It’s going to take a lot more than a single win to turn LA into a Clippers town. We could see it on opening night when the Clippers were hosting the game, but Kawhi got booed during introductions. At best, it felt like a neutral court. Realistically it seemed like a Lakers home game.
The court showed the Clippers are better right now and dare I say it – getting Paul George back is more significant than getting Kyle Kuzma back. Add to that the Clippers bench was dominating and the Lakers not having a lot of assets to strengthen their team, it’s clear who’s fans have more too look forward to.
But, the Clippers understand LA is a Lakers town, and that’s why they embraced the underdog narrative. Their plan is clear – Lakers are Hollywood, we are Inglewood. The working man’s team. The strategy makes sense, but they won’t get much done if all ESPN shows are LeBron highlights in a Lakers defeat. Patrick Beverly made his emotions known on this (via Yahoo Sports):
In the locker room, Beverley — who had 10 boards and six assists while often tasked with defending James — addressed the media at his locker stall, and when it ended, he still wasn’t done.
The defensive specialist sat by himself and spoke out loud about how TV programs routinely show highlights of James in defeats, without discussing in
–depth the opponent that beat him. He challenged the media to report the facts instead of showing crossover highlights of one of the game’s best.
The Clippers may be better, and Kawhi may be the best player in LA (and the NBA), but LeBron is still the biggest star in basketball. That battle is won in more than 48 minutes a day. Can Kawhi take over LA?