OK Clipper fan, I need you to be honest. Are you mad at the disrespect your team receives, or is it just me?
I have admitted in earlier posts that I'm not necessarily a Clipper fan as much as I am a fan of basketball. I cut my basketball teeth on The White Shadow, Magic Johnson's Laker teams and those great (although NCAA Championship free) UCLA Bruin teams of David Greenwood and Brad Holland.
Those were my teams then; my team now are the Clippers.
The reason is simple, they are the better team. I always followed the Clippers because they played locally and I loved listening to Ralph Lawler and Bill Walton. For my money, still the most entertaining and knowledgeable pair of TV commentators bar none. I began to notice the transformation from doormat to contender a few years ago when the team signed their first significant free agent, Cuttino Mobley.
In 2005 Mobley was a player other teams wanted. The Clippers got him for $42 million over 5 years. It was a staggering amount of money for the notoriously penny-pinching Donald Sterling and it got my notice. Things were beginning to change for the other basketball team in Los Angeles.
That team, build around Mobley, Elton Brand, Sam Cassell and others, had their run but then the Clippers were back to being the Cursed Ones. In hindsight its clear that all the Clippers went through after that era ended was a rebuilding, not a return to futility. Most NBA teams suffer through ebbs and flows, the Clippers were no different; they rebuilt.
Today's Clipper team is the best, not only in Los Angeles but arguably in the Western Conference. Yet, all anyone in L.A. wants to talk about is the Lakers.
Personally, it bugs me. I know the players couldn't care less which is actually the right approach. The best thing to do to get respect is win and the Clippers are doing just that. As a fan of great team basketball however I'm frustrated to see so much media attention and coverage for the Lakers over the Clippers.
One great thing about writing here on Clips Nation is that I know the majority of you reading this are legit Clipper fans. Fans who suffered through the lean years, who cringed when they saw Sean LIvingston's knee give out or when Donald Sterling showed up in public. Fans who say "Oh Me Oh My" or "Bingo!" at least once a day for no particular reason. Fans who love the Clippers.
I want to hear from you. Does the disparity bug you as much as it bugs me?