The Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984, but in that time the Clippers have made the playoffs just four times, while in that same span the Lakers have won eight titles. Sure, the Clippers finished with a better record than the Lakers in 2006, but any semblance of a rivalry after that year dissipated as quickly as the OJ Mayo-Kevin Love LA rivalry in 2008. Lauren Conrad vs. Heidi Montag was a longer, more fruitful LA rivalry than anything the Lakers and Clippers have given us. But Chris Paul forming “Lob City” with Blake Griffin brings promise to the Clippers, and Kobe Bryant said yesterday he is looking forward to a better challenge from his Staples Center co-tenants.
Also yesterday, Bryant criticized NBA owners for what he feels was the reason why the Lakers weren’t the ones to get Paul and said he doesn’t buy the NBA’s futile explanation of “basketball reasons” for vetoing that trade. From ESPN LA:
“I think other owners did not want the Lakers to make significant improvements again,” Bryant said after practice Thursday, hours before Paul’s introductory news conference with the Los Angeles Clippers, less than five miles across town.
“We always contended as players that the lockout was really more so about the owners fighting amongst themselves, which is what you just saw [with the vetoed trade],” Bryant said. “You got Chris Paul coming here and the other owners weren’t with that, because you don’t want another great player coming to L.A., and all of the sudden Los Angeles has another player that can carry them on well after I retire. So, it’s more about the owners bickering amongst themselves.”
Don’t worry, Kobe. When the Lakers weasel their way into acquiring Dwight Howard, Chris Paul will only be an afterthought.