The new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t waste any time in adding fuel to the fire.
It is no secret that the Los Angeles Clipper and the Oklahoma City Thunder have an intense rivalry going on. Not only have these two teams battled each other for position atop the Western Conference standings, they have also squared off in the playoffs and literally squared off on the court.
With no love lost, these two teams genuinely want to beat up the other and while the Thunder had the last laugh in the playoffs, Steve Ballmer has ensured the Clippers have gotten off on the right foot. At a “pep rally” for the new owner, Ballmer made no mistake when he advised a raucous crowd that the Clippers were going to “beat the old Seattle team” is their season opener.
Ballmer was part of a group trying to purchase the Seattle Supersonics and keep them in the Bay Area – one that was unsuccessful and the franchise was moved to Oklahoma City.
These two franchises already have history. Serge Ibaka and Blake Griffin have come to blows on court, Ibaka has also had physical altercations with other Clippers players such as Matt Barnes. Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul get a little chippy when going at each other and Kendrick Perkins is not a fan of anyone on the Clippers frontline.
Although the Thunder start their season against the Portland Trailblazers and will be solely focused on getting their 2014-15 campaign started with a win, the matchup with the Clippers must be circled on the calendar as a “must watch”.
Side notes to the story are interesting too. Blake Griffin played his college basketball for Oklahoma and is from the area, while Westbrook played for UCLA and is a Los Angeles native.
The next installment of the war between the western conference rivals is on October 31 at the Staples Center.
Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder