Los Angeles is one of the biggest sports markets in the entire world. The city, which houses roughly 3.9 million people, is the site of many different franchises, including the Galaxy, Kings, Dodgers, Rams, and (of course) the Lakers and Clippers.
In the basketball world, anyone will tell you that L.A. belongs to the Lakers. With 17 NBA Championships and a long list of superstars having passed through their doors, they are a franchise defined by their history and success.
In a recent chat with the media, the newest Lakers big man, DeAndre Jordan, commented on what it was like joining the franchise after having spent multiple years with their rival (the Clippers).
Here's what he had to say:
“I think I was treated pretty fairly and pretty good when I was a Clipper for 10 years. But obviously, this is a big sports town and a lot of the fans are Lakers fans. Even when I was with the Clippers, we understood that. But, I had great years when I was with the Clippers and that franchise was amazing to me and I appreciate the time that I was there, for sure.
But I’m focused on now, and our team, and what our goals are, and what we want to do. I’m just really excited to be here. This is a great opportunity for me, and I just want to take full advantage of it.”
He also spoke on his role for the team, expressing excitement about helping them achieve great success in the West.
“I’m extremely excited … I think that my role for any team I’m on pretty much stays the same. I’m coming in to defend the basketball, try to change shots and alter shots at the rim, rebound the basketball, get my teammates open as best as possible, keep possessions alive for us, be a great force on both ends of the basketball floor, and be a great locker room guy. That’s pretty much been my niche and my thing that I bring to every team that I’m on. I’m excited to get here and get to work with these guys."
Jordan is long removed from his best days. At this stage of his career, he can't expect to play a significant role on any roster.
But this new opportunity with the Lakers gives him a chance to jumpstart his career, and prove he can still be a guy that contributes to a winning organization.
Either way, he's not in Clipper land anymore -- and the pressure will be on for him to perform up to expectations.