While talk of a new rivalry in L.A. escalates with each passing game, Kobe Bryant isn’t about to give in to the thought that the Lakers and Clippers are rivals all of a sudden.
Naturally, there’s more competitiveness to their games since they share an arena with one another and since Chris Paul arrived and Blake Griffin has emerged, but in terms of wins, success, and overall history, these two teams are worlds apart.
The only way Kobe could see his crosstown counterparts as rivals is if they’d had a grueling playoff series or two against one another, but as we all know, that hasn’t taken place. When asked about the potential for a rivalry, Kobe put it bluntly:
“Please,” Bryant said. “We’ve got five championships. … Rivals come from the playoffs.”
I’m sure someone like Chris Paul wouldn’t appreaciate his team being brushed to the side like that. Especially after witnessing what happened during the Clippers-Lakers game earlier this week. During the game CP3 got into it with Kobe and Pau Gasol as the Lakers wrapped up the win.
After the game Kobe defended Pau and talked about CP3′s ‘little man complex:’
“Pau’s not a patronizing guy,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. “I’d do some stuff like that, but not him. That’s just not him.
“Chris doesn’t like that stuff. He’s got that little-man complex. I do that to his head all the time. Man, he just hates it. But he’s a tough little [expletive], and he’s not going to let that [expletive] slide, accident or not.” -Source
Rivalry or not, these two teams have played some pretty intense games ever since the preseason. It may not be there yet, but all it’s going to take is one or two more confrontations between these two to take this potential rivalry to whole another level. Mark my words.