With the recent success of the Los Angeles Clippers, the question has been asked: Who is L.A.’s team? Can a joke of an NBA franchise, the Clippers, even stack up to one of the NBA’s most celebrated, the Los Angeles Lakers? The answer may surprise you.
The Los Angeles Clippers are not only improved, but with some recent moves, they have shown that they plan to stay that way. They are not a ‘flavor of the month,’ but the basketball team that Los Angeles should cheer for.
Oh, we have seen our dark days. The Clippers franchise never should have left San Diego! They have been mired by a selfish owner, Donald Sterling, flagrantly less interested in making the playoffs than making a profit! Elgin Baylor, their vice president of basketball operations, was one of the greatest players to ever lace up his sneakers but as a general manager has been entertainingly incompetent at best.
The Clippers have made some of the most inexplicable moves in basketball history, like drafting University of the Pacific-project Michael Olowokandi with the first pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, ahead of future all-stars Mike Bibby, Vince Carter, Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki.
The Clippers have also experienced plain bad luck
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This is like comparing the Chicago Bulls with Jordan to the Bulls without Jordan.
There is no contest that the Lakers have, and are always going to be, the team that Los Angeles fans will praise. The Lakers have always been considered one of the best, if not the best, NBA franchises around. At the end of last season, the Lakers had the most wins (2,806), the highest winning percentage (61.5 percent), the most finals appearances (28) and the second-most championships (14) of any NBA franchise. The Los Angeles Lakers have been L.A.’s hottest basketball attraction for over 45 years.
Now, I can start wowing you with facts, but instead I’ll mention the names of the greatest players in NBA history that have also been Los Angeles Lakers.
It all started with Jerry West, the man who is the player dribbling on the NBA’s logo! Then there is Wilt ‘the Stilt’ Chamberlain, considered by many to be the most dominant center in NBA history alongside Bill Russell. Wilt holds the record for most points in a game (100).
In the 1980s you had ‘Showtime’ with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (most career points) and James Worthy. These great ’80s teams won five championships.
Then there was the Shaq-Kobe combo that produced another three championships. You have to mention the Hall-of-Fame coaches that guided all these great teams. There was Bill Sharman, Pat Riley, Mike Dunleavy and the teacher of Zen, Phil Jackson.
It is also worth to note that the Lakers had the best basketball announcer of all-time in Chick Hearn, who announced from 1961-2002 and holds the streak for most consecutive games announcing at 3,338.
The names don’t stop there. The Los Angeles Lakers are known for getting the most world-recognized actors and celebrities. Jack Nicholson is the most prominent member of the celebrity group.
Other long-standing ticket-holders include Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, The Game and Dyan Cannon.
The Lakers were winners even when they were still in Minneapolis. The Lakers have been conference title winners in every decade since the 1940s. They have won NBA championships in five out of seven of those decades. The Clippers have only been to the playoffs four times since they came to L.A.
Los Angeles is a city that loves a winner
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