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Is LA Becoming a Clippers Town?


Ever since he bought the team back in two thousand fourteen clippers owner Steve Bomber has been on a mission. You're soon Yi shot Taylor's everybody WHO's here tonight. Take on Chuck Taylors. In a city. That's synonymous with the Lakers. He's trying to win championships and went over. Fans and with the clippers and Lakers said to square off on Sunday the Knicks. Bouba joins us to talk about how bombers mission is going how these teams matchup against each other and whether or not Los Angeles is starting to become a clippers town. You know there is a whole part of Los Angeles that is not Hollywood. That are the people who take the bus and work three jobs and really have to grind to make a living from wondering and the athletic. I'm under skelter and Davidson. It's Friday march six and this is the lead. It felt like something great. There is something about the emotion for the past her. Because was a story it stays with you. The lead supported by Light. 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Well the his first press conference as the clippers owner was a pep rally. Not IMPRESSED CONFERENCE STEVE. Where he came out there glaring. Lose yourself and he's fist pumping and high fiving. Everybody and he's coming out like it's the first game of the season and he's being introduced to the crowd like a flare and that really is set. The tone I think for his ownership tenure over the last six years where. He's been very unconventional you. You never know what he's GonNa say you know there's GonNa be a couple of viral moments over this past summer. When he introduced Leonard and Paul George he was very animated during that. These notes say I'm just to be here today. It's pretty cool pretty cool. Those two guys got a kick out of that and relaxing onstage. He definitely is someone who I don't think we've ever really seen before. Because he does kind of spasm with those gestures and he turns red when he's you know go yelling and screaming and you never know what you're going to get what was the bomber. But that's what makes it so entertaining and exciting. And he's an ex. Ceo of Microsoft. But not your typical computer geek. No not not at all. He's not the typical techn- erred. He was the the basketball manager for his high school basketball team. He was the football manager at Harvard. East from the Detroit Metropolitan Area. So he's always been involved in sports in kind of had a jock sort of mentality's still very nerdy a borderline genius. You know he was the one who graduated from Harvard. Not Bill Gates and Steve. Top class and one of the smartest guys in the world. So Steve Balmer bought the clippers back in two thousand fourteen. Right after a very dark chapter in the franchise's history from the NBA Dow Sterling banned for life. After that caught on tape racist rant now says he will not fight the for sale of his team instead. He wants his wife to find a buyer and some big names have expressed interest. What was the feeling within the clippers organization as Donald Sterling went out and Steve? Balmer came in. It was shocked. It was relief. Donald Sterling really viewed it as a way to make money not as a way to run a successful basketball organization. He was lording over the franchise in a way that it there was no hope it was basically like one. Is this guy going to die? He owned the team for thirty years aside from the personal stuff which we can really divorce from his ownership but if you wanted to look at strictly what he did as an owner the touristy cheap in every regard trading away players Not Resigning key pieces. I mean the team was always in the lottery yet. Rarely re-signing those guys because he was so cheap and did not want to pay guys and didn't really care about the encore product so as a owner in that regard he was one of the worst owners. If not be worse donor Not just in the NBA but in professional sports really the the bar was set so low that anyone coming in would be an upgrade on on Donald Sterling but the fact that the bomber has come in and really establish himself as probably a top five owner over the last five six years. And he's in that conversation. I think that that is really been the biggest shift in the clippers organization. And since Steve Bomber arrived this organization has really been on a mission to build its fan base in Los Angeles. What have the clippers been doing to try and attract more fans? I think the key would the clippers strategy on how to attract more fans as ban it. Not only distancing themselves from the Lakers but almost being the antithesis of Lakers in you see that most recently with their L. A. R. WAY CAMPAIGN SUBSTANCE OVER FLASH GRID OVER GLAMOUR. And a lot of the billboards and messaging behind that the we over me streetlights over spotlights people of our city sweat and bleed uncelebrated. We play for where the clippers have really tried to appeal to the blue collar. Fan In L. A. Because they they realized we cannot out showtime the Lakers. The Lakers are Glitz and glamour. The Lakers are Hollywood. And if you really look at the identity of the clippers most recent successful team lob city. There was a showtime element to that. It was it was fast breaks. It was the flashing of Chris Paul and his passing