No matter what happens with the Clippers this upcoming season, Los Angeles still belongs to Laker Nation.
See, even with the recent success of Doc Rivers and company, the Lakers still have one thing the Clips don't: history. 16 NBA Championships, 10 retired jerseys hanging in the rafters, and a longstanding tradition of greatness, excellence, and dominance over the NBA since pretty much the beginning.
Until the Clipper can somehow catch up to their rivals in the purple and gold, it is unlikely they will ever overtake them in the battle for L.A.
Interestingly enough, however, the conversation might be different had Kobe Bryant became a Clipper in 2004. That's right -- apparently, the Mamba nearly joined the team at some point in the mid-2000s as revealed by former Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“Kobe turned to [Sterling] and — this is an exact quote that I’ve had repeated to me by multiple people — he said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m a Clipper.’ So he walked out the door and [the Clippers] are all high-fiving each other thinking, ‘By God, we’ve done it,'” Lawler said.
After giving what the Clips thought was a verbal commitment, Bryant seemingly had a change of heart and re-signed with the Lakers that same summer where he retired after a 20-year career.
Had Bryant changed teams back then, it is likely the Lakers would have recovered well -- choosing to keep Shaq rather than trade him to Miami. As for the Clippers, well, they might have added more to their noticeably barren history, maybe even earning a Championship at some point under Bryant's leadership.
So are we really to believe he was actually considering a move to the Clippers? Who knows. Today, though, their minds are not wrapped around what might have been, but rather what lies ahead as they prepare to start the season with stars of their own.