Thursday, November 03, 2005


Sporting haves and have-nots

As you may or may not know, the last two days have featured the opening games for the teams in the NBA. Which means in my adopted hometown of LA, we have one of the few markets with a couple of games going on every night.

There are storylines aplenty. Kobe and Phil are back together again with the Lakers. Are they going to bring a championship to town (probably not)? Will it be a return to greatness (again, probably not)?

And at the same arena, Clippers fans are embracing new star, 138-year-old Sam Cassell to provide some veteran leadership. Will this finally be the year that the Clips break out (not sure)?

That's just here in LA. It doesn't even begin to encompass the questions everywhere else in the league - like how will Larry Brown's Knicks perform in the Big Apple? Is this the year LeBron and the Cavs break out? Will the Spurs repeat? And so on.

That said, there's one particularly dissatisfying thing that comes to any two-team town eventually, and it's already here. We're talking preferential treatment from the media.

I've already talked about it in this blog with the Cubs-White Sox case. In Chicago, you might not have even known the White Sox existed just by reading the Tribune. Hell, before the World Series, the team was never - ever - the top story on the television news, except for the time that that redneck jumped on the field and clobbered the Kansas City base coach.

It's here, too. Not as bad, maybe, but here. Last night, the Lakers held on against Denver to win in overtime. Big headline on the front page of the Times sports section, big picutre of Kobe the rapist on the page. The Clips, meanwhile, wipe up Seattle, and they get just a quiet little story. Cassell had 35 points!

Nope. Picture of Kobe.

See? This is why the Clips - though I like them, and I plan to make them my local NBA team for as long as I live in LA - ought to move to the OC. Bad enough that the Tribune doesn't cover the White Sox in Chicago, but at least the Sox don't have to play in Wrigley. The Clippers share Staples Center, with its purple and gold seats. They have crappier locker rooms.

So naturally, they're the second team.

But in OC, it would just make sense. Put them up at the Pond. Call them the LA Clippers of Anaheim, or the California Clippers, or whatever.

Stupid second team nonsense.

All right. Now I'm off to the desert.

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