Has the torch been passed?
It will take far more than one season for the Clippers to take the throne from the Lakers. Yeah, they swept the season series for the first time EVAH! A lock for the playoffs while the Lakers need help just to get in — and they will have an exhausted Kobe Bryant if they do.
The immediate future looks like more of the same. The Clippers have a young one-two punch with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul (assuming Chris will re-sign — and he’s given every indication he will). While Kobe is feeling some mileage, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol look done. And it’s no longer a lock that Dwight Howard will re-sign in the off season judging by his curt, post game interviews.
But as the Dodgers have proven… loyalties can run deep even in sports. It’s been 27 years since they’ve even been to a World Series, much less won one. Yet just the spending spree by the new owners have rekindled enthusiasm.
But the Clippers players wisely say publicly they are not trying to unseat the Lakers locally but to just carve out their own identity. And judging by the national reaction to Sunday’s win over the Lakers… they are succeeding.