Why Everyone in LA, Clippers Included, Should Root for a Quick Lakers Revival

The history of the NBA in L.A. reads more like A Tale of Two Cities than it does the sort of rivalry that the city's basketball hotbed deserves. More often than not, it's been the best of times for the Los Angeles Lakers and the worst of times for the Los Angeles Clippers.

It took 30 long years for the Clippers to finally flip the script. Even last year, when the Clips swept the Hallway Series for the first time in franchise history, the fates seemed to favor the Purple and Gold. Despite the apparent disparity in turmoil between the underwhelming, injury-riddled Lakers and the 56-win, Pacific Division-champion Clippers, both clubs were wrestled into offseason submission during the first round of the playoffs.

There will be no second-hand opportunities for smugness in Lakerland this time around. If Lakers fans want to taunt their Clippers counterparts, they'll have to rely on the tired trope of trumpeting the past while conveniently ignoring the present and, for now, the future.

They can wax poetic about 16 championships and a 144-54 record against the Clips in the all-time series, including a 98-34 mark since the latter hauled its operations up the Interstate 5 freeway from San Diego to L.A. in 1984—smack in the middle of the "Showtime" era. They can even cling to their 116-103 win over the heavily-favored Clippers in the season opener, when what was then the Lakers bench went bonkers to the tune of 76 points.

But the Clips have proven, with relative ease, to be the better outfit by far since then. In January, the Clippers avenged their opening-night embarrassment by lampooning the Lakers like never before, 123-87. That 36-point margin of victory was the largest ever by the Clippers over their crosstown tormentors.

They may well pull a similar trick on Thursday, when the Lakers play host and dim the lights over the Staples Center crowd accordingly.

That old, theatrical trick...

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