Once a Los Angeles Laker, always a Laker.
When Kyle Kuzma was asked post-game after losing to the Los Angeles Clippers about how it felt like playing in Los Angeles again, the Washington Wizards forward said he couldn't compare Clippers games and Laker games. Because according to the one-time champion, there's a distinct difference that separates both teams.
Kuzma, who spent four years in a Purple and Gold uniform, pointed out that the Laker games are different from Clipper home games. Sure, the Lakers are struggling right now, but that doesn't mean the Clippers are L.A.'s most prestigious team.
Reggie Jackson begs to disagree.
After another impressive performance, Reggie Jackson addressed the media after Wednesday's game and gave props to how hard his team has fought all season.
Jackson also said that he believes the Clippers are the heart of the city of Los Angeles just because of how competitive they've been in the past few seasons. True enough, the Clippers (35-33) have a way more impressive record compared to the veteran-filled Lakers team (28-37).
"No shots at them over there. But they're the lights. They're bright lights. They're Hollywood. That's the Lakers. We've kinda understood that they're the show. That's what people have called them for so long. But I feel like we're definitely the heart of the city."
Reggie Jackson, Twitter
"[We] always talk in the locker room with the guys that they got a 50-year head start, the Lakers did, so I understand what it is in this city," Jackson added. "It definitely is overwhelmed by Lakers fans. But I feel like Clippers Nation is like the heart. It truly is."
Ty Lue disagrees with his point guard.
A few minutes after Jackson's bold statements, Ty Lue was quick to dispute his point guard's words and said that the Lakers will always reign supreme in Los Angeles because they, after all, have 17 trophies under their belt.
"I don't know about that. I don't get into that. They have 17 championships, which speaks for itself. I like what we're doing here," Lue said.
Lue may not have wanted to address the inter-city rivalry between both teams, but it sure feels like he deserves all the credit for the Clippers' success this season. At the start of the year, no one expected an injury-riddled Clippers team to have a better record than the Lakers team full of superstars (past their prime).
But at the end of the day, facts are facts, and the Lakers have to accept that Los Angeles' better team, at least this season, are the Clippers.
However, just like what Kuzma said, the Clippers will never be the Lakers. The Clippers can only claim Los Angeles' heart and attention when they start winning championships.