Blake Griffin's dunking gave Griffin just over the top of for bucket. That was kind of a flashy team. I think what the Clippers realized kind of post. Lob City is that they can't go toe to toe with the Lakers. The Hollywood nece the star power to the GLITZ Glamour. The Lakers will always win that battle. Because you know they're the Lakers in the history of sixty plus years of To a hall of Famers all those retired jerseys to the clippers really decided to go all in on Grit and toughness in the blue collar kind of aspect of L. A. which to them was an underrepresented area of La Proud of what we did. Last year. We had a hell of a team played the right way. Har- riddy resilient actually the clippers about. I just been great news that there is a whole part of Los Angeles. That is not Hollywood that that are the people who you know. Take the bus and in work three jobs and and really have to grind to make a living. I have to say as someone who lives in L. A. You really do see these billboards and advertisements like everywhere. I mean they're on buses freeway exits buildings and I think has been working because Everyone kind of knows everyone. Seeing these billboards everyone can can recite them and it has become a thing in La and it really is true to the franchises values because they are the underdog. In comparison to the Lakers. They are scrapping and fighting to try to get fans in kind of create their own legacy to be a clippers fan over the past. Thirty five years you had to buck the norm of everyone in La. Kinda grew you know the Lakers are not only in la establishment but really a global establishment so to be a clippers fan in la before Blake Griffin. Beat before Chris Paul. Before Doc rivers before Steve Bomber. You really almost WANNA be in your own lane. WanNa go against the grain and go against the norm so the clippers kind of leaned into some of that and Steve. Ballmer and the clippers have been investing a ton of money into basketball in the city. A big thing. They've done has been renovating all these youth basketball courts around the city. Every kid who gets fired up about basketball get me fired up so just incredibly excited to see kids out. There who clippers owners are donating ten million dollars to give off three hundred forty four basketball courts a little rehab and one of the benefits of that is I think earns goodwill for the city. And if you're kind of thinking about it strategically now if you're five six year old you go to your school and you know. There's a giant Clippers logo at center court. And there's a clippers logo on the backboard of your basketball court and that stuff is kind of ingrained and might not convert a bunch of fans. But Hey that's that's you know more than they're going to convert be before otherwise. So I think the clippers have been strategic in that. They've been smart with that. And Steve Balmer also has a plan to improve their stadium situation which currently is not great. So right now. The clippers are the third time in in staple center behind the king's behind the Lakers. It's been a point of frustration for the team. Even back before Steve Bomber but especially since he's arrived in the clippers get stuck with the worst dates. They always play these Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Games that the players don't like playing at those times So really the clippers are always picking third. They have to deal with the purple seats. The the Lakers retired jerseys in and banners and I mean look you walk into staple center. There's six seven Laker statues outside and really everything about staple center is associated with the Lakers. So it really is like the House that the Lakers built the house that Kobe built the house. Check BILL AND I. I think for the clippers. The last kind of part aside from winning a championship is having their own arena. Having their own home. You know that. That's the way Steve Bomber as framed. It like we want our own home and their lease was staple center ends twenty twenty three twenty twenty four. So the plan for the clippers. Is that twenty two thousand four summer to move out of staples center move into their new arena in Inglewood and start the twenty twenty four twenty twenty-five season in their new home but as of now they're actually not allowed to build a new arena within a certain distance of the forum. The famous arena. Where the Showtime Lakers won so many championships of the floor here at the Forum last year's championship manner. The Lakers tonight tied to become the first team to win. Back to back championships. Boston Celtics very same floor. Back in nineteen sixty nine. And so Steve. Balmer solution is to literally try to buy the forum so that he can build his new arena. Right down the road. Is there something symbolic to that? Yeah I th. I think it's a boss move. Steve Bomber can out spend any NBA owner. And it's not really close by the end of this process by two thousand twenty four when they move into the new arena. Assuming it happens he will probably have spent somewhere between four to five billion dollars on the clippers. And that's a lot of money but it's Kinda Chump. Change the him You know as crazy as that sounds and I think what it's showing is it's a commitment to staying in Los Angeles. It's a commitment to providing the best