LA Basketball Just Became Real

By Udit Garg
Nov. 24, 2019

*Disclaimer: I am writing this from a modern-perspective and going back until the recent 6-year drought from the playoffs for the Lakers and apparent disbanded Lob City days of the Clippers*

Lakers

Flashback to 2009 and 2010 where Kobe and the Lakers win back-to-back championships. However, hopes of a three-peat soon were swept away in 2011 by Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. This was the most recent high-time for the lakers before Lebron James arrived. This was the start of an irrelevant 6 years for the lakers and the end of Kobe's limelight in the NBA.

Suddenly in 2018 NBA offseason LeBron James, the BEST player in the United States decides to plant his foot in LA Basketball. However, he adds himself to the Laker's legendary history and the Laker's Mount Rushmore.

As soon as LeBron begins with the 2018-2019 NBA season with the Lakers, things were going as planned or even better than planned but it was decided that the Lakers would need one more superstar, one more big name to reclaim the title "Champs".

But LeBron James's injury had the Lakers fall of the tracks in 18-19 NBA season. During the 3rd quarter of the 2018 Christmas Day game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, LeBron went down with a groin injury. 27 games later LeBron made a return only to verify the Lakers will indeed not make the playoffs again. If LeBron couldn't lead them to the playoffs then who could or would?

Lakers and LeBron both knew the situation was tight. LeBron's legacy may be relying on another superstar and essentially a new lineup in LA. Enter the Pelicans and Anthony Davis. With a blockbuster trade between the two teams, Anthony is sent over to the Lakers for almost the entire roster of the Lakers. Hence starts another grueling offseason for the Lakers and team management: to get LeBron the support he needs.

All of this worked out apparently, as the Lakers have started out the beginning of the season with a bang. They have achieved the best record through 15 games out of any other team in the NBA and don't seem to be slowing down.

Clippers

Everyone remembers the exciting days of Lob City. DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin dominating the paint, while Chris Paul running the show as the floor general. Lobs left and right. Posters here and there. Clippers flying in the air and Steve Ballmer more ecstatic than ever on the court-side chairs.

However, all good things come to an end. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin leading the Clippers, playoff runs and hopes were always uncertain. Many thought that one year, just one year, the Clippers would go on a nice run. But the farthest they reached was a Conference Semifinal matchup only to get swept once, lose in 6, and put up a good fight in game 7. Although this run sounded commendable, it wasn't somewhere for a team with 3 Superstars and championship hopes was expected to end.

Finally, the Clippers made their first move by dealing Chris Paul to the Rockets in the 2017 offseason and trading Blake Griffin to the pistons by the trade-deadline of the 2017-2018 season. Now, it really looked like the Clipper's lob city days were coming to a close. Finally, DeAndre Jordan agreed to leave the situation and simply sign with the Dallas Mavericks a team needing to add some other pieces to the puzzle to find the big picture (ENTER LUKA DONCIC 2018-2019 SEASON).

With all three stars gone, the LA Clippers turned to the pieces they got in return for their stars: Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, and a few draft pieces such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. They fought through the 2018-2019 season and even got to the first round to hold Golden State for 6 entire games in the first round. Everyone knew the future was bright for the LA Clippers, but NO ONE knew it was going to be this bright.

July 9th, 2019 was the day the Clipper's recent history was completely changed. Kawhi Leonard, the reigning finals MVP with the Raptors, enters Steve Ballmer's franchise. ON TOP OF THAT, the Clippers trade for PAUL GEORGE, a top-10 player in today's NBA. This dynamic duo took the Los Angeles Lakers by storm and set the stage for the impending rivalry between these two franchises.

Lakers VS. Clippers

The highlight of the 2019-2020 NBA Season.