Culture of Hoops

Clippers cover Lakers banners for self-respect, not disrespect


The debate between which Los Angeles NBA franchise is the best usually starts and ends with Lakers fans retorting “How many rings do you have?” Rightfully so, as that’s the ultimate prize of all of the blood, sweat and tears that go into an NBA season. And although the Clippers’ future seems optimistically bright, there’s been a track record of losing, and doing so in disastrous fashion.

When the Clippers made the move to bring in head coach Doc Rivers, they not only expected to gain his knowledge of the hardwood, but the ability to encourage and foster culture transformation. That is precisely what’s happening within the Clippers organization, and despite some Lakers grumblings, it’s long overdue.

The Clippers put on their interior design hats and draped large images of their own players over Lakers championship banners and retired jerseys in the Staples Center. After all, what other home team in the NBA boasts the success of their rival? The Clippers have upgraded their practice facility, roster, and coaching staff, and have started on the last step, culture. In this case it might be more culture shock. Whether or not it’s a grudge Doc is holding from his time with the C’s, the Clippers organization and their fans are getting exactly what they want—a revamped organization with enough cojones to smite its history and carve out their piece of respect in the NBA.

Lakers fans hate the move and Clippers fans love it. The majority of player response has been in the Clippers’ favor, most agreeing that it’s long overdue.

New Laker Nick Young commented on the move: “That’s a lot of pull y’all are giving Doc, I think he shouldn’t come in and have so much pull like that. He’s got to earn his keep.” When a reporter argued that Rivers’ championship resume from his time with the Boston Celtics should give the coach the credence to do so, Young retorted, “But he didn’t win no title in L.A. That’s where it’s at. Look at all these banners in here, you can’t shadow those up.”

Well guess what, Nick, you haven’t won anywhere in the NBA, either, and won’t win anytime soon with the Lakers. You’re truly more of a Clipper than you know, “Swaggy P,” because just like Clipper Nation you haven’t received league-wide respect and you’re still working to reach your full potential. Which of you will get there first, you or the Clippers? I’d love to see those Vegas odds, and in the interest of keeping with the “when in Rome” adage, we’ll just say that’s a sucker’s bet.

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