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Clippers owner Steve Ballmer brags about ‘kicking the Lakers a**,’ thinks old championships don’t count

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He isn’t mad the Lakers are more popular than the Clippers, he just thinks it’s funny

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Clippers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

That the Los Angeles Lakers hold far more interest locally than the LA Clippers is not a secret. It’s always been the case, as the Lakers arrived in Los Angeles first and attained far more success than the Clippers, who could charitably be compared to a burning, cow-poop filled dumpster of dysfunction for most of their tenure in L.A.

In recent years, however, the on-the-court narrative has flipped. The Clippers acquired Chris Paul after David Stern intervened on behalf of several crybaby owners acted in his role as acting owner of the New Orleans Pelicans and rejected the Lakers agreed-upon trade for Chris Paul, later sending him to the Clippers instead.

Since then the Clippers have become a perennial second-round-of-the-playoffs contender and had the league get rid of their virulently racist slumlord who ran them, while the Lakers continue to punch their “frequent NBA Draft Lottery participant” card (one more lottery pick and they get a free one!).

Despite that change in results, the Lakers still own Los Angeles and the Clippers have made no secret about how salty they are about it. From Doc Rivers covering up the Lakers’ championship banners so his team doesn’t feel inadequate, to constant narrative from the organization that they no longer want to be seen as the “little brother” franchise they’re pretty much forever-destined to be, the Clippers have made it clear they’re not going to take the Lakers still being far more relevant than them both locally and nationally lying down.

The latest refrain came from Clippers owner Steve Ballmer in an interview with Julie Bort of Business Insider:

"So look. I'll say two things. No. 1, we've been kicking the Lakers' a-- the last several years. Let's just face it. We don't have the championships that the Lakers do. We don't have any of that. But in the world of sports it's, 'What did you do this season?' And all we can control is how we do this season, next game, next game, and I'm proud of what we're doing.

"Ok, yeah, we didn't have a championship 15 years ago but we're doing well.

"But our ultimate goal isn't to to beat one other team. It's to beat 29 other teams. If you tell me you were the top team in LA, but the 28th team in the league, I say to heck with that.

"So in a sense, the best way to beat the Lakers is also to be the No. 1 team in the world and that's what we're aspiring to do."

Let’s break this down piece by piece:

"So look. I'll say two things. No. 1, we've been kicking the Lakers' a-- the last several years.”

This is accurate.

Let's just face it. We don't have the championships that the Lakers do.

Fun Fact: The Clippers actually do not have a championship, singular.

But in the world of sports it's, 'What did you do this season?' And all we can control is how we do this season, next game, next game, and I'm proud of what we're doing.

The Clippers have inarguably become one of the best teams in the world at losing in the second-round AND flopping. Way to go, guys!

"Ok, yeah, we didn't have a championship 15 years ago

According to the selfies you have covering up the results of actual success, neither do the Lakers! Or the ones they won far more recently in 2009 and 2010!

"But our ultimate goal isn't to to beat one other team.

Especially not if that team is the Golden State Warriors in general, or more specifically a Houston Rockets team you have a 3-1 lead on in the playoffs.

It's to beat 29 other teams. If you tell me you were the top team in LA, but the 28th team in the league, I say to heck with that.

Congrats on having standards, I guess?

"So in a sense, the best way to beat the Lakers is also to be the No. 1 team in the world and that's what we're aspiring to do."

A noble goal, albeit a difficult one. But every member of the Warriors could retire and LeBron could get injured and then you could get lucky, I guess.

It’s weird that this Clippers vs. Lakers narrative keeps getting brought up again and again when it’s become pretty clear that Los Angeles is mostly loyal to the Lakers, whether you look at TV ratings, website pageviews, social media or just try to find a Clippers fan in L.A.

But as long as those around the teams continue talking about it, I guess we can keep writing about it.

This trolling has been (mostly) sarcastic. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.