Experience Four Clipper fans. He wants to give them their own home that they can be proud of. They don't have to look up. And you know. See something kind of covering the Lakers banners and kind of know in the back of their heads like this is the the Lakers house really with the capital. One SAVER CARD. You earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment. That means four percent milkshakes with the kids in four percent on music with your pals you also earn two percent cashback at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in capital one. What's in your wallet terms apply? The clippers have beaten the Lakers twice this year. What have you noticed in those games? And what are you going to be watching for in this match upon Sunday? I've noticed that Leonard has been the best player on the floor in both games. George Finds Leonard Backs in falling away is eighteen. Colli Leonard. Lebron James. Anthony Davis to me are the best duo in the NBA. Their numbers back that up but the one thing that can kind of swing not is quiet. Leonard's just individual brilliance and he's really come into his own as arguably the best player in the NBA and really the most unguarded player in the NBA where he can create his shot against any defense against any defender. Davis right now picks up Leonard on the switch Leonard. A three pointer. Good those off the dribble threes there. I don't know how you guard those. Those are just end. That mid range shot over past year. Plus is basically been automatic. So really looking at the matchup. The Lakers don't have a great defender to throw at quite Leonard Danny Green Avery. Bradley case EP or too slow cal. Kuzma is an good enough defender and Lebron can probably do it. But he can't do it for a full game. So what you've kind of seen I think. In both instances has been quite Leonard. Feeling out the Lakers defense. And then kind of just gone off the Lakers do of the size advantage. And that has materialized. In the matchups great players matched up Davis turned szucs. Was Right too much for the Lakers side of things that the most interesting thing is what happens with Anthony Davis because on paper the clippers. Do not have anyone that should be able to guard. Anthony Davis Everyone's either too small not strong enough not long enough But they've actually defended him really. Well they've single covered him You know sometimes they'll send a late double. Sometimes they'll send a soft double. But what what the Lakers have kind of fallen into as just posting up. Anthony Davis isolating him and letting him try to go to work against the clippers and the companies have done a really nice job of getting into his legs pushing him off the block and forcing him into a bunch of mid-range Jumpers which Anthony Davis can hit but he has not hit consistently in the first two match ups. And you have on. You spoke with us a couple of months ago about some apparent chemistry issues within the clippers. Much of that around Kawhi Leonard. And the way that he fit in with this kind of gritty salt of the earth kind of team. What's the latest there does? It seem like those issues of more or less been resolved now. The issues have gotten better from what I've heard. They're still there you know they have not been fully resolved. There are still issues with preferential treatment with sort of some of the locker room dynamics and just different personalities and and guys not fully clicking and but everything is masked by winning. They have been playing better since they made the Marcus Morris Trade and added Reggie Jackson so for now I think things are fine but if for whatever reason this team under achieves that has something to keep an eye on into watches as maybe some of the stuff behind the scenes not going as well as his team needs to during the playoffs and coming back to this question of fans. You know the clippers are the home team on Sunday so theoretically at least they should have more fans there than the Lakers. But I know there have been plenty of times where this matchup has actually felt more like a home game for the Lakers. Is that still the case Clippers home games. Have I think gradually shifted over the years You know like I think there is a point where it was over. Fifty Percent Lakers fans or at least it felt that way in the arena. The there were so allowed and overwhelming. I remember During the heyday of the Miami Heat After one game John J Jordan Had a quote where he said. This felt like a road game Staple Center having so many Miami Heat fans in the crowd But it's been the Chicago Bulls the Boston Celtics. Even the Golden State Warriors for Shark. So that's also something. I'm sure they're going to try to work out in Infix with the new arena is making it way. More of just clipper fans have icing on the secondary market to to some extent. But I'm going to be interesting to see how the dynamic is on Sunday because at the end of the day. These two teams are on a collision. Course they're most likely going to face each other in the conference semifinals or conference finals. It's the matchup. Everyone wants to see To a lot of people it is the NBA Finals of. You know whichever team comes out is probably going to win the title of course Up to Oh and season series so they have that advantage right now but I think everyone's