With recent roster moves, the Clippers and Lakers have built two very competitive teams but the Lakers still run L.A basketball

Fans are eagerly anticipating the beginning of the 2019-20 NBA season, a season that promises to be extra special for all Los Angeles basketball fans. For possibly the first time ever, both the Lakers and Clippers have championship expectations at the same time.

The Lakers moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960, and the Clippers moved from San Diego in 1984, meaning the two teams have shared common ground for the past 35 years. However, in that time, the two franchises have never been on the same success level.

Since moving to Los Angeles, the Lakers have won 11 NBA championships, including eight after the Clippers found their new home in L.A. With a total of 16 championships, the Lakers have the second most championships in NBA history, only trailing the Boston Celtics with 17. To add insult to injury, the Lakers won three NBA titles and eight conference titles throughout the ’80s as the Clippers failed to even make the playoffs in their new home. From the very beginning, the Lakers established that Los Angeles is their town.

On the other hand, the Clippers have never even made it to the conference finals. Since their inaugural season in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, the Clippers have made the playoffs just 14 times. To put that in perspective, the Lakers have more championships than the Clippers do playoff berths. In terms of on-court success, the Lakers definitely have the edge.

Taking a look at basketball icons, the Lakers have seen some of the greatest players of all time don their purple and gold. This includes three-time NBA champion LeBron James, who joined the team last year. However, James is nowhere near the first basketball legend to play for the franchise. Players like Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and countless others have won titles and set records for the Lakers.

Being the little brother to the Lakers has hurt the Clippers in terms of landing stars. One of the only bright spots for the squad was the “Lob City” era from 2008-2017. The most recent additions of elite talent in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have made this one of the most talented Clippers rosters ever. However, the Lakers still have the advantage in star players.

One aspect of this not-so-rivalry that needs to be taken into account is the reception of these two teams from the fans with the Lakers getting a 24-year head start on the Clippers. The Lakers brand was well built by the time the Clippers arrived and only got stronger over time. Moving from San Diego to Los Angeles was probably one of the worst moves the Clippers could have made. The move, although it was to a much larger market with a higher population and profit, solidified the idea that the Clippers would always be the runner-up to the Lakers in every aspect of the game both on and off the court.

The new-look Clippers led by a passionate and intelligent new owner, Steve Ballmer, have a perfect opportunity to become a franchise worth paying attention to. Former MVP Kawhi Leonard alongside six-time All-Star Paul George have the opportunity to finally give Clippers fans something to be proud of.

Although there are new opportunities ahead, the Lakers have just as talented of a roster with James and Anthony Davis. When you combine that with their 16 championships, 31 conference titles, 23 division titles, roster pedigree both current and historically, and the endless amount of fans worldwide, Los Angeles remains a Lakers town. This season is going to be a good one for both franchises but the Clippers have an unbearably large mountain to climb if they ever want to be considered on the same level as the “Lakeshow.”