The rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers don't just share the same city, they share the same building to play their home games in. The Lakers have long been considered the "big brother" in this rivalry, but the Clippers have had plenty of periods of dominance as well. The media has dubbed this rivalry as the "Hallway Series" since a hallway separates the two home locker rooms of these bitter rivals.
Los Angeles is set for a blockbuster NBA rivalry next season after Kawhi Leonard reportedly agree to sign on for the Clippers. With Paul George also said to be joining from the Oklahoma City Thunder, an exciting Clippers team is set to go head-to-head against a Los Angeles Lakers franchise.
It's now LeBron James and Anthony Davis vs. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the hallway series in Los Angeles. Lakers fans were stunned and angered by the news that their "little brother" just stole their star free agent and grabbed the guy they thought was a lock to be theirs a couple years ago. The Clippers are now legit title contenders because they landed guys the Lakers wanted.
As fears mounted that the Los Angeles Lakers had pushed to the cusp of creating an unprecedented Big Three, the LA Clippers made the blockbuster trade. The Clippers became the last line of defense for the balance of power in the NBA -- never mind the franchise's own future.
Now, the LA Clippers, potentially for the first time in franchise history, are the favorite to win the NBA title.
Mind you, Lou Williams, who is probably one of the 10 to 15 most gifted scorers in the league, is coming off the bench. Montrezl Harrell. For those of you who aren't familiar with Harrell, you will be. That man is a certified stud. So far, Clippers' bench strength is second to none.
The Clippers have shooting, playmaking, defense, rebounding, a championship coach in Doc Rivers, two of the 10 best players in the league — they have it all. This is a team that took two games off the full-strength Warriors in this year's playoffs without a single superstar. Now they have two.
Plan B is never optimal, especially when Plan A is to sign Kawhi Leonard, pair him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and transform the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA's newest superpower.
However, the Lakers' Plan B looks more than adequate. That's because Plan B included agreeing to deals with big man DeMarcus Cousins, sharpshooter Danny Green and Splash Brother understudy Quinn Cook. The result: The Lakers got deeper, more balanced and acquired enough talent to be considered a title contender.
Thanks to Plan B, the Lakers' inside game looks better too. In addition to Davis, the Lakers have added Cousins, who as a member of the Warriors showed a hint of his once-dominating skills during the NBA Finals once he returned from a torn quadriceps. The Lakers also are bringing back rim protector JaVale McGee.
Back come guards Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, both of whom will help bolster the backcourt. And don't forget Kyle Kuzma, who has All-Star potential and for the Lakers may eventually help form a legitimate Big Three.
Sure, the Lakers must feel stung after losing out on Leonard to the once-lowly Clippers. But thanks to Plan B, the Lakers are no longer L.A. laughingstocks either.