September 24, 2018, only a small handful of media members arrived to take part in the LA Clippers’ media day. It was a moment players like Patrick Beverley would not forget.
As the Clippers hosted their media day, the Lakers simultaneously hosted their own. Accompanying the Lakers were hundreds of media members, clamoring to see LeBron James in a Lakers uniform, with the expectations of seeing him lead the Lakers into the playoffs.
The Lakers and Clippers held their media days at around the same time seven miles apart today. The Clippers couldn’t really change their time as they had to fly to Hawaii for the start of training camp tomorrow. I was at Lakers Media Day, @ericgeller was at Clippers Media Day. pic.twitter.com/41jl7PpXqK— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 25, 2018
Fast forward five months later, and it seems like the tides have turned. The Lakers are virtually out of playoff contention, while the Clippers are battling for the 6th seed. With every Clipper win, those same media members have found themselves more attached to the other LA team that they neglected at the start of the season.
“There was 7 people in here for Media Day, I remember it like it was yesterday,” Patrick Beverley said. “I told Shai to look at the room, there’s 7 media here, watch what happens at the end of the year.”
Those 7 members have now translated into a national audience. In the past week, Montrezl Harrell appeared on Colin Cowherd’s ‘The Herd’ and Marcellus Wiley’s ‘Speak For Yourself,’ Lou Williams appeared on ESPN’s ‘The Jump’, and Patrick Beverley appeared on ‘SportsCenter’ with Scott Van Pelt.
“We came into training camp with that mindset knowing that we probably were gonna be one of those teams not talked about,” Lou Williams said on ‘The Jump.’ “We looked at the schedule and recognized we only had 3 national television games. That kind of sparked us a little bit.”
The best way to make someone recognize you is through greatness, and that’s exactly what the Clippers have done. The team has a special camaraderie that allows them to overcome whatever talent deficient they may face. Make no mistake, they may not have an All-Star, but they’re no joke. They offer the same advantages of being in LA as the Lakers do: the ability to be on national television during an off-day, attend high profile events, enjoy the beaches and sunny weather, and everything else that comes with being in LA.
We are 69 games into the season, and the “other team in LA” has transformed into the only winning team in LA. It may be a shocking twist to most, but to Patrick Beverley it was merely an inevitability. This team, its culture, and its organization are worth talking about. For the Clippers, it’s a conversation that was earned, not given.