Prior to this season, there wasn’t much of a rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers. Both teams are from Los Angeles and play in the same arena, but the Clippers were always horrible. The Lakers owned the Staples Center, and I don’t think anyone outside of Clipper Darrel or Donald Sterling would have disputed that. Now that the Clippers are loaded with talent and the Lakers are aging, times could be changing. If they are, the Clippers are not yet willing to show it.
“Honestly, I don’t think it is one,” DeAndre Jordan said Tuesday according to the L.A. Times. “But I’m not worried about any other team. I don’t care about them. I respect them as a team and as players. Once we step in between that line, I could care less about any accomplishments they have.”
The two teams have met twice this season and combined for 11 technical fouls and an ejection. Perhaps that was a coincidence, but it certainly felt as though there was some added incentive when the two times they got together. In all likelihood, the Clippers prefer to keep the spotlight on the Lakers for as long as they can. When you start getting into rivalries and talk about “this is our house,” pressure can build in a hurry.
“We don’t make too much of it,” Chris Paul added. “First of all, it’s been so long ago that we played them. We’re two totally different teams. I don’t even remember that last game too much. But it’s obviously a big game Wednesday.”
Paul also denied even remembering this incident between him and Pau Gasol. Blake Griffin concurred, saying that Wednesday night is “just another game” between two teams who happen to play in the same city and the same arena. However, we all know those last two things make it more than just a game. The Jets haven’t won anything since Super Bowl 3 and the Giants have won two Super Bowls in the past four seasons. Does that mean their meetings at the Meadowlands are all “just another game?” Hardly.
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