The Los Angeles Lakers went 2-0 against the Milwaukee Bucks and LA Clippers over the weekend, and one of those wins came on the road, which improved their road record to a league-best 26-6. However, there’s some additional context that’s probably worth noting.
The one win the Lakers got “on the road” this past weekend was against the Clippers at Staples Center, where Lakers fans have done their best to drown out the cheers of Clippers fans since 1999. The balance between Lakers fans and Clippers fans has gotten better over the years — and it might be the best it’s ever been this year — but after Sunday’s game, Frank Vogel said it still felt like a Lakers home game.
“We’re at Staples Center,” Vogel said. “All Staples Center games feel like home games. Obviously our fans, Lakers fans turn out no matter where we are, but particularly in this road game.”
That’s not something the Clippers should be ashamed of. The Clippers didn’t move to Los Angeles until 1984, and by that time, Magic Johnson was already one of the two-most famous players in the NBA (in addition to the rest of the Lakers’ storied history of success). The Clippers have made some history of their own since then, but none of their accomplishments compare to the 11 championships the Lakers have won since moving to Los Angeles, the last of which was won in 2010.
That rich history is also why the Lakers have fans all over the globe, and LeBron James praised the fans for making the team feel at home wherever they go.
“It’s a very unique experience,” James said. “We’ve had a lot of that this year on the road. One thing about Lakers faithful is that they come out no matter where we are. If we are here at Staples and we are the road team or home team, or we are in other arenas across America, they’ve been with us all year. That’s a blessing and a gift to have.”
The Clippers can go forth with their plan of moving into their own arena, but as long as they’re in Los Angeles, they’ll have to deal with being treated like the younger sibling. On the bright side, they won’t have to cover up anyone’s banners anymore!