edge of their seat and I'm very interested to see how plays out and you'll von overall is Steve bombers quest to build this team's fan base working yes. I think. It's probably working more marginally than they would like because again. I think the Lakers are just such a cultural Establishment in Los Angeles. You know they really are in my opinion the team of a but I think this is going to be a long for the clippers. Short-term BUTTS TRY to maximize his champion window with Kawhi Leonard with Paul George. Try to win a title within the next four or five years hopefully even multiple titles and start to kind of shift the conversation shift the history head into their twenty twenty four arena with some momentum. And then you know long term looking at the next decade. The next two decades three decades. Let's win multiple championships. Let's establish a culture and a history and a brand in our new arena. Let's continue what we've done around the L. A. Area giving back with with you know building basketball courts. Different charities and initiatives and that's really been what they've been trying to do us in Steve. Lomas become the owner. You're on thanks so much for joining us and enjoy the game on Sunday. Appreciate it man. Thanks for having me. You can follow Yovany. Buddha's coverage of the clippers and all of Steve bombers boss moves at the athletic dot Com. Hey I'm David From Los Angeles. I've been clippers fan for eighteen years summarizing from Detroit so I grew up a huge pistons fan and so I'm really anti Lakers fan so when I moved to La. I had to choose a basketball team. Not Being Lakers fan shows the clippers and this is when they're horrible to and I just kind of stuck with them and now we got and you know we're looking we're looking positives. My name is Chelsea Reba. I moved to La from DC about six and a half years ago and the wizards. I mean they're not great but I love basketball. I've always loved basketball. And they play so when I moved to La. I was like. Oh probably be a Lakers fan. I like purple also. Everyone's a Lakers fan. But then I got here and I saw the prices and I was like under your Clippers Fan. And it's been great. I like seeing. More Clipper bumper stickers. I like seeing more fans out there. you know. I think it doesn't take away from the super fans who have liked it for so long. I feel like clippers ran is someone who's there to have a good time there because they like watching the sport not necessarily for cloud. There's a lot of influencers who go to the Lakers games like. Yeah just rich people wanting the they go to Lakers clippers is more like I like the game. I almost relief clippers more to the dodgers. Like if you like them you love Them. You have to Enjoy losing It's almost like counterculture to say. You're you're like in the clippers so cool on another level you know. Everyone loves a winner and if they can bring home a title this year. This'll be all about clipper town. So much the Lakers. In fact they would be a huge defeat to the Lakers clippers. One and all this year here are some other stories. We're following add the lead. Parana virus concerns aside. Olympic athletes are prepping for the upcoming Tokyo Games. And it's looking good for American women in the pool. Katie let that is the fifth fastest fifteen hundred meter of all time American feed on Katie. Decky finished almost forty seven seconds ahead of the second place swimmer in the fifteen hundred meter freestyle at the ty are pro swim series in Iowa on Thursday will decky already has five gold medals to her name and seems on pace to dominate again in Tokyo. Meanwhile there was an update Thursday to the Trent Williams Washington redskins drama Williams. If you'll remember miss all of last season largely due to a dispute with the team and its medical staff Williams had a cancerous growth on his scalp removed last year but said the team initially ignored his concerns about it now. The team has given Williams permission to seek a trade and finally some interesting details emerged about the proposed new. Nfl CBA Yahoo Sports reports. That under the new agreement players won't be suspended at all for testing positive for quote substances of abuse including opioids and marijuana penalties will instead include things like fines and unannounced. Testing this is a huge shift for the NFL which has seen player struggle with addiction issues only to be suspended multiple times and ultimately and their careers the new policy does not include performance enhancing drugs the new. Cba is currently being voted on by players. If you like our show hammer on that subscribe button and make us part of your daily commute were available on all the APPS. All the APPS are producers are Caitlyn. Plummer Chris Siegel and Chris olen editing and production by senior producers Lea Hernandez and Matt strope fact checking by Ian Hurley. Sound Design and mixing by. Aaron May and Joe Richardson and a killer. Speed mix by the big chill Lino Marcelino Villalpando. Executive producer of the lead is me. Kelso could be the Davidson as our editorial director. Our Show is executive produced by Lea Hernandez Marshal Louis and Aaron Lopez for wondering from wondering and the athletic. I'm under sculptor and I'm Kavita Davidson see Monday.

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