But even as the Clippers did what they could to make the arena their own, it was still the Lakers’ house. All the championship banners. All the retired numbers. All of that hung in the rafters and over the Clippers.
Doc Rivers thought it was crazy that those Lakers banners were still visible during Clippers games. So, last fall before his first season as the Clippers coach, he asked that the gold and purple banners be covered for their games.
“Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers told the Los Angeles Times then. “No disrespect to (the Lakers). But when we play, it’s the Clippers’ arena as far as I know.”
Now, the Lakers’ banners are covered by large panels with photos of some of the Clippers. Jamal Crawford. Blake Griffin. J.J. Redick. DeAndre Jordan. Jared Dudley. Chris Paul. Matt Barnes.
Has it helped the Clippers win any more games?
But it’s a sign of the change in the Clippers’ culture. No more deferring. No more playing second fiddle.
They’re even drawing more Hollywood types these days. Frankie Muniz has become a regular. Kanye West and the Kardashian clan made a cameo appearance earlier this season. Ditto for Kate Upton.
Have they jumped on the suddenly sexy bandwagon?
Have most of the folks who’ve taken to the Clippers?
But if you add the atmosphere that they’ll create to the talented team that the Clippers will put on the floor, Los Angeles will be a tough place for the Thunder to win. It’s no Peake, but it’s no piece of cake either.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.