The Lakers narrowly defeated the Nets at Staples Center tonight. It took a 30-footer from Kobe against completely botched coverage to seal the deal. The win puts the Lakers a game and a half up on the Clippers in the race for the Pacific Division title. Needless to say, tomorrow night’s Battle for LA is a massive game.
During the Lakers Live post-game show outside Staples, a crowd of hooligans adorned in huge gold chains, backwards hats, and Kobe jerseys (in other words, typical Lakers fans) gathered behind the Fox Sports crew. Apparently feeling pretty cocky after their 4-point win over the lowly Nets, the crowd chanted “Clippers Suck! Clippers Suck!” The chant lasted for several minutes. For a fanbase that so often proclaims to be unthreatened by its little brother across the hallway, this was a surprising display of animosity.
It’s no secret that most Clippers fans hate Lakers fans. I’ve expressed my opinion before. In years past, Lakers jerseys usually outnumbered Clippers jerseys in the stands when the two teams met in Clipper “home” games. Although purple and gold apparel will likely be a minority at the game tomorrow night, there will still be a substantial Laker fan presence. I fully expect a chorus of “M-V-P” chants to break out whenever Kobe steps to the free throw line. Or, better yet, lots of lame jokes about how Chris Paul should have come to the Lakers instead of the Clippers. I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to restrain myself from talking shit. A couple weeks ago, I lost my cool and yelled at a relatively mild-mannered Warriors fan sitting behind me. When some asshat in a Black Mamba jersey starts talking about how Ramon Sessions is better than Chris Paul, my reaction might land me in LA City Jail — where I’ll probably have to deal with even more Lakers fans.