HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We realize that history demands we exercise some patience with the Clippers’ proposed takeover of Los Angeles. We know that logic suggests the supposed threat the Clippers pose to the Lakers’ supremacy in the Southland is as much a media-driven phenomenon as it is a legitimate, basketball-related challenge from the longtime underdog.
But on the eve of a new year, we’ve decided to throw logic to the wind and embrace the craziness that is the NBA’s Battleground Los Angeles. The Clippers, led by their new superstar duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, are chasing the hearts and minds of Southern California hoops fans with vigor. And they’re doing it in plain sight of Kobe Bryant and the mighty Lakers.
Check out this billboard (courtesy of my main man Michael Eaves Fox Sports Net) that looms large over the Staples Center in downtown LA before the Lakers’ Christmas Day game against the Chicago Bulls. (We’ve been to LA countless times for games the past decade and never seen anything like this from the Clippers.) We know, it’s just a billboard. But you have to start somewhere.
The Clippers will have to back up all this chatter and hype with something tangible, with some serious on-court noise. And they’ll get their own shot at the Bulls tonight at the Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV).
The fact that they’re even engaging the notion of challenging the Lakers, however, is enough to pique our interest here at the hideout. Having grown up the fourth of five kids and having spent my entire life as the “little” brother, we can appreciate what the Clippers are doing right now.
In fact, it’s about time they took this step and mounted a serious challenge to their neighbors. They’ve got a loaded roster and the Lakers haven’t been this vulnerable (theoretically speaking, of course) in years. If we’ve learned anything about the NBA since the free agent summer of 2010 it’s that you better take what you can when you can.
Kudos to the Clippers, yes the Clippers, for going for it.