-1.
The table has been set and the rivalry in on. However, there’s
something bigger at stake. When both teams start the 2019-2020 NBA in
October, they will be playing for heart of every basketball fan in Los
Angeles. Fair weather fans?