However, prior to their recent stretch of success, the Clippers were dominated by the Lakers for almost 30 years, which is the reason they trail in the all-time season series 148-72 despite winning 16 of their last 20 matchups. Truthfully, there’s no reason the Lakers and Clippers are rivals beyond the fact that they share a city and arena, but that has the potential to change this season.
After signing Kawhi Leonard and trading for Paul George, the Clippers are currently the +350 favorites to win the 2020 NBA Championship, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Right behind them are the Lakers, who moved from +500 titles favorites to +450 title favorites after acquiring Anthony Davis, Danny Green and DeMarcus Cousins to pair with LeBron James.
Health permitting, the expectation is that the two best teams in the NBA will be from Los Angeles this season. Since the Clippers relocated from San Diego to L.A. in 1984, there has never been as much hype surrounding both the Lakers and Clippers at the same time as there is now, and Green is looking forward to being part of it.
“I think it’ll be a lot of fun. I think it’s a rivalry that’s growing back to where it was before. I think both teams are very good on paper. We’ll have to see how it’s put together, and I think it’s going to hopefully grow into something that’s unbelievable for the fans to watch, and I’m excited about it. And you never know, these two teams in L.A. playing against each other and having a shot at winning might be interesting,” Green said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.
Avery Bradley also told reporters that he’s looking forward to facing off against the Clippers during his conference call on Friday, but his excitement comes from a more personal place.
At the trade deadline in February, the Clippers traded Bradley to the Memphis Grizzlies with a year left on his contract. While Bradley had a successful — albeit brief — stint in Memphis, he said he’ll have an extra pep in his step when the Lakers take on the Clippers at Staples Center.
“Hundred percent, that will be a game I I circle on the calendar for myself,” Bradley said. “I’m pretty sure I can speak for every guy that’s in our locker room: Whatever team they played for before, they want to go out there and prove a point, let that be a game that they go out there and play as hard as they can, and Clippers is going to be one of those games for me.”
While Bradley obviously won’t be the biggest draw in the star-studded rivalry, his storyline brings an added element to it. It goes without saying, but the Lakers and Clippers could be the most exciting rivalry in basketball next season and beyond. Outside of the “Showtime Lakers” era, there’s never been a better time to be a Los Angeles basketball fan.