Lakers, Clippers Not Considered As ‘Serious Rivalry,’ According To Jared Dudley

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers controls possession of the ball in front of LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers late in the fourth quarter in a 112-102 Clipper win during the LA Clippers season home opener at Staples Center on October 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Harry How / Getty Images

With the Golden State Warriors weakened, several powerhouse teams have become new favorites to fully dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 season. Though the regular season is still far from over, most people believe that the battle for Western Conference supremacy will be between the two NBA teams situated in the City of Angels — the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.

That isn’t surprising at all. The Lakers and the Clippers currently have very talented rosters featuring two legitimate NBA superstars, and as of now, they own the top two spots in the deep Western Conference. However, in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, which is currently posted on Twitter, veteran power forward Jared Dudley said that the Lakers and the Clippers couldn’t be considered a “serious rivalry” mainly because the latter hasn’t won an NBA championship title.

“It’s huge. It’s a good rivalry,” Dudley said. “It’s a little fun. It’s not like a serious rivalry. It’s not like they they have any banners hanging up. Trust me, I would know, I played for them.”

Dudley knows what it feels like to be a Clipper as he has played for them in the 2013-14 NBA season. However, compared to his previous stint with the Clippers, their current roster is entirely different. The Clippers are currently being led by a player, Kawhi Leonard, who has won multiple NBA championship titles and single-handedly helped the Toronto Raptors bring home their first Larry O’Brien Trophy last season. The Clippers also paired Leonard with another superstar in Paul George and surrounded them with a bunch of players who are hungry to win it all.

Meanwhile, though Dudley doesn’t seem to take them seriously, Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers looked thrilled with the ongoing rivalry between them and the Purple and Gold. In an interview with The Athletic, Rivers said that whether both NBA teams like it or not, they would be needing to beat each other in a best-of-seven series to reach the 2020 NBA Finals.

“I’m all for it,” Rivers said, as quoted by Heavy. “It probably means that both teams are doing well through the playoffs. I just want to win it. I don’t want to beat the Lakers, being honest. But I just have a feeling for one of us to go where we both want to go, at some point we’re going to be in each other’s way.”

After losing their first two games, the Lakers finally earned their first win against the Clippers on Sunday night. Before the real battle begins in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers and the Clippers are set to face each other for the fourth time on April 9, at the Staples